Google is at it again… and again. With five releases of “Penguin” since 2012, many things have changed in the world of SEO. Within these search algorithm releases were specific codes to hunt web spam and companies that use “black hat” tactics to generate backlinks and trick the system. This led companies to ask a couple very important questions – how are we affected and what can we do to ensure that we aren’t being penalized?
What was our waddling friend’s job? Basically, Penguin was designed to devalue manipulative links. Google began penalizing websites that were using the following tactics:
- Paid backlinks
- Low-quality backlinks (typically generated by using automation tools)
- Large numbers of links with optimized anchor text
- Excessive link exchanges
- Text advertisements that pass PageRank
- Other types of links listed on the link schemes webpage
All of these specifically go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Now that we have discussed what Google is penalizing, we can discuss what your company should be focused on to ensure that you are getting the best SEO results. By using these tips, your company can be sure that Google’s crawlers won’t be slapping penalties onto your website.
- Start by creating a well-designed website with quality content. Google wants to provide the most relevant result for user searches. Focus on the audience and what’s valuable to them.
- Include inbound and outbound links to QUALITY websites
- Increase page speed (check your site with the Page Speed Tool)
- Delete spam comments on your blog or other pages
- Use alt tags for images
Staying proactive and updating your website consistently with quality relevant content are the best ways to find success with SEO and search rankings. Don’t try to hit a homerun with a quick fix or “black hat” tactics. That will only get your company slapped by Penguin’s flipper.
*Note: Google recently released “Panda 4.0” which affected a few search engine competitors. All of the Penguin updates are still relevant in Panda 4.0. The initial Penguin release started this reaction. Read more about Panda 4.0.