Dealing with the Damn Penguin
Yes, the inevitable has happened: the latest Google penguin update has been unleashed on the web, with web-owners everywhere largely perplexed by the varying rankings just a day or so after implementation. We were warned, though. Google head honcho Matt Cutts even made a video a couple of weeks back announcing the update, and instructing almost everyone exactly what they should do about the latest arctic beast. What instructions, then, does the mighty Mr Cutts have for the rest of us?
Prepare your links. Whilst there are fewer and fewer companies using black-hat SEO, they must still be out there. With any luck they’ll be less frequent than they were, however, because the new Penguin update is going to functioning – for the main part – as a link quality filter. Essentially it will be fighting the part of the search engine’s war on spammy links. So any agency worth their salt should be taking a harsh, harsh look at their link profile.
Advertorials should be open. The link between the now-universal ‘guest-post’ process and the classic magazine-style advertorial is a tricky one to look at, but that doesn’t mean the Penguin won’t be trying. In his video, Cutts noted that there was nothing wrong with advertorials, but he did state that Google’s quality guidelines would be violated when a website’s PageRank increased to due to paid links. Advertorials, meanwhile, should have “clear and conspicuous” disclaimers that denote the fact that they’re paid content. The consequences for not doing so, needless to say, could be quite severe.
Get into the fields. Needless to say, you shouldn’t take this particular piece of advice literally. The new algorithm will apparently also focus on the site’s authority within individual niches, so you should certainly focus on being the very best within your field. The days of simply finding a similar site’s content, copying it and then throwing it all out there as your own are long gone. You’ll need to invest genuine time on actually becoming an authority, rather than pretending to be one.
Be genuine. The overall message from the new update is to really, genuinely try and provide something useful for people, rather than simply pretending to do so whilst really just bashing the articles out by the thousand. Needless to say, those times are done. Read up on real magazines in the industries of your clients, watch videos, read other genuine blogs and take in all they’ve got to offer. Then get creating. Properly.
SEO Essex experts worked together with Charly Daniels, freelance writer, to help create this article.