The dust is still settling after the latest Google Penguin algorithm update, and still many people are asking questions...
“Has my site been affected by Google Penguin?”
“What did I do wrong?”
“How do I help it recover?”
First of all, it is worth reiterating that this is an automated, algorithmic update rather than a forensic site-by-site assessment. Secondly, if you find that your website has been affected by this latest update, then there is no need to panic.
Famously, the BBC received a warning about its SEO practices in May, and this provides us with an interesting case study for dissecting how this recent Google Penguin update has been implemented.
A website for an organisation like the BBC will attract a huge array of links from different sites across the globe, and it is clear that a lot of these links will be from high quality blogs and websites, but there will also be a selection of lower quality sites linking to the BBC. However, this has no reflection on the practices of the BBC’s online team, so why should they be penalised for the actions of others?
Basically, they won’t have been.
What will have happened to the BBC’s website, and the sites of most honest webmasters who are noticing a change in their rankings pattern, is that a site that links back to their site (or a site that links to a site linking to theirs) will have been discounted. Effectively, the internet is now a lot smaller.
This update from Google is all about quality, and this is a good thing. Google has made a considered judgement about which areas of the internet represent real quality Web 2.0 site,s and which sites exist purely for spam and links. Discarding the latter will only make the former more prominent.
It also makes it harder for unscrupulous webmasters with large budgets behind them to simply employ their financial muscle to short-circuit the rankings system.
As a result, Google’s search results will now give a truer reflection of how real internet users rate the various sites in their niche. If you ask Matt Cutts he will undoubtedly say that the Google Penguin updates are simply helping the cream to rise to the top.
In terms of recovering your website's rankings, providing the site's prominence was not based solely on paid links on each and every low quality site that will take your money off your hands, then your site should recover its rankings over time. Google is strongly hinting that it could be worth carefully going through your backlink profile and asking webmasters to remove any links that appear to be coming from low quality sites.
Failing that, Google is advising webmasters to use the Google Webmaster Link Disavow tool. This is a much more manual system and will allow your site to be shielded from the toxicity these low quality links will now bring.
The over-riding message here is to continue optimising your website by making it worth its place on the internet. It’s an old mantra, but having interesting, high quality content on your site, and letting the people in your niche know about it, will always result in your site punching its weight.
Ultimately, in the aftermath of the Penguin version 2 update, this is truer than ever. If Google liked the site previously, and you are promoting your site naturally, then the algorithm will still find a unique, high-quality website worth delivering traffic to.
If your site has been affected by the latest Google Penguin updates, and you would like some help and advice as to how to help it recover its rankings, get in touch with HitSearch today.