Less than a year after the last major Google Algorithm overhaul, Panda, Google has done it again, adding over 50 changes to the way the search engine indexes content. The latest update, called Penguin, targets the backlink structure that points to your site. Basically, you need a robust and varied backlink profile.
Note: We touched upon the Penguin update a bit in this blog post, but it’s such a big change to Google’s algorithm, we felt it warranted its own blog post.
We strongly believe that search engines are going to continue to release more updates to Penguin to make links from spun articles and black-hat link generation provide less and less link juice for websites over time.
The SEO tactic that was hit hardest by Penguin is keyword rich anchor text like often found in paid links, article marketing sites, and links in comment spam. So for example, if a website wanted to rank for “blue widgets”, and a very high percentage of their backlinks contained “blue widgets” in the anchor text, this could be a potential target of Penguin. It just doesn’t look very natural.
I think the biggest issue is that as SEO’ers , we learn about what’s “best practice” in SEO to get high rankings. But the problem is, some SEO’ers go crazy and overdo it, leaving a massive footprint. And it’s then pretty easy for Google to take action.
Do your link building in moderation, use a wide variety of quality link sources and mix up your anchor text like crazy. You can still use keywords in your anchor text, but make it random. And also use branded terms like your company name and website address.
And don’t forget about great content!
Now is the time to focus on treating Web content like it was print content. Before the Internet, businesses would market their products by getting editorials published in major newspapers and magazines and by developing a strong PR department to field questions and inquiries from the press.
In the coming months and years, more than ever, this type of journalistic validation of your product is crucial to ensuring that Google views your website as an authority and gives your pages the top spot in search engine results.