Google Penguin’s first strike was many months ago, but that doesn’t mean the time for healing and recovery is upon us. In fact, it’s likely that we’re going to get another peck from Penguin in the near future. Google announced that it made another update to its algorithm on the 5th of October. This is the third major iteration of its kind, and is said to be so big it’s being called Penguin 3.
Google’s Matt Cutts stated that the latest update is, once again, set to fight against spam links and “spam websites.” If you’re dreading another bottom out, take assurance in the statement that suggests Google’s latest update will only affect 0.3% of Google’s searches. It is already in effect as of this writing.
The effects are not going to be as dramatic as the first time around, or when Panda was first released. The first Penguin update affected 3.1% of all searches. Now of course, you have industry experts debating what 0.3% would be to Google users and Google-listed companies. Google claims that 0.3%, as an example, might be a change in a top 10 page. Nevertheless, considering Google’s ubiquity online and on mobile units, even a fraction of a point of change is going to be felt.
What should you do to stay safe of any Google Penguin changes? First thing’s first. Make sure that your SEO campaign is running consistently. Focus on regular content, high quality content, and only minimal keyword density for your targeted phrases. Focus on building higher quality links rather than a higher number of links and pay close attention to each page’s authority. Don’t buy links—earn them.
The priority in the current age is not in buying traffic or links but in content marketing, community building, striking up relationships with bloggers (guest blogging) and other “organic” approaches. However, keep in mind that you have to be flexible. In some cases, you have to be a survivalist. Many webmasters claim that they DO follow organic, ethical SEO strategy…and still get pummeled in the rankings whenever Google Penguin updates strike.
At that point, you have to attribute it to quality of writing, quality of links, targeted keywords and the competition you’re facing (not to mention Google Venice local SEO, which could be throwing off your perceptions). As the competition grows, expect it to be about competitive quality, and not just about adherence to the rules.
Be flexible in your approach and study what works. It’s a science and sometimes a gamble but when it works you definitely feel the benefits. For more information on this subject, contact an experienced SEO firm and ask for a consultation on SEO strategies for the year 2012.