As many of you may or may not know, Google released its latest round of updates for its search rankings. The update code-named ‘penguin’ hit a few sites fairly hard, and had a detrimental effect on these sites rankings.

This update targeted anchor text over optimization and link relevancy, as well as other things. The reason for this update was for Google to start to “clean up the internet” so to speak. The sites that got hit were those who were implementing black hat SEO and Spamming sites for links.

Black Hat SEO
Black hat SEO is finding loopholes in Google search rankings and using them to your advantage to get higher rankings. This kind of SEO works well short term but can and will come back to haunt you one day. It is always best to work with Google and get your search rankings up the correct way, i.e. new and relevant content, natural keyword usage. No duplicate content etc.

Link Spamming
Link Spamming is where people find free directories, blogs and other places to gain a link to there site. Putting a comment of “Great Blog” with a link to your website on a site with no relevance to you, Can have a negative effect on your rankings as this can look spammy. But on the other hand a link from a good/relevant site can have a positive effect. Think of these as votes for your site,

Good sites = Positive Vote
Bad sites = Negative Vote

The power of good sites is far greater than bad sites. However don’t under estimate the negative power of bad sites though as they are generally easier to get a link from.

Our Solutions to Combat Penguin

You may be asking yourself what do I do now? Fear not this isn’t the end, although it may feel like it for a while. There is no quick fix as such to getting your search rankings back to your previous position or ultimately better.

Here are a few tips to getting your site back on track:-

Cleansing your backlink profile; this involves removing the negative links to your site. This is quite time consuming and hard to implement but is very beneficial to your site. Then start to build links to your site from good quality relevant sources.

Remember quality, relevance, diversity, and timing.

You want to make sure that the site you are linking from is of good quality in the eyes of Google and hasn’t been de-indexed for being spammy.

You want the site you are linking from to be relevant to you, and your business. i.e. a site for care homes wouldn’t want to be listed in a link directory as a retail shop.

Make sure that your links are diverse; using the same link, titles or keywords in your link isn’t going to look good to Google. So create new links with varying titles and keywords.

As Edmund Burke once said, “Patience will achieve more than force.” This is true for SEO. Now that penguin is in place using your old automated submission tools isn’t going to get you anywhere fast. Use your time to get some good quality links in relevant blogs and directories.

So now we have taken some time to reflect on these issues and we start to realize they are not really issues at all. If SEO is done correctly from the start these Google updates should not have a negative impact on your search rankings, but should filter out the people who aren’t abiding by the rules.

So keep it clean and have your “white hat“ on!

Justin Taylor

Justin's path into design and marketing has been anything but conventional. A random selection of career decisions saw him designing rave flyers, t-shirts and (although refusing to divulge his stage name) he allegedly did a summer stint in Gt Yarmouth as a magician before finally settling on a career in marketing.