On the 24th of April, Google launched its latest search engine update. Dubbed the “Penguin” update, it was a change to the way Google dealt with websites and it was designed to push pages down the search results if they were working against Google’s guidelines for search engine optimization or over optimizing the page.
Any SEO agency that doesn’t work in the way that Google prefers will see the hit on the sites they perform search engine optimization for.
Have you been hit by it?
Assessing if your site has been hit by the update is important. If you have, you need to put a plan of action into place straight away.
The easiest way to see if you’ve been hit is to check your page views and search related traffic. If there is a significant drop after the Penguin Update on the 24th of April, it’s likely your site has been affected.
But it can work both ways. The Penguin Update helped boost some sites, so if you’re seeing an increase in traffic you can be thanking Google.
I’ve been hit, what should I do?
If your site was unfortunate enough to take the hit from the update, it’s likely you’re doing something with your search engine optimization that Google doesn’t like.
Have spam content on your site or linking to it? Correct this and you’ll start towards fixing the problem. Google recently sent out messages warning of spam content; if they were ignored then that’s probably the cause.
There is also the penalization of over-doing search engine optimization. Toning it down a bit and making your site more suited for users and not search engines will help you get back on track.
Why have Google brought about this update?
The reasons why Google have brought out the Penguin update is simple. Google’s aim is to bring great websites from its searches easily to the user.
Sites that are covered in an abundance of keywords and aimed directly at search engines aren’t going to look good to humans. Lots of keywords don’t read well, don’t give anything to the user and people will become confused by the meaning of the site.
Penalizing sites that have duplicate content in an attempt to manipulate the search results is another of Google’s aims.
Google is focussing very much on removing sites that don’t bring anything important to the user.
How has this changed search engine optimization?
For an SEO agency, SEO just got a lot more complicated. All black hat SEO techniques now bring about a bigger penalty, but following the guidelines has brought about a benefit.
The trick, as it seems to be, is to build sites that don’t look at all optimized. Aiming the site at customers rather than search engines will actually raise the position it ranks in Google.
It’s the same as avoiding forced linking. If Google picks up on this, they’ll be sure to rank down your site.