Penguin 3.0 and what this means for your company.

Here at Ryan C Walsh Online Marketing we like to break down industry news and occurrences into manageable chunks of information for our clients, to inform them how Google algorithmic changes will impact their businesses.

This week we are going to take a close look at a Penguin 3.0!


What is the Panda sequence of updates and refreshes all about?

The Panda updates are mainly focused on looking at your websites back-link profile and assessing the quality of your back-links.

The reason Goggle is so focused on auditing or assessing back-links, is because they are actively searching for “spammy practices” and poor back-link methods which have been designed to manipulate the Search Engine’s (Black Hat SEO and all the naughty forms of Link Building that go with it i.e link farms are what the Penguin updates are mostly looking for.)

As back-links are still a major ranking factor, there is obvious reason and motive to try and manipulate the search engine’s so that a site appears more of an authority than what it actually is.

This new Penguin 3.0 update which Goggle has released into the world wide wilderness, to create havoc for some, actually is quite a soft algorithmic change or refresh as it is actually only impacting 1% of English queries, but it is stated to be still rolling out!

As this Penguin is only interested in back links and not catching fish it is an unconventional creature in the Goggle update world in that it is only a system refresh and not a main algorithmic update !

It is not a standard update in the sense that it is language bound, instead the update is primarily focused on back-links, so as it not strongly concerned with content.

It is therefore being rolled out worldwide across all versions of Google. This Penguin is well travelled you see!

The implications from a visit with a Penguin 3.0 breed.

If only stocking up on fish fingers would satisfy this creature, life would be a lot easier to satisfy our not to friendly Penguin!

This update is focused on demoting sites that appear to have poor quality back-links. There is a twist with this update, in that it is not considered by some professionals as an update instead a system refresh.

This means that if you acted on the advice and information widely out there and distanced yourself and your site from low quality “spammy links” this refresh may have lifted any Google penalties that were previously placed on your site.

What this means is we now have some winners and losers from this Goggle Penguin 3.0 update.

We have winners that were previously losers from the Penguins last visit to them.

This is because we now have some who no longer have been negatively impacted by penalties placed on their sites and are now starting to be lifted away from this angry Penguin because they have made changes which now satisfy Google’s criteria for organic looking back link profiles.

These newly found winners will have noticed a decrease in traffic before and made the necessary changes and either disavowed their way out of trouble, or have managed to get the poor quality links removed.

But we also have losers in the context that sites that may not have not been punished before in the previous Penguin visits, will now have been possibly impacted as the Penguin has seen something this time which doesn’t float his boat! So those who slipped under the radar before now have the Penguin starring them straight in the face!

Why Google is getting smarter and this Penguin is certainly no dunce!

As we have earlier mentioned these updates are focused on preventing web spam or as professional SEO types call this behaviour “Black Hat SEO”.

Google is getting smarter at catching out people’s intent on manipulating the search results.

The algorithm is getting more advanced all the time and increasingly Google is asking “what is a users intent?” Through this quite simple question Google is making a calculated estimation, of whether a website is trying to manipulate or if it playing by the rule book.

Our advice for staying friends with the Penguins and them leaving your site alone is this…

Our advice is to embrace the changes to the algorithm as the whole reason for these changes is to better the user experience for the end user, which can only be a good thing!

We believe here at Ryan C Walsh Online Marketing that if you embrace “White Hat” SEO and all it has to offer you will not just be pleasing the Penguins but all of the other past updates and possibly most of the futures ones as well.

We therefore strongly advocate staying on the right side of a Penguin or a Panda or indeed a Hummingbird, (Yes these are all past updates we have not gone mad!)

Our advice is to formulate content strategies that are aligned with what interests your target audience.

Long gone are the days that more is better when it comes to back links.

Now quality over substance is definitely better, so take the time to earn quality authoritative links.

They are much harder to earn but they will keep you in good stead when it comes to further Google updates in the future.

How do I get myself out of this hot water this blooming Penguin has placed me in?

Good question!

It is time to start reverse engineering, so get your socket set ready this may take a while.

Our advice is to pay a visit to “Google Webmaster Tools” and download all of your back-links.

This could be 5 or it could be potentially be millions of links that will need you to audit them and make an assessment.

Thankfully there are tools that can help you decipher what is rubbish and what you need to keep.

There are common industry tools in Seo that you can use to speed up the process of finding poor quality links. We are keen to promote Majestic SEO which will allow you to download your link profile and start having a look at what the trust flow is like and what links are looking on the dodgy side.

What to do when the Penguin has left you a shopping list of links to distance yourself from.

If you’re at this stage you have done the hard work, you have found the links causing the headache.

Now its time to let Google know you’re on this case and that Penguin is not welcome anymore, that’s if the fish fingers didn’t already bribe him of course.

The first stage should be using your powers of communication to contact all the webmasters you want to remove yourself from. State your case and tell them you want your link removed.

If your met with a stone wall or deaf ears we would not be surprised from our experience this will be the case as these sorts of sites have automated their systems so there is little human editing of their sites. So you must now turn to plan B.

Plan B, Google has given us a fantastic tool called “Google Disavow” use this wisely and you can inform Google that you have tried your hardest to contact these sites but now you want to separate yourself from them.

This will send out a message loud and clear you want to distance yourself from these links and you want to actually start over and play by the rule book.

What to keep an eye on in future to stop this happening again as this is time consuming stuff!

Do not over stuff and over optimise your anchor text as you will be asking to be put back in hot water.

For example all your links may be branded for your company name in our view that is okay, but do not go down the route of loads of links all stating “you’re the best firm since sliced bread” over and over as that Penguin will be back!

Avoid slipping back in time to power ballads, shoulder pads and biffy hair, hang on a minute! That’s the 80’s, okay too far back, but still don’t go back in time when it comes to building your next bunch of links.

Why not we here you cry? “Always believe in Gold” and having a mullet was good we hear you say!

Hmmm no, no, no! Avoid paying for links, avoid spammy directories and placing links in the comments section, also avoid forum links and just basically get with the times! Who ever thought shoulder pads were attractive?

Also watch out for where your links are coming from, you should want them looking natural and coming from servers where you do business.

So foreign domains pointing to you a few times are okay but don’t for example if your based here in the UK start getting a ton of links from China or Russia, as you need the link profile to look natural and related to your business.

Of course there is exceptions to every rule and if do business in these countries then of course it would be natural to have such countries servers and links pointing back to you. But if you are based here in the UK and do most of your business here it would be natural to have most of your back-links from the UK so bare that in mind.

We are experts in staying ahead of the major updates and we strongly believe in White Hat SEO. If you value quality online marketing here in Cardiff then contact us today.