Google have recently announced a new penguin update which is the fifth recording in its history. This update has come a bit earlier than predicted by most webmasters as it wasn’t long ago since Google had rolled out Penguin 2.0 in May.
As this is the fifth edition of the Penguin update we are now more equipped and have a better understanding on how it works and what to look out for. Basically, the Penguin update searches for links which are deemed manipulative to the link guidelines.
Links such as paid or low quality, this can include aggressive link exchanges and a great number of links with an optimised anchor text. Spammy links is the best way to describe this.
When announced on Twitter by Matt Cutts, the head of the webspam team at Google, he stated that the Penguin 2.1 would affect 1% of search queries to a ‘noticeable degree’. It has the ability to endulge deeper pages within a website to investigate potential spam activities.
Now many people believe that Google have altered the Penguin update so that it can work alongside Hummingbird, another seperate algorithm Google have released. This new algorithm has the ability to investigate more complex search queries, mainly for voice search on mobile devices.
Penguin 2.1 is part of Hummingbird and my prediction is that Google will continue to update Penguin until they have the balance they want between the two algorithms.
Not only have the algorithms have changed but ‘coinsidently’ Google analytics has had a makeover. New features have been added to monitor more behavioural changes and social statistics. In my opinion this is a clear clue in what Google want you to focus on.
Link building since Penguin has been trickier than it has ever been but it is still not dead. This has been a great discussion in the SEO world with people thinking that link building no longer has a place in SEO. This is not the case as links are still valuable. It is what links you point to your website what matter now and not the number.
Content will always be king in my opinion but now you have to find the balance of what content you put on your site. It needs to be useful to the user and appealing, content you want your target audience to enjoy.
As you can see there has been a lot of fundamental changes with Google this month but remember it is all for a reason. That is quality search results to the user, having content and links which will be useful to the reader is key.
Along with a big social media presence, Google can see you are sharing and engaging your content with as many other people as possible which is the main aim.
Blog Post by Jordan Whitehead