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Google Penguin: Getting Ready for an SEO Shakeup

Matt Brady
#Digital Marketing, #Inbound Marketing, #SEO
Published on November 25, 2015

We look at the latest update to Google's search algorithm and how it will affect your website's search rankings.

Every few months, Google announces an update to their search algorithms, and the SEO community scrambles to determine what it means for websites and how site owners can ensure that they receive the best possible search rankings. The latest update to get everyone excited is version 4.0 of the Penguin algorithm, which Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed will roll out before the end of 2015. We wanted to take a look at what this means for website owners:

What Is Penguin Again?

Google’s Penguin algorithm is meant to improve search results by targeting spammy linking techniques. It lowers the rankings of sites which utilize “black hat” techniques like buying links in an attempt to increase their search rankings. The most recent update to the Penguin occurred at the end of 2014, so many sites are waiting eagerly for this update in hopes that work they have done to remove any bad links will result in increased rankings when the new update rolls out.

What’s New?

The biggest change in the next Penguin update is that it will operate in real time. This means that when Google detects spammy links, sites’ search rankings will be affected immediately. However, this also means that sites who remove these bad links will be able to see immediate positive results. In previous versions of Penguin, site owners had to wait until the next release of the algorithm to see the benefits of cleaning up their links, so this new release will see a highly improved, more dynamic process of managing website links on the fly.

How Does This Affect Me?

Since the new version of Penguin will operate in real time, sites will see immediate penalties from links coming from spam sites or linking networks, so it is important to regularly audit your site’s linking profile and take action to remove any bad links. A variety of tools exist for analyzing these links, and once any bad links are found, they can be disavowed through Google. In addition to disavowing these links, it is a good idea to take any action possible to remove links to your site from spam sites, such as contacting the owners of the site and asking them to take the link down. Maintaining your linking profile is now more important than ever to ensure that your site receives the best possible search rankings.

If you want to learn more about Penguin and how it affects the SEO landscape, this article by Nick Stoyanov is full of great insights from the top SEO experts about what factors on a website will impact how Penguin affects its search rankings.

Do you have any questions about how to manage your linking profile and keep your site from falling in the search rankings once Penguin 4.0 is released? Please contact us, and our SEO experts will work with you to ensure that all the bases are covered and people are able to find your site in their online searches. If you have any other questions or tips of your own, please feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

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