Google’s Penguin algorithm is the search engine’s top line of defence against spam links. It penalises site owners who rely on them, and only rewards those who clean up or disavow them – or who don’t use them to begin with.
Penguin certainly has positive and negative effects, but it’s arguably in the cruise sector where the biggest hits have been taken.
This wasn’t the fault of the cruise industry per se. If they wanted to rank for ‘cruises to [destination]’ for every destination they travel to, there could potentially be hundreds of pages needing links building to them – a massive challenge for any SEO agency. This meant that some decided to take short cuts and build links on low quality travel-related blogs (partly because there aren’t that many cruise-specific blogs around). In turn, this resulted in thousands of these spammy link-laden blogs launching and selling yet more links to the sector.
Great results in the short term, but when Penguin hit, a lot of cruise providers were lost at sea in terms of rankings.
As an alternative, many cruise providers are relying solely on PPC campaigns but this is unlikely to be sustainable forever. The increased competition is having an adverse effect on the profit margins of such campaigns, and many cruise providers don’t have a viable contingency plan.
This is where a strong, content-led SEO strategy can boost a Penguin-stricken cruise provider by pushing useful, informative, keyword rich content to drive holidaymakers to your site.
If you think your cruise site has been hit by Penguin, want to know if Penguin has affected you or would like more information on how best to escape Penguin’s clutches, contact an expert in SEO for the cruise sector today on 0845 643 9289.