Next Penguin Update Only Weeks Away… (here’s what to expect)

News | 15th May

Google updates strike fear into the hearts of SEO managers and web content decision makers at the best of times, but here’s what to expect from next search update

Written by Kaye Neylon

Google Penguin 2.0

There’s much speculation as to the version of the next Penguin update, Google’s head of Spam – Matt Cutts, has informed Twitter followers that Penguin 2.0 will be the next version released but not for several weeks. But how will this affect SEO agencies and their SEO efforts?

Called the “true Penguin 2.0” by Cutts, the update is expected to continue the devaluing of link spam originally initiated by the Penguin 1 update released in April 2012. Cutts explains the purpose of the original Penguin update (version 1) was to “weed out” those sites that attempt to exploit Google’s search algorithms.

Deeper and more Impact

In a video released from Google earlier this week (which you can watch below), Cutts indicated that the highly anticipated change of Penguin 2.0, “will go deeper and have more of an impact than the first version of Penguin update.” Understandably, following the effect of the first Penguin launch which affected a large amount of search queries, led to a worldwide outcry from webmasters.

How you can prepare yourself for Penguin 2.0

1. Understand your websites link building profile

Since the first Penguin update, Google has spent the majority of its time gathering a huge amount of data through link removal requests submitted through Google Webmaster’s Disavowal tool.

However, Penguin 2.0 is expected to be especially sophisticated in its understanding of what constitutes ‘link spam’. As Google puts it, link spam are “links between pages that are there simply to get those pages to rank higher in search results”.

If you’re concerned about the links pointing to your site, you can use trusted tools such as Majestic SEO to understand the types of sites that are linking to your business.

Should you see low value backlinks or links which originate from spam sites, you must do your best to have them removed as soon as possible, Webmaster’s Disavow tool can help you do this. Or, speak to our SEO team today for more information and a free analysis of your site to see where you can improve your rankings.

Natural links and their parameters

There are variety of different methods that can be used to identify which of your links are link spam but you should avoid building links that:

1. Come from sites built exclusively for the purpose of SEO

2. Use overly-optimized anchor text

3. Come from “adult” websites

4. Come from sites that are irrelevant to your business

If you have built these types of links in the past, now is the time to remove them or disavowed before the launch of Penguin 2.0 in the forthcoming weeks.

Relationships with reputable sites

This may sound like an abvious one, but so many businesses forget how vital this step is to enhancing and optimising your site n Google’s eyes.

No business wants to lose traffic so the best way to avoid suffering from future Google algorithm changes is to focus your link building efforts on building backlinks from other reputable websites. Google mathematics indicate that one high quality, relevant backlink from an industry authority website is worth more than hundreds of low value spam links. Bear this in mind!

Creating useful and engaging content is one of the best ways to acquire relevant backlinks from other sites, link building tactics such as guest blogging can still generate great backlinks but it’s worth remembering that the search factors involving those links could change in the next Penguin update.

Penguin 2.0 or 4?

Below is an overview of the Penguin updates to date and how, according to Google, those have affected search queries so far

    Penguin 1: April 24, 2012 (3.1% queries affected)

    Penguin 2: May 26, 2012 (less than 0.1%)

    Penguin 3: Oct. 5, 2012 (0.3%)

How have Penguin and Panda updates affected your site previously? How do you think Penguin 2.0 will affect your site in the forthcoming weeks?

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