Are the Google Penguins Marching?

Penguin with a bow and arrow shooting at a chain
Penguins are cute until they kill your backlinks and your rankings.

Those of us who follow news and changes from Google to their organic search algorithm have been anticipating the Penguin update for some time. This update was supposed to roll out at the end of 2015, but has been delayed. The last Penguin update was in October of 2014, and continued the practice of investigating and scrutinizing the backlinks that sites have. There were many domains that saw their rankings plummet, due either to questionable SEO tactics, or just shoddy link building strategies. Google defines link spam as “Any link placed with the intention of manipulating rankings.” Obviously this covers a pretty broad spectrum, and with that wording, almost ANY link could fall under that category, but there are a few things to avoid in your backlink profile.

Link Schemes
Link schemes could be anything from links that are bought, rather than earned through good content, to cross linking, or trading links. The safest, most organic link is one that is placed on a site, linking back to you and citing you as a source, or an expert on the topic.If there is a link to your roofing company in a story about organic bananas, that is probably not an ideal link, and will probably catch the eye of Google.

Over optimized Anchor Text
Anchor text is the part of the sentence that contains the link back to your site. When performing a routine backlink analysis, it is glaringly obvious that something is unnatural if a preponderance of links are pointing to your site from your main target keywords.
Example: There are hundreds of running shoes on the market today for runners of all ages, shapes, and sizes. Before running in your next big race, make sure that you have the best running shoes available.
This is very blatant over optimization, but you get the idea.

Links to Duplicate Content
There are some times that you would have content that was not originally written by you or your staff on your site, but few, if any times when linking back to that duplicate content would be beneficial.You should have as much original, engaging, and educational content on your site as possible. This not only increases the amount of content indexed by the search engines, it also increases your digital footprint, making it more likely that prospects find you, and become clients.

Any time Google is rumored to be changing or updating their algorithm, some business owners get worried. We know how hard you have worked to earn your keyword rankings, and how potentially devastating it could be to lose them. A good SEO strategy should alleviate those fears, and we have seen business owners who can’t wait for these updates, as they know that their content marketing strategy will be rewarded, while others who have taken shortcuts will be penalized. If you have any questions about the Penguin worthiness of your site, please call us, and we can talk about some backlink analysis and cleanup options. The Penguin will march soon, that’s for sure. Make sure you are ready.

Related Posts

Shared Hosting vs Dedicated Server

What’s the difference between a shared server hosting and a dedicated server? It is self-evident that businesses, like people, are supposed to grow; and with growth, comes change. The need to launch or upgrade the websites can be a big challenge when choosing shared hosting vs dedicated server hosting plan. Things can become confusing because…

Gutenberg – a whole new way to use WordPress

Depending on how involved you are in the WordPress community, you may or may not be familiar with the upcoming WordPress Gutenberg editor. This post will help you understand what Gutenberg is and how it is going to impact the WordPress development field. What is Gutenberg? Briefly, Gutenberg is the upcoming replacement to the WordPress…

Why is Facebook Down?

Facebook and its Messenger app have been down for two days now. The outage is worldwide with some areas more affected than others. Here’s a map of the outage provided by the Outage Report. The report from the downdetector.com shows the following stats: Log in (44%)Total blackout (41%)Pictures (14%) The log in issue seems to…