Businesses and marketers rarely get any good news about search engine algorithm changes. But brace yourself, because here’s one: the next Penguin update is coming very, very soon—and it might be your chance at a fresh start.
Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google, dropped the Penguin bomb via Twitter in October. In an exchange with user @Andrew_Isidoro, Illyes said we could expect the new update to roll out before 2015 ends.
Image Source: https://twitter.com/Andrew_Isidoro/status/659369312671649792
The bad news? He didn’t really give an exact date—which means your site can experience a drop in rankings or may even be removed from Google’s index before Penguin hits you in the face. And unlike the previous updates, Penguin 4.0 will affect search engine results, analyze the quality of your links, and penalize you in real‐time.
The best defense to any future impact is preparation. So how do you brace yourself for 4.0?
1. Review Your Link Profile
Reviewing your link profile may not be your priority at this time, especially in the middle of all your holiday marketing campaigns and promotions. With Penguin 4.0 just around the corner, however, it’s something you need to do right now. Check all the links on your site and see if they are of high quality.
2. Remove, Disavow, Nofollow Toxic Links
Once you’ve audited your link profile and looking at all those backlinks, start a removal, disavow, or nofollow campaign. Don’t be afraid to approach websites directly to get a link removed, and send out requests to as many toxic links as possible. Before submitting a Disavow file, Google suggests manually
having them removed, but if this is not possible, use the Disavow tool to inform Google of your intentions.
It’s better to remove those low quality links before the new Penguin algorithm rolls out, instead of trying to remove them after you’ve been penalized.
Image Source: https://moz.com/blog/6‐ways‐to‐recover‐from‐bad‐links
3. Make Anchor Texts Natural
We all think that backlinks are more effective if the anchor text used the exact‐match keyword you want your website to rank for. The opposite is actually true. The ideal anchor texts are those that look natural and have properly distributed keywords.
Another good practice is to make sure you have a wide range of linking anchor text formats in your backlink profile, varied by URL, long‐tail keywords, brand, and non‐descriptive keywords.
4. Optimize Internal Links, Too
External links usually get the most attention in any Penguin‐related concerns, and rightfully so, but don’t ignore your internal links. These usually don’t have a direct impact on rankings, but they influence how search engines crawl your site. Internal links, after all, help you tell Google, which pages are more important and which ones are related to one another.
When improving your internal links, make sure to connect the related pages. This doesn’t only improve the quality of the links; it enhances the user experience, too.
5. Develop Varied, Relevant, Well‐Written Content
“Content is king.”—this is one of the phrases that get tossed around a lot in the world of digital marketing. With Penguin 4.0 coming before the year ends, relevant and well‐written content is more important than ever. It’s an effective way to acquire natural links that search engine algorithms actually love.
Image Source: https://blog.kissmetrics.com/elements‐high‐quality‐website/
Create content that your target market is looking for. Make it varied, from blog posts and news to product information and press releases, so that it appeals to all stages of the buying cycle. Make sure users return to your site as a source of information as well.
Good Fish, Bad Fish: Stop Any Risky SEO Practices
Overall, when we talk about Google’s Penguin, obviously, we’re not talking about cute and charismatic birds wearing tuxedos—we’re talking about winged animals with a voracious appetite for bad fish. And the trick to surviving them is simple: just be a good fish.
It’s now more important than ever to stop those risky or unnatural link building practices. With Penguin 4.0 potentially able to detect spammy links in a backlink profile in a blink of an eye, your website is likely to be hit soon after the rollout. And we all know that it takes weeks, if not months, along with manual verification on Google’s part, before you can recover those hard‐earned rankings.
But if you follow this guide and let our Denver digital marketing experts at C1‐Partners help you, you shouldn’t really have anything to worry about. In fact, this update may just actually be good for your site.
Start preparing for the coming of Penguin 4.0 today with the leading Denver SEO expert. Call C1‐Partners for a free digital marketing assessment.