Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Penguin?
Once upon a time, it was possible to make websites achieve good rankings in the search results by pointing lots of low quality links at them. Then, in April 2012, Google waved their magic wand and – POOF – those sites were penalised. It was called the Penguin update, and continues to have a huge impact today.
In fact, there’s a new version called Penguin 3.0. For some sites, their online presence will soar, while for others, traffic will dwindle and sales will be down. For most people though, not all that much will happen.
So should we worry about Google algorithm updates at all?
Being hit with a Google penalty can completely cripple your business. There are actually two types of penalty. Algorithmic penalties like Penguin work automatically, but there are also manual penalties imposed by real people at Google HQ. If you have a manual penalty, it will be shown in Google Webmaster Tools. The search engine giant accounts for around 90% of searches in the UK, and therefore sends most websites the majority of their visitors. Suddenly having a lower position or appearing on a later page of search results can have a devastating effect.
If you’ve done anything to contravene Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, you’re right to be concerned.
Contact us for urgent advice.
Yes, Google algorithm updates can have a huge impact on the wellbeing of your site, but there are few surprises these days.
We know that Penguin exists and what it does, so as long as you’re working to earn links from respected and relevant sources – rather than paying someone in the Far East to build them for you – you’re safe from Penguin.
We know that Google’s Panda update targeted sites with poor quality content. So if your site has high-quality content, you’re safe from future iterations of Panda.
To prepare yourself for Google changes, it’s important to understand the reasoning behind them. At the end of the day, they want the best quality websites to appear at the top of the search results. Ask yourself this – is your website high quality, or are you trying to manipulate the search results artificially?
If you’re trying to trick Google into giving you web traffic, you will be hit with a penalty. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but someday soon.
If everything you do is geared towards building the best website you can and promoting it in natural and relevant ways, you don’t need to worry.
Don’t bother keeping track of which version of Google Penguin has gone live when. There are a few simple things business owners can do to maximise visits to their website:
- Follow Google’s webmaster guidelines
- Focus on quality
- Get advice from a reputable marketing agency with specialist knowledge of SEO
If you’ve seen a recent drop in traffic to your site, one of Google’s recent updates might have affected you. Let us diagnose the problem – get in touch today.