Penguin II Update: Be Prepared

Penguin II: What can we expect?

If you were lucky enough to have come through Google’s first rollout of their Penguin algorithm update, you may have become complacent since so many websites bit the dust never to recover at that time.

Consider this a warning that Penguin II is coming. Google’s Matt Cutts has warned that the next Penguin update is going to be even more stringent. We can expect that lots of websites are going to be hit because of bad linking practices.

SEO is moving away from links and further toward content…

Up until the rollout of Penguin I on April 24 2012, incoming links were a huge part of getting your website to rank well. Webmasters all over spent their days running after links–the good and the bad. Post-Penguin many of them were wringing their hands in shock and disbelief at the sudden loss of ranking and traffic. And it wasn’t until this time that anyone had given much thought to the subject of negative SEO. Here’s just one result of the negative SEO fallout that can be traced back to Penguin.

Penguin has people scared. I’ve just had someone ask me to remove links that they posted in the form of comments to one of my websites back in 2010. Many of my colleagues have also had link removal requests. Webmasters are removing the good with the bad in an effort to recover from Penguin I. It’s important to be objective when removing links. If you have a link from a site with a PR of 3 or 4, it’s unlikely that it’s a spam site.

Anyway, content is suddenly even more important than it ever was, and good content is what will distinguish you from others, now as in the past. But you still need to have relevant outward as well as incoming links, but now, one good link is going to far outweigh even 1,000 spammy links. Go for quality, which is what you should have been doing before anyway.

And I’m not the only one who feels this. Read what J.D. Rucker over at Techi has to say about Penguin II:

The art aspect of it all comes down to getting more value out of higher-quality content that can be enjoyed by real people versus meaningless links outside of content or on sites that have no real value to the search engines.


Steps to take to protect yourself from Penguin

If you know that you have some dodgy links hanging around, now is the time to remove them before you get hit by Penguin II as it rolls out. You may find it easier to stop allowing comments on your blog, since few of those will result in valuable links anyway. Concentrate on the kind of links you’re more likely to get from a contribution to a relevant website or blog, and it goes without saying you should make sure they have great content too. 

Run a tool like Leaping Frog to check your incoming links. If any of them look dodgy, ask for them to be removed and if you don’t get a satisfactory response, go over to Google and us their Link Disavow tool.

Finally, it is worth going over old content and improving it. If you are on WordPress, use Yoast’s SEO Plugin and make sure your articles and posts are relevant.

And that’s about it. See you on the other side of Penguin II and–Good Luck!


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