Preparing for the Long Expected Google Penguin Update
Back in March, Matt Cutts warned SEOs toexpect a new Penguin algorithm updatelater this year. Dubbed “Penguin 2.0,” thisupdate is expected to be a massive changefor the SEO industry.The original Penguinalgorithm was released inApril 2012 and causedwidespread destructionamong the SEOcommunity, as many sitessuffered harsh penaltiesand consequently droppedin the rankings.
Barry Schwartz reports that after a year,only 9% of sites that were hit with aPenguin penalty have managed a fullrecovery. That’s a dangerous algorithm!Although we are still waiting forthis “next generation” of thePenguin algorithm, we can guessabout what it’s going to look likebased on past algorithmicupdates. Essentially, SEOsexpect Penguin 2.0 to expandGoogle’s definition of spam inorder to target black-hat SEOpractices.
It’s All About LinksAlthough you should be following this rule anyway, it’s worthmentioning: stop using any black-hat SEO practices! The bestway to prepare for the Penguin update is to avoid keywordstuffing, get rid of unnatural links, and make sure you don’thave any duplicate content.
Penguin is one of Google’s greatest weapons against sites that ignoreGoogle’s guidelines, so anyone using black-hat tactics is in for trouble.That being said, the main purpose of Penguin is to be a link qualityfilter, so you can be positive that the update will continue Google’swar on spammy links.
Penguinpunishes over-optimization inorder toachieveGoogle’s goalof displayingonly the highestquality pagesnear the top ofthe rankings.At this point, Google has become veryfamiliar with the patterns that indicatebad links, which are a sure sign of over-optimization.
With that in mind, now isthe time to clean up yourlink profile! Penguin 2.0will undoubtedly target linkschemes that generate lowquality or unnatural links,including advertorial spamand paid links. Linknetworks are a definite no-no at this point.If you’re holding on to anyvestiges of these pre-Pandaand pre-Penguin practices,it’s time to get rid of them!TimeForSomeSpringCleaning!
There are certain link patterns that are likely to tip off theforthcoming Penguin update as well. For instance, link velocityis an indicator of the health of your link profile – a sudden spikein links looks suspicious.
Google is also looking for link trust, which means thatyou want to focus on links in good link neighborhoods asopposed to bad link neighborhoods.In order to avoid any of these problems, focus oneditorial links and promotional links.
Penguin 2.0 is also expected to create improvements inauthority indicators.We already know thatGoogle is interested inauthorship andrelevance, but thisnew algorithm willalso be likely toemphasize theimportance of socialsignals as a part ofauthority.
To sum it up, it seems to me that the best way to prepare forPenguin 2.0 is to proactively clean up your backlinks and startproducing awesome content that establishes your authority.What do you think?How are you preparing for the next Penguin update?
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