The launch of Google’s much awaited algorithm update propels us into an era of enhanced search experience. Penguin 2.0 was a much awaited update. We had been expecting this for a long time now and were checking to see if there are going to be any implications for our customers’ SEO.
This next generation update could significantly impact search results and lead to considerable drop in traffic for a few sites. Much has been written about the impact of these Google Penguin releases, but it is likely that more is coming.
What does Penguin 2.0 mean to the SEO world?
Even before the official Penguin 2.0 was rolled out, we had been experiencing fluctuations in search traffic and organic rankings. Discussion forums like WebmasterWorld and Google Webmaster Help were also flooded with queries around ranking changes.
This update is significant. It will not only have a widely noticeable impact on the type of results, but also on site rankings as a whole.
Impact on Search Queries
Search queries will be impacted to the tune of almost 2.3%. This is slightly less to what was seen during the last Penguin update in April 2012. But it is significant that Penguin 2.0 would also impact non-English queries.
- User ExperienceContent mixed with trust and authority will win. Understanding the consumer’s mindset and building relevance and authority online for consumers will become a key area to focus on. SEO that keeps the end user in mind will drive results. Therefore marketers should always seek the customer and not worry about only working with Google’s changing algorithms.
- Social Aspects In the ForefrontSocial results including Google+ will dominate search ranking, reiterating that SEO is becoming more “social”. Search engines have started utilizing content shared by friends and followers while displaying search results. Search results pages are intertwined with videos, presentations and other forms of enterprise or consumer generated content. This again stresses the point that content is a crucial part of any SEO effort, something all marketers will need to identify how to pursue.Social data and reports with effective consumer insights will help measure the impact and effectiveness of social initiatives (measuring how social impacts your business).
Do’s and Don’ts post Penguin 2.0
- Know Who Your Site is Associated WithPenguin will look at the sites you are linked to and will penalize spam links. Pages with quality links will rank higher. Google Disavow tool will be of great help to Webmasters in identifying and overcoming potential issues with bad links.
- Build Reputation, Gain Trust and Rank BetterTry to attract genuine, quality links through relevant content targeted for users online rather than artificially “importing” them. Build your site on valid and relevant content.Generate unique and quality content that in turn will help build reputation. See if you can evolve as a thought-leader in your industry through this content. Relevance and authority of content will be respected by search engines. Generate different types of content.
- Say ‘No’ to Paid Links/Coverage:Google has been penalizing paid link networks and this time it’s more stringent. Do not buy links. Your link structure and network will give out Black Hat technique. Do not try to manipulate.
“If someone pays for coverage, or pays for an ad or something like that, those ads should not flow PageRank… We’ll be looking at some efforts to be a little bit stronger on our enforcement as far as advertorials that violate our quality guideline”. – Matt Cutts
- Don’t Create Fake Content – Be User Centric:This is one of the best ways to win the race. Create content that your users need. It should entice them to read, share and spread. This will generate strong social signals, which will in turn help ranking.
- Avoid Over-Optimizing BacklinksMake sure the anchor text used is not obviously ’spammy’.
The mindset towards website SEO needs to change. SEO marketers need to focus on building websites with quality content intended for their target audience. Social media will play a much more crucial role in SEO.
Let’s gear up for a whole new experience on search that’s free from spam!
Welcome Penguin 2.0!
And happy searching!!
Contributed by Rahul Banerjee and Chetan Rajasekaraiah, SEO Team