What Google Penguin Means For You
Penguin is a continually updated Google algorithm, designed to penalise websites that engage in Black-hat SEO techniques (search engine optimisation methods that violate Google’s quality guidelines). Google are penalising guilty websites by reducing their position in the search engine rankings.
Outcomes of Google Penguin
Penguin is now real time and aims to combating the spam and rewarding the rule-followers. If you want to be rewarded by this algorithm, follow these guidelines:
1. Don’t Engage In Black-hat SEO Techniques.
Google is now even better at detecting spam, e.g. you will be penalised if you are paying to improve your page rank. Matt Cutts, Google’s former head of web spam, has said that Google “are working on a completely different system that does more sophisticated link analysis”.
2. Become An Authority In Your Field.
According to Matt Cutts, Google are “doing a better job of detecting when someone is an authority in a specific space”. Write about niche topics and become a voice in your industry.
3. Create Original, Well-written, Compelling Content.
Write for people, not for search engines. Matt Cutts advises “If you’re doing high quality content whenever you’re doing SEO, you shouldn’t have to worry about changes”
4. Get Your Content Shared. It’s no longer enough to write brilliant content, the content must now receive engagement through social media platforms. Matt says Google “are trying to make sure you make a great site that users love, that they will want to tell their friends about, bookmark, and visit over and over again”
5. Share It On Quality Websites.
If you are sharing content to build links, then take note that link quality is more important than quantity; it is more powerful to have a few links on high quality websites than to have a lot of links on poor quality websites. A high quality website will have the following: a reason to exist other than just for hosting guest blogs; a dedicated blog and brand name; a high domain authority; excellent presentation; and active social media engagement.
In a nutshell, Penguin is designed to reward relevant content, written by authoritative authors, published on quality sites and then shared throughout the internet. It is penalising those who continue to engage in black hat SEO techniques.
It would be wrong, though, to conclude that the google penguin algorithm is faultless. There is a long way to go before all spammy websites are identified and punished. It is also possible to unjustly incur a penalty due to factors outside of your control, such as dreaded ‘negative SEO’, which is often carried out by unscrupulous competitors. Penguin is still an algorithm and is therefore limited – it cannot match a human brain.
With that being said, the guidelines outlined above still hold good. There are rules of thumb that help to improve organic search visibility and minimize any chance of a penalty.