As many of us are already aware, Google rolled out Penguin 3.0 late last Friday marking the first algorithm update of its kind in over a year. The full effects and purpose behind this update are yet to be confirmed, but what we do know from the last updates is that this is once again targeting websites with backlinks that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

A number of sources have reported some major alterations within the SERPs using various ranking tools and it may be apparent that the recent ranking fluctuations could prove that the speculation early this month is in fact true. Google will undoubtedly release a statement at some point in the near future detailing all of the information that we are assessing at this current time, so it’s a case of playing the waiting game to identify the full impact of this update.

What do we already know about Penguin?

Well, what we do know for certain is that, generally speaking, any Penguin-related update is targeting spammy links and over-optimised anchor text clouds to prompt webmasters to increase their efforts of disavowing or removing any links that are deemed suspicious. However, one implication of Penguin 3.0 that has emanated around the web is that anyone that has submitted a disavow file after the end of September remain likely to be affected by this update.

As best practice suggests, backlink analysis and clean up should be part of an ongoing endeavour to improve the quality of links to your website from referring domains, although this is not always as practical as one might imagine. This can take an obscene amount of time to manually sift through each and every link, particularly if the website has a large number of backlinks. Therefore, the best way to prevent your site being further affected by Penguin is to ensure that your link building strategy adheres to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

So, how can I prevent my site from being affected?

In order to prevent your site from being adversely affected by Penguin, you should use the following points as a guideline to link building best practice;

  • Diversify your links – Your backlink profile should contain a variety of different link types
  • Use brand anchor text – A high percentage of your anchor text cloud should be brand related keywords
  • Holistic content creation – Your content should be created with visitors in mind rather than solely for SEO purposes
  • Site selection must be relevant to industry – Sourcing relevant sites to your own industry is critical and they must be credible  in order to increase the quality of your backlink profile

The key emphasis here is to invest the time into developing an SEO and content strategy that adheres to Google Webmaster Guidelines, but to focus more on the user journey as they reach your website and navigate around your website. If you’ve been affected by this new update then you can follow our Penguin recovery tips or alternatively, contact us for a website health check today to reinstate your pre-update rankings.

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