Google Penguin Update

September 16, 2013
Google's Penguin Update 2013

It’s a Cruel Summer for Black Hat SEO

On May 22nd, Google launched a new version of its anti-spam algorithm Penguin. Penguin 4 (aka Penguin 2.0) specifically targets spammy sites that have attempted to outsmart Google’s qualitative algorithms.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, informed Google users that, “3.1% of English searches will be noticeably impacted by this update.” In a detailed blog and online video, Matt explained that the algorithm rewards relevant, high quality sites. He reiterated that these changes will positively impact searches and user experience.

However, “blackhat SEO” marketers beware. The fourth edition of Penguin is more comprehensive than its original version — so much so, that Google has deemed the update Penguin 2.0. The updated algorithm is dedicated to targeting blackhat tactics that unscrupulously attempt to increase page rankings. This means that sites with low-quality backlinks and irrelevant, keyword stuffed pages will be walking the proverbial plank off Google’s top pages.

The algorithm identifies spammy links, link networks, and manipulative link-building practices. Therefore, websites that have built irrelevant, low quality backlinks purely for ranking purposes are likely to see a significant drop in their rankings. Website owners must be careful not to engage in excessive link building that connects their sites to irrelevant or spammy pages. Google frowns upon these tactics as they falsely build up credulity and mislead searchers.

Google does not want to position Penguin 2.0 as wreaking online havoc. Rather, the company is pushing online marketers to work harder for their customers and to play the online “game” more fairly. Throughout Cutts’ blog and videos, he reiterates that online marketers and businesses need to understand that authentic SEO is good marketing.

Be it on or offline, marketing needs to answer consumers’ problems or questions. Ethical or “Whitehat SEO” does just that. When users type in problems whitehat SEO should ensure that they find sites that offer relevant and accessible answers. Strategic SEO-ers build up authentic authority by combining originality and informativeness. Alongside Google, users reward the sites they love by engaging in social sharing and converting to consumers.

Remember; you have to treat your online presence as you would a physical store or brand. Therefore, be creative and competitive. Most importantly, do not cut corners. Understand smart vs. sneaky SEO tactics and how you can capitalize on the former to become a formidable online force.

Some online marketers may see Penguin 2.0 as more of a ferocious carnivore than cuddly, tuxedo-wearing bird, but Ontario SEO’s best practices promise to keep you out of the cold.