Google Penguin: What it Means for You
Google's latest update, the Penguin update, has taken the search world by storm. For many in the internet marketing industry, this update has hit them even harder than the infamous Panda update. The Google Penguin update also has a nickname: The webspam update.
Google Panda was designed to increase the quality of results. It did this by adding artificial intelligence and adding factors like the percentage of the page that was taken up by ad space. While sites that used a lot of low quality link strategies did get hit by Panda, it wasn't nearly as severe as Penguin.
The Penguin update targets low quality link strategies specifically. If you're building your links by using a lot of low PR backlinks, chances are your site is affected by Penguin.
More specifically, here are some of the major ways Penguin could have affected your site and what you can do about it.
Low Quality Link Strategies
Low quality link strategies include:
- Article marketing.
- Spun content.
- Blog commenting, blog comment spam.
- Web 2.0 Profile Links.
- Forum signatures.
- XRumor Blasts
If the majority of your links are made up of any of these link sources, your site is going to hurt pretty badly after the Penguin update.
Instead of using these tactics, now is the time to switch to tactics that Google likes more. That includes things like distributing infographics, doing guest posts and directly asking for high quality links.
Duplicate Content: It's Not Just "Content With the Same Words"
Webmasters know that the title tag is the most important tag in SEO. That's why they'll often create similar pages with similar content, so they can target similar keywords. For instance, let's say you run a website about cooking Chinese Noodle Soup. There are three main keywords you're targeting:
1) Best Chinese Noodle Soup
2) Chinese Noodle Soup Recipe
3) How to Cook Chinese Noodle Soup
Although you're not technically creating duplicate content, the fact is that you're splitting up the quality of your content among three pages. You're "over optimized" (in Matt Cutts' words) and Google is able to penalize you for it now.
Social Signals Increase in Importance
Google's social signal readings are increasing in importance. That means having a strong Twitter following, Facebook following or Google Plus following is going to help you even more than before.
Keep in mind that Google can tell the difference between fake likes (E.g. buying 1,000 likes for $5 on Fiverr) and real communities. They can read sentiment, measure the authority of your followers and more. Don't try to fake a community ?€" Build a real one instead.
Diversify Your Linkbuilding
Don't have just one or two linkbuilding tactics that you use over and over and over again. Instead, diversify your link sources. Make them look as naturally spread out as possible.
The bottom line with this update is to stop using spammy techniques and focus more on quality content and quality relationships.
If your rankings did take a big hit with Google Penguin, it might be time to consider other marketing channels besides just SEO. One traffic source that is working really well for a lot of people right now is Facebook.