Google’s Penguin: Let A Professional SEO Firm De-Ice Your Site
Last year around late April, Google updated its algorithm to determine who gets the coveted high-ranked pages. Called Penguin, it is yet another attempt by Google to avoid rewarding websites who use spamming-type methods to achieve high page rankings while perhaps paying little attention to content. In short, Google wants to highly rank pages of quality, not because of quantity, and they keep rolling out methods of doing so. First Panda, now Penguin…and many legitimate sites are getting hit in the crossfire.
In fact, about three percent of sites were adversely affected by Penguin. Three percent is not a lot unless you realize that there are approximately 644,275,754 websites worldwide as of March 2012. So that means 19,328,272 (yes, 19-million-plus) took a hit, and about only 6 percent have indicated they’ve fully recovered.
So what did Penguin do to be so icy to these sites? It changed how it views your links. In short, there are three types of links: brand links, target links, and generic links. Brand links are those that use your URL or company name or product name. Target links are those that include keywords that try to catch the search engine’s attention and point to your site. Generic links operate similarly as target links, only they use random words and phrases.
Under Penguin, brand links are okay. Generic links are somewhat okay…but targeted links are in Penguin’s crosshairs. Backlinks to your site that come from targeted links can actually sink your page ranking. Apparently now, Google Penguin is devising some ratio known only to them that includes a certain percentage of “allowable” links to your site from brand, targeted and generic links combined. Step outside those parameters and wham! You sink.
All sorts of strategies are popping up to try to save the sites you’ve spent so much time building and nurturing. They include analyzing backlinks and trying to disassociate with the harmful ones. This is time consuming and confusing because it’s very complicated. Honestly, do you have time to a) learn how to do this? b) Hope you picked the right ones to unlink? c) Or go back to the drawing board and re-do your entire site?
Now more than ever before, you might want to consider hiring an outside SEO firm to help you unfreeze your site from the Penguin’s grip, especially since the algorithm is being continually updated (it hit version 3 in October 2012). Think about it and consider: how long do you want to be out in the cold?