With confirmation from Google that the newest version of the Penguin algorithm has been implemented (acccording to moz.com this was October 17, 2014) – more websites are being targeted for unnatural or spammy linking tactics. Sites are being identified as manipulating search results that did not knowingly utilise banned practices. With the Penguin 3.0 roll-out, there is an increased possibility of any site being affected in traffic and rankings. Being proactive in addressing the issues causing the penalty is the only way to gain back your visibility. This article will address what the Penguin algorithm actually does, and what to do if your site is affected.
What the Penguin Algorithm Does
The Penguin algorithm focuses on the greatest ranking component of every site – links to your site. Penguin punishes sites that it determines have built unnatural, spammy links and rewards those with links that appear relevant and natural.
With Penguin 3.0, the algorithm has become more sophisticated, and Google has indicated that this will be a major update, not only a minor tweak. The full effects, and which sites are affected, are still being determined, as Google does not reveal specifics of changes and algorithm updates.
Are You Affected by Penguin 3.0?
Take a look at your Google Webmaster dashboard, and check your page rankings and search traffic for the last month. Did you notice a severe decrease in traffic or page rank? Chances are, you have been penalised by Penguin 3.0. Did you notice an increase in rankings or traffic? You probably benefited from the refresh, or from other sites in your sector being penalised.
Recovering From Penguin 3.0
If you did notice a decrease that corresponds with the latest Penguin update (October 17-19), you must take immediate steps to correct and recover your site. This is not an easy or quick process, but to recover your traffic you need to take action now. Here are the steps to recovery.
- Identify spammy, poor-quality inbound links. Judging the value of links can be difficult, so it may be of benefit to hire a professional to audit your links. If you have the time and patience, you can target your bad links using Google Webmaster tools. Links to target include comment or forum links not relevant to your site, article directories (PRWeb, etc.), excessive exact-keyword anchors, paid links and link farms. Review your site also for any hidden text or other webspam.
- Get rid of the bad links. After you identify the poor-quality links, you need to get rid of them. It is always preferable to have these links removed from the site, but if you cannot, or if there are simply too many, you can disavow your bad links in Google Webmaster tools. In some instances, your site could be hit with both the Penguin 3.0 penalty as well as a “manual” penalty. In this case, after correcting your site, you will need to request reconsideration from Google as well.
- Review and reassess your site constantly. To prevent future penalties, conduct a weekly assessment of your site, and monitor new links for quality. Remove any bad links immediately, and focus on earning quality, relevant links with fresh, superior content. If you feel you do not have the time or experience, consider using a trusted SEO professional to monitor your site going forward.
Was Your Website Hit By A Panda Update?
The latest Panda algorithm update was called Panda 4.1 (the 27th refresh of Panda according to Moz.com) was released by Google on September 23, 2014. You know if you’ve been hit by a Panda update because your web traffic suddenly plummets. If the phone stops ringing, the leads stop coming and all you can hear in the office is crickets then go check your Google Analytics account. It may look something like this…
Panda targets looks at the quality of your content sitewide. It also examines the “user friendliness” of your site.
Getting your site in order, to avoid this penalty, is something Streamshare specialises in. If you give is a call on 1300 885 487 we can have a look at what’s going on, make recommendations for what is needed and undertake all the work needed to get your rankings and your traffic back so that you can continue to operate a successful business.