What you need to know about Google’s Penguin in 2016

Google Penguin 2016

The latest version of Penguin, Google’s most recent algorithm determining where your site appears in its search results, appears to be rolling out.  What does that mean for you?

Penguin’s goal is to weed out the spam.

This most recent update tightens restrictions on “unnatural links” and duplicate content.  So what is an unnatural link?  Google doesn’t say, but evidence points to links that don’t make sense within the context of your site content.  If you keep your links relevant, linking to sites talking about the same subject(s) as your site, you should be safe.

Penguin doesn’t like text that reads like it was written to fit in key words.  This is true for titles, alt tags on images, and page text itself. All text should read conversationally – just like you speak.

It abhors duplicate content; if, for example, you’ve used descriptive text that came from a vendor, chances are other sites are using the same text.  That’s penguin food: Don’t tempt the bird!

Earlier versions of Penguin cast a net that caught “good” sites along with the bad and it took seemingly FOREVER to get a site re-listed when this happened. This release makes updates in real time, which should solve that problem, but only time will tell.

What should you do?

  1. If you’ve duplicated content from another site, make sure to re-write so it is at least 50% different than the original text.
  2. If you’ve been buying links or manipulating content, now is the time to stop.
  3. If your titles and other content is keyword-spammy, make text read more naturally (eg., “HOT Widget | celebrity widget | best widget | Las Vegas” should read more like “Best HOT celebrity widget in Las Vegas”).
  4. Understand there are different kinds of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  “White Hat” techniques are used to optimize sites playing by the rules and these sites will likely not be affected by this update.  Google’s goal with Penguin is to weed out the sites using “Black Hat” activities to artificially increase the site’s rank.  If you don’t know which type of techniques are in use on your site, find out and, if needed, clean up the wreckage of your past.
  5. It’s easier to avoid a Penguin attack than it is to recover.  Be proactive!  That said, if your site suddenly disappears from Google for search terms for which it previously held good rank, either do some quick study or give us a call for help: 360-642-4431. 

We’re Not Worried About Our Sites

At beachdog.com, we are not worried about the Penguin updates. We’ve always been a “white hat” shop, working on behalf of our clients to create an organically high rank for their sites.  If you’ve been actively engaged in SEO with us, kick back and relax; your site should be well-prepared for this algorithm update.

If, on the other hand, you’ve done DIY SEO, hired your SEO work several years ago, and/or hired someone that brought your site positive short-term results, it’s time to take a closer look and be sure your site isn’t poised to disappear from Google.

We’d love to chat with you if you have questions.  Give us a call at 360-642-4431.