Does Google's recent Penguin update have you feeling like you just don't know what to feed your website anymore? If you answered yes, don't feel bad; you're not alone!
With Google making changes to its algorithm 500 to 600 times a year, who wouldn't be confused? About 2.3% of all English queries were affected by the latest update, Penguin 2.0, which rolled out in May 2013. This may not sound like much, but with an estimated 5 billion searches each day, that's 115 million affected searches. This latest update focuses on websites with thin and untrusted back links. With Penguin 2.0, Google is on a mission to reduce web spam and get quality websites to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) in order to serve their users with the best content available. Google strives to lead the search market, which they currently dominate with over 60% of search traffic.
As for Penguin, I'm sure we will be hearing from this cute creature again soon enough. I suspect that there will be additional updates to this algorithm, as Google has done with all of their algorithmic changes. Search algorithms are constantly evolving with every change in the web environment.
If your site has been affected by Penguin 2.0 I would recommend performing a site wide link audit. Consider removing:
- Links from domains not in Google's index: If a website is not in Google's index it is possible that they have been manually penalized by Google. Preform search for "site:example.com" to see if the site is indexed.
- Paid links: It is against Google's Webmaster Guidelines to purchase back links to your website. If Google discovers that you have purchased back links, your site may be penalized with lower rankings in search results.
- Links that are irrelevant to your niche: Links pointing to your site should be relevant to what you do.
- Links from a domain that has been flagged with malware: Google does not want to show their users websites that may harm their computer. If you have a connection to a website with malware, Google may consider your site affected as well.
- Link schemes: Links that are intended to falsely manipulate a website's ranking in Google's results may be considered part of a link scheme, or excessive exchanging of links.
If you suspect that your site has been affected by Google Penguin and you need help finding out where the problem lays, contact Top Floor Technologies for a road-map to recovery!