Matt Cutts, Google’s resident Webmaster Help expert, announced on Friday that Penguin 2.0 is coming “sometime in the next few weeks.” This was in response to speculation on whether Google had released an update last week, following a drop in traffic noticed by quite a few concerned website owners.
The March of the Penguin
In April 2012 thousands of businesses worldwide experienced an unpleasant drop in sales and leads. What happened? A Google search engine update, which left many websites with very little or no natural traffic virtually overnight. It seems no one is safe from the march of the Penguin. Google slapped even massive nationals, such as Interflora (no follow), on the wrist for ‘black hat’ techniques.
While the first Penguin update caused havoc, there have been calls of persecution and injustice from some websites and SEO professionals. But Google feel they have improved search results with their tweaks to the way webpages get ranked. As with law though: “not knowing” the rules does not protect you from their consequences.
And they are about to strike again, so you simply SHOULD be vigilant.
What Is Penguin 2.0?
The world of Social Media has been discussing Penguin 2.0 since Cutts mentioned it in March, saying it would be significant and one of the most talked about algorithm updates this year.
So what do we know about the return of the Penguin? Not much. The first Penguin was and is a link quality filter, pure and simple. This means that it works in addition to Google’s core algorithm and searches out sites that use links manipulatively. ”Spammy” linking techniques include, amongst others, link buying and the use of link farms. These had been widely shunned in the world of sustainable optimisation for years, but kept being heavily exploited by unscrupulous, outsourcing (often overseas) SEOs .
Now is the time to keep an eye on your traffic. If you see a sudden fall, if orders stop coming or the phone stops ringing, then you may have become a victim of the latest update.
What To Do
Here are a few suggestions we urge all website owners to consider:
- Keep an eye out for big changes in your website’s rankings; a simple daily check (and making a note) of “where you are” on Google when searching for your key phrase(s) is the best early warning system – it takes only 5 minutes but can save you a LOT of lost business.
- Alternatively, check your Google Analytics daily for big changes (fall) in organic traffic; as soon as you spot a negative impact, consult a reliable, trusted SEO consultant to start reparative action ASAP.
- If you have had any “link building” done in the last few years, check if the backlink profile you are left with today is not a ticking time bomb – get a external link audit as a smart risk management move.
- Any SEO consultants working for you currently? Ask them what they are doing and/or are they prepared for the new Google update!
As ‘white hat’ SEO consultants we believe in sustainable on-site and off-site SEO techniques that do not rely on simply staying one step ahead of Google’s relentless updates. Why wait for the fall to come though? If you feel now is the time for an SEO refresh, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01753 878435 or drop us an email today for a complete peace of mind.