Early this past year, Google slowly pushed out the first update to its Penguin algorithm named Penguin 1.1. This was confirmed by Matt Cutts through a Twitter post. Below is the screenshot of what he mentioned – A data refresh affecting “English” searches by less than 0.1%. We feel this is just one of the many updates to be introduced under the Penguin algorithm change.
Anyways, moving back to April 24, Penguin was strongly introduced to aim at sites specifically violating Google’s quality guidelines. However, we also have several examples of sites been hit which were not necessarily spamming Google. The SEO community was taken aback by this update. Focusing more on quality content and introducing over-optimization penalties by Google has in fact resulted in drastic changes in organic rankings as well as traffic.
Most of the sites had something in common i.e. too many links from the same site or IP address. Keywords were over-targeted by using the same anchor text for the sole purpose of ranking that particular term. This was found off-site as well as on-site.
So, here are some practices which we have implemented to protect your site from future updates?
- We diversify your backlink profile by getting links from different types of websites – This includes regular websites, blog posts, reviews, directories, social bookmarking sites, article syndication, video sharing, press release channels, local directories and even social media profiles.
- We vary the anchor text – target revolving keywords along with website name, website URL, etc. to avoid over optimization for a single term. For example, if you want to rank for “Sacramento Real Estate”; we make sure to also target these keywords in your strategy “Real Estate in Sacramento”, “Sacramento Homes”, “Sacramento Homes for Sale”, “Property for sale in Sacramento”, etc.
- We avoid getting links from blog rolls i.e. site-wide links – this also includes footer links with keywords as well.
- We get you links from various Top Level Domains (TLD) – While we agree that links from .gov, .edu and .org domains are given high importance, Google would also like to see your site getting links from .info, .net, .co and .biz websites.
- We deep link your internal site pages – Wherever applicable we ensure to get links to your inner pages as well. Linking to just the home page can also get you in trouble according to this update.
- We use unique content – either on the website or for article syndication. We make sure that the content is unique. For article syndication, each article is submitted to one site to avoid duplication.
- We do not involve your site in questionable linking schemes like crossdomain linking, links from low quality sites, links from spun articles, bulk directory submissions and social bookmarking, etc.
- We avoid excessive on-page optimization by making sure to optimize page titles, meta tags and content as per the quality guidelines.
Finally, we will be continuously tracking & observing upcoming algorithmic changes by Google so that we can stay updated with the latest SEO strategies.