Did you just hear that Google has come up with the newest version of Penguin – Penguin 3.0! Well, industry experts deem it to be the major update since last year when Penguin 2.1 was rolled out. Penguin’s major interest lies in removing web spam and sites that use –
I. Low quality backlinks
II. Text advertisements passing PageRank
III. Having too many links with optimized anchor text
IV. Black hat SEO techniques like excessive link exchanges, link velocity, keyword stuffing, etc.
WHAT’S LIKELY IN STORE BY PENGUIN 3.0?
Apart from heavy penalties, my likely observations made me conclude that Penguin 3.0 will target –
- Any low-quality backlink –
Being a web master, you don’t want your site to be affected by a backlink from a bad neighborhood. If you have some control over the backlinks to your site, doubly ensure that such backlinks come from sites with an equal or higher domain authority level.
- Any optimized anchors –
Gone are the days when we looked for exact match and keyword-rich anchor text. In the era of Penguin 3.0, avoid anchor optimization that could otherwise prove to be a little dangerous for your business in the long run. Today, the trend of co-citation and co-occurrence is on the rise.
- Any link from a guest blogging network –
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Web spam team wasn’t kidding when he decided to nail down the guest blogging networks. This time you can see that right into the algorithm.
As the tradition is that with each algorithm update, each website runs the risk of penalty. So far as Google Penguin is concerned, the impact will be on your SERPs. Google hasn’t revealed much on this, but if you are the one, either that particular page or an entire site could be penalized. The severity may depend on the overall link profile. So, in all practical sense, it is better to be proactive now and audit your link profile than suffer the long-term consequences in times to come.
PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE –
I. Remove all links from spam sites:
You have to be stern with your backlink removal process if you do not want to regret in future. You will be surprised to know that how many spam sites are sending links to your site at times even without your knowledge. A casual audit of your site will let you know the low quality sites, link directories and off-topic sites. They should be removed as soon as possible as they could become the source of a serious penalty at a later date.
II. Remove all links from guest blogging networks:
This is imperative for such webmasters who have used a guest blogging network ever in the past. If you have the link removal authority, immediately you need to remove the links from such space else contact the site owner to have them removed.
III. Remove all optimized anchor links:
The next suggestion in line would be the removal of optimized anchor links. Though they seem to be adding value to you in the first place, but why take chances? It is better to present Google a healthy link profile of your site. Gradually, you can create great links for your site.
IV. Remove all exact match anchor links:
To the layman, an exact match anchor is the one when the non-URL title of the page corresponds to the anchor text. For instance, in the following link, www.forinstance.com/cheap-airfare, ‘cheap airfare’ will be an exact match anchor which needs to be removed.
V. Do no-follow guest post links:
In the quest for manipulating search, if ever you have built links in the past through guest post, you need to no-follow those links. However, if you have used rich anchor text throughout your posts, it will increase your chances of getting caught by Penguin 3.0.
God forbid if you ever get penalized! But, even after resorting to the aforementioned steps if Google catch you, make sure you get out of this mess by following the below techniques–
- Use Google Webmaster Tools:
Haven’t started with Google Webmaster Tool? What are you waiting for? It has it all that will help you do proper SEO for your website. It helps in removing sitemap errors; get messages from Google about any mistake committed, spamming and much more. Don’t wait anymore and start using this magic tool today!
- Create User-Friendly Content:
Google’s area of concern lies solely on quality and the user experience. Always ensure that your landing pages aren’t too cluttered with ads or with other irrelevant stuff. Make sure that the site navigation is clear and user-friendly. Being a website owner, you need to look at your site from the point of view of a critical reader and not as that of an owner.
- Use Social Media:
Being abuzz is the in-thing! If you do not socialize, even Google will not give you credit for your website. Make business profiles on all social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, WordPress and Bing etc.
- Keyword Stuffing:
Over-utilizing keywords in a paragraph or in your post is like drawing the attention of Google to your site. This is spamming in the eyes of Google and it’s a black hat SEO tactic which you should avoid at any cost.
Therefore, a great site, quality social signals along with careful link building can shield your site from Penguin 3.0 and even Penguin 10.0!
By: Meenakshi Vashisht