What is Google Penguin?
Google Penguin was originally announced on the 24th April 2012. The aim of Penguin was essentially to clamp down on sites that violate Google’s Guidelines, focusing on those who attempt to manipulate rankings with links. Thus, those who use black hat techniques for link building – such as buying links or making comment spam links – would be penalised by Google Penguin.
The Upcoming Update and What it Will Do
According to Search Engine Land, there might be a re-write of the algorithm coming soon – provided testing is a success. This Update could come as early as this week. The Update has apparently taken so long (almost a year) because it is designed to suit both webmasters and users.
As with all of the Updates, a number of things could happen to people’s sites once the Update is released. Firstly, anyone who was penalised last time that has made the appropriate changes should see an increase in traffic – as should anyone who may have been penalised by mistake. On the other hand, anyone who is now making mistakes and gets picked up by Penguin will see themselves penalised and may see a negative impact on their rankings.
What should you do?
Well, unfortunately it might be too late to make any changes now for this next Update. However, Google have said that Penguin refreshes will be more frequent once the new algorithm is in place. If you think you are at risk of being penalised then you should consider the following:
Is the site linking to yours not very good quality?
Is the site linking to yours not relevant to you?
Are any of your links comment spam?
Have you paid for any of your links?
Have you entered into an agreement whereby you and another site link to each other?
In short – are you “cheating” to get your backlinks? If so, you should contact the sites and ask them to remove the links. If that fails then use Google’s Disavow tool – this asks Google to ignore those links when looking at your site. But remember it is still important to do as much as you can to get rid of unnatural links as Google say that disavowing them is not enough.
For more information or guidance in avoiding Google penalties visit Search Marketing Group.