Google announced its Webspam “Penguin” Update a couple weeks ago and, akin to The March of the Penguins, businesses both large and small flocked to SEO professionals for help. As business owners found themselves up in arms about their website’s disappearance in the search rankings, the team at New Epic Media had our arms crossed, watching with pride as our clientele soared to the top of their respective SERPs. I may sound like a broken record at this point, but proper SEO is truly impervious to Google algorithm changes. For this reason, the Penguin Update actually benefited our clients. We use good, solid, honest, white hat only SEO and this creates an incredible opportunity to shine each and every time there is an update. Congratulations to us.
Google updates have a crafty way of reinforcing that our SEO efforts matter. More importantly, that our effort has a direct impact on the success of our clients. So for those who found themselves amongst the March of the Penguins, panicking after the update, let’s take a look at a least-resistant path to recovery. Keep in mind, however, that the first step to SEO recovery is admitting that you have a problem. If your site was damaged due to the Penguin Update then you do, in fact, have an SEO problem. Let’s solve it.
Over-Optimization: Google’s update has definitely penalized the over-optimizers out there. More specifically, link over-optimization. Google is now looking at natural links on a page; the algorithm will recognize and penalize unnatural link structure. Say goodbye to paid links. If you were penalized, it is likely that your site has quite a few unnatural, irrelevant links that do not align with your product, service, or niche.
Anchor Text: Old SEO “best practices” placed quite a heavy emphasis on anchor text. We were all under the impression that anchor text had to include the exact keywords we were trying to rank for. While this is still a factor, the significance of anchor text has moderated. Due to Google’s ability to discover content relevancy, anchor text is less critical to ranking factors. My advice would be to diversify anchor text, don’t forget keywords, but go easy.
White Hats: I get it, the whole “white hat” thing is getting old. But when the next update hits and “SEO professionals” are scrambling to “fix” their clients’ websites, we’ll be writing another one of these articles. Proper SEO tactics are algorithm-change-resistant.
It’s short and sweet, but that pretty much sums it up. Move away from the philosophy of “produce as much content and get as many links as possible”. In fact, I’d like to change the age-old saying “content is king” to “quality content is king”, which is certainly more precise. Google’s algorithm is really smart, and it’s only getting smarter. While it isn’t smart enough to decipher what content is the “best”, it most certainly can measure and monitor popularity. Quality content becomes popular; it is as simple as that.
When all is said and done, we don’t just have “Penguin Potential”; we have the potential to manage any kind of jungle creature that Google throws our way. Why? Our white hats keep us safe in the wild.