“THE PENGUINS ARE COMING! THE PENGUINS ARE COMING!”….. (Well just not yet)
If a recent article from Search Engine Land is to be trusted we are on the verge of launch for one of Google’s largest and latest search algorithm changes Google Penguin... but not until 2016. So what, if anything, do you need to know to make the most of these algorithm changes next year?
Google’s Penguin algorithm isnow moving past its third version since an initial launch in 2012. The latest updates planned for early 2016 is fundamentally no different in intent. The basis of Penguin is to favour websites and web content that follow good digital marketing principals that are in the best interest of the searcher; and to punish those websites that may wish to deceive searches by gaming their rankings. Penguin’s major target are “black-hat” marketers and SEO hacks that target these remaining weaknesses to reach rankings for terms that really don’t relate to the content or value to the searcher.
Typically each new version of Penguin has resulted in some kind of a rankings shake up. Those sites that were using proper digital marketing principles and looking out for the best interests of their customers and users typically received positive improvements. While other sites that may have participated in ‘Black-hat’ or ‘Grey-hat’ SEO activities typically saw a noticeable drop in rankings, (or in some cases complete delisting).
So you’re doing the right things already right!.... (Right?!) So there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. And if you are doing things correctly then you will likely be just fine when the newest version hits. But maybe there’s something we can learn from the changes coming anyway.
Here are some quick differences coming to the latest version of Google Penguin search algorithm (Penguin 4.0) in 2016:
This really just means that the algorithm itself will be running checks more frequently that will help to prevent momentary footholds that link spammers may exploit to their temporary advantage. Links that you add will be immediately assessed for their impact instead of recorded and assessed later. If you keep clean honest organically grown links on your website then this shouldn’t impact you.
Link Building Continues to Be Less Important
Gone are the days were force feeding your website links was the best way to gain ranking and relevancy on Google. Many of the describe changes seem to continue the trend away from those days of old. Links are now seen as a spice to be added for flavour only where needed, not to be doused on everything blocking out the real flavour of your genuine content.
Internal & External Links Talk To Each Other
Penguin has mostly focused on abuses with external link structures; however, context is an important factor for how it may determine these abuses. Internal link structures (between your own webpages) tell Google the story of your content beyond single pages or pieces of content. In order to best avoid mistaken penalties from external links it’s also important to keep your internal links clean and relevant. The whole story inside and out should be consistent. With real-time capabilities Penguin will be even more focused on context.
What if I’m not sure about my SEO; what’s the best way to prepare for Penguin?
The safe bet is to get an SEO expert to look at your website to assess its existing SEO impact. Several tools exist that allow SEO Specialists to measure metrics the way Google might. With the right experience a talented SEO Specialist should be able to find any weaknesses in your existing SEO strategy that may be impacted by Penguin 4.0.
Our talented Promotions team is just the place to start if you would like a quick SEO checkup before 2016. Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.