Google Penguin 2.0: After the Storm

It has been over a week since the Google Penguin 2.0 algorithm went live and scoured the web looking to improve search quality and disprove sites that Google deemed unworthy. Google said that the second generation of the Penguin update would dig deeper than the first and guess what? They were not lying. To see if your website was impacted by Penguin 2.0 go to your analytics program, restrict the reporting to only show Google organic traffic, and look to see if you had a major decline in Google traffic after May 22nd. If you witnessed a huge decline in traffic, your site was hit by Penguin.

How Google Went Deeper

An in-depth analysis of the Penguin 1.0 update confirmed that Google’s algorithm change spent a great of time going after link profiles such as:

  • Sites with text links using exact match anchor text
  • Comment spam
  • Article marketing
  • Links from inappropriate sites

This year’s Penguin 2.0 update looks like Google is diving deeper into link profiles beyond just the homepage. So the preliminary reports of the update seem to indicate that Google has gone deeper but not broader with their link emphasis. Here is what we found from looking at sites from around the web:

  • Unnatural usage of exact match anchor text was the biggest culprit in the newest update. For example, if all of our anchor text used only the words “Tampa SEO” instead a more diverse link profile, this would have been a red flag for Google.
  • Google looked at link profiles of entire websites and not just the homepage. This means websites that spent most of their efforts directing their linkbuilding efforts towards the homepage and not category and subcategory pages would not see the benefits of their homepage link profile trickle through the rest of their site. Google is now concentrating more on ranking pages that individually have solid natural link profiles and not ranking websites that only have a popular homepage.
  • Two major sites that were hit by Penguin 2.0 had link profiles that had as many as 66% of their link profile targeting unnatural link profiles. In other words, it was clear by their links that they only concentrated on specific anchor text and that their link profile was clearly not identified as natural.
  • Other sites that were hit were thought to contain malware or pages that were no longer indexed. Malware can be addressed by taking a simple look at your Google Webmaster Tools so this should be easily identifiable for those infected.

What These Sites Need to Do (H3)

As we forecasted before the update, Tampa SEO is helping clients who are affected by the Penguin updates to analyze their link profiles to identify unnatural links. Before disavowing links we are advising clients to manually remove them, a process that is tedious but can be rewarding. At the same time, a more natural, consistent link building approach should be implemented that is defined not by exact match anchor text, but naturally occurring text that helps the end-user identify that the link can provide some value.

To get more help navigating the Google Penguin algorithms, contact Tampa SEO today.


Posted in: Blog, Google by on June 20th, 2013 Comments (0)

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