After nearly two long years Google have announced an update to their Penguin Algorithm. For those who have been affected by this filter in the past this is a chance to finally make it back into the rankings. If your website hasn’t been affected before, it pays to know what this algorithm does, why it’s important, and how your website ranking could be affected. We answer our clients FAQ’s on the Google Penguin update below.
What is Google’s Penguin Algorithm?
The primary purpose of the Penguine algorithm is to weed out websites which try and rank using Black-hat SEO techniques. Poor quality content, keyword stuffing and paid links are some of the ways these SEO pirates try to fastback their way to page one of Google.
Penguin is a periodically run filter that looks for these black hat techniques and de-ranks websites which it finds them on. It was first run back in April 2012 and was updated and run again in May 2013. The last update we saw was in October 2014.
The biggest issue with the Penguin filter was that once your website was de-ranked by it, you’d have to wait until the next filter was updated and run for it to rank again (assuming you fixed the issues which had you de-ranked in the first place). This means some companies have been waiting nearly two years for their website to be re-run through the filter and have the ability to rank again.
What’s so important about this latest update?
The most anticipated feature of the latest penguin update is that it is now real time. In their statement, Google said “With this change, Penguin’s data is refreshed in real time, so changes will be visible much faster, typically taking effect shortly after we recrawl and reindex a page”.
Google also said that this new update makes the Penguin algorithm “more granular”. Penguin now devalues spam by adjusting ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting ranking of the whole site.”
In the past, penalties have been applied to entire sites - so this could mean that penalties will now only be applied to the specific pages where the black-hat techniques have been applied.
In their final part of the statement, Google announced they will no longer confirm future Penguin updates. This makes sense since the algorithm is run in real-time, they will not need to announce it’s arrival in future.
Will this affect my website?
Since the algorithm is now run in real-time, it is possible to be hit out of the blue. Unless you know for certain your website doesn’t have black-hat techniques and bad links helping it rank - then there is a possibility you could be hit. It pays to know what the algorithm is and what it could mean for your site should you be penalised.
Keep a watchful eye on your Google Analytics over the coming months and be vigilant of any major trends you notice. Auditing your sites links over the next few months wouldn’t be a bad idea, and take a look at the backlinks on your site, as well as the internal links. You should always have the goal of creating a high quality website, with useful content and high quality links. The content you create the keywords you’re targeting with that content should match your target audience’s intent and be relevant and helpful.
Although we don’t have an exact date of when the latest update will be run, we know it will be soon. If you’re worried about your website or would like more information on how this may affect you - give us a call on 1300 786 704 for a no obligation chat.