Back in June ’15, Google unveiled Google Panda 4.2 refresh and announced that Penguin update was just months away. There was no confirmation on the date or any timeline, but it was not expected anytime soon.
The latest news came on 1st October, 2015, when Google confirmed the new Penguin algorithm was expected by the end of this year. This will be a real-time update, which means if Google detects any link is removed, Penguin algorithm will process it in real time, helping you recover pretty fast. However, you could end up being penalized as fast as you get out of one.
Looking forward to see how fast this “real-time” algorithm will actually be.
How to prepare yourself for the next Penguin update?
Algorithm updates are like thunderstorms that tend to brew in the minds of SEOs & webmasters. As we’ve heard prevention is better than cure, the best defense to any future impact is preparation. With Penguin update just a few months away, this is the best time to have your systems in place to bear the update’s hit.
- Assessing your current status: Before implementing a plan of action, it is important to assess you current status. Your first step should to analyse how your website was affected during the previous updates? What aspects of your website flourished or got a hit – like traffic fluctuations, link velocity, anchor diversity percentage and more? All these factors could be apparent triggers to get your website in trouble when the next update goes live.
- Traffic checkup: Soon after Penguin 2.0 update in 2013, webmasters noticed a steep decline in their traffic. Thereafter, Google webmaster forums were filled with inquiries about recovery options. These discussions turned into an interesting inquiry—Was the decline in traffic a result of some penalty? This scenario fortifies an important point—It is critical to have regular website checkups (knowing about the inbound traffic fluctuations) in order to keep your website healthy. If you have no knowledge about your inbound traffic fluctuations, you won’t be able to know whether or not your website has been affected by Penguin. You can keep track of your traffic fluctuation with the help of websites like Google Analytics, BizInformation, Alexa and more.
- Anchor checkup: Even before Penguin, websites using excessive anchor texts for keywords in backlinks were being slapped by Google. The analysis of previous updates revealed that the websites who suffered a decrease in ranking had the keyword anchor text less than 65% of the time. On the other hand, the websites that were saved from penalties had natural looking back-link profiles with money keyword anchor text less than 50 % of the time. The crux is that you should avoid over-optimizing of anchor text and use it to add value to your website. If you have a natural flow in your back links, Penguin won’t peck you.
- Back-link checkup: When reviewing your back-link profile, look for low quality links or spammy links and remove them right away. If you are unable to do so, make sure you send Google the list of the links that you tried to remove and ask them to discount these. Also, scrub your site and take off the duplicate content from it. You can spring clean your website with SEO audit to ensure no content is duplicated.
- Link-velocity checkup: Link velocity is the speed at which links are posted to your website. A sudden increase in link velocity can leave your website penalized. It doesn’t mean that a sudden increase in traffic will entice Google to penalize you. Google is smart enough to distinguish between natural increase in traffic and purchased velocity. So, instead of making efforts to increase traffic via low-quality and irrelevant links, focus on producing high quality content.
- Follow vs no-follow links balance: To have good SEO, it is critical to have a balance between follow and no-follow links. If you have too many follow links, it can flag your company as spammy. On the other hand, too many no-follow links would not harm your company as such. However, if you annoy your users and they report you as a spam, then that might be a trouble.
Effective SEO in today’s time focusses on a natural approach. Gone are the days when you could rely on Black-hat SEO or artificial stuffing tactics. These might give your website short-term benefits, but in the long run they’ll only leave your company penalized. So it’s the right time to take a magnifying glass and take a look at your website. Be prepared in advance before the next update hits you hard.
Image Credits: www.searchmetrics.com