Nowadays many businesses operate online, and with 100 billion searches taking place a month on Google alone, you’d be foolish not to! However, with such huge numbers of searches and 1,060,915,080 (and growing every second) websites, search engines have to rely on algorithms to make sure that their search results remain relevant.
Google is considered by many within the SEO industry as the search engine giant, after all, over 88.82% of the UK use Google ( only 5.79% use Bing) to perform searches. Which is why many within the SEO industry take note when a new update is set to strike.
But first, what is an algorithm and what makes the impending 3:0 Penguin Update so worrying for many website owners?
What is an Algorithm?
An algorithm is a calculation – a set of rules if you like – which are generally used by computers in order to solve mathematical equations or problems. Google, and many of the other search engines, create algorithms to make their search results more relevant in an attempt to make the user experience better.
To answer this question, we first need to look at the past Penguin algorithm updates. That’s right, this isn’t the first and regardless of what the name suggest, it isn’t the third either.
A Look Back at the Previous Penguin Updates
In the past, the Penguin algorithm update was introduced to tackle ‘link spam’ and penalise websites which had unnatural back link profiles which consisted of;
• Paid links
• Low quality links
• Exact match anchor text
• Irrelevant links
More information on the individual Penguin updates can be found below.
List of Penguin Algorithm Updates
|Penguin 2.1 (No 5)||4th October 2013|
|Penguin 2.0 (No. 4)||22nd May 2013|
|Penguin (No. 3)||5th October 2012|
|Penguin 1.1 (No. 2)||25th May 2012|
|Penguin (No. 1)||24th April, 2012|
What will the New Penguin 3:0 Algorithm Update Target
We suspect that the new Penguin 3:0 Algorithm update will target;
• Optimised anchor text
• Low quality and irrelevant back links
• Guest blogging networks
But Hang On, How Do You Know a Penguin Update is Imminent?
As experts within the SEO industry we like to keep a close eye on any new developments which may affect our clients, as such, we like to think that we hear a lot of news on the SEO grapevine before it actually comes into affect. Sometimes, Google likes to surprise you, but in this instance, John Mueller, Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google hinted at the impending update in a hangout;
What Will Happen If My Website Gets ‘Hit’ By the New 3:0 Penguin Update?
The Penguin 2.0 Algorithm affected 2.3% of English language search queries, and while this doesn’t seem to be a huge amount, when you consider that the organic traffic to thousands of website dropped by a staggering 90% I’m sure you’ll reconsider the disastrous affect a ‘simple’ algorithm update can have on a business.
How Long Does it Take to Recover Once a Website Has been Hit?
While being hit by this impending Penguin algorithm update is enough to unsettle the most seasoned SEO professional, the recovery progress is not quite as simple as you may think. Google’s Penguin update, as you can see from the previous list of Penguin updates doesn’t update on a regular basis. Therefore, if you’re hit, you’re website will remain at the mercy of the Penguin Update, until Google decides to refresh the algorithm. Which, as we’ve already established, isn’t very often.
Due to this, we recommend that website owners take action now and reduce the risk of being hit by this impending Penguin update before it’s too late.
What Can I Do To Stop My Website From Being Hit?
Our top tip for any website owner is to take preventative measures now. To do this, you need to follow the following steps.
Step One: Perform a Back Link Profile Analysis
The first step is to review each external link which is pointing to your website and assess whether it’s relevant and/or spammy. We normally ask our clients, “if links didn’t affect SEO would you want a link from that website?” If the answer is no, we recommend removing that link.
Step Two: Take Action to Remove any Unnatural, Spammy or Poor Quality Links
Once you have identified those links which are either spammy, low quality or irrelevant you need to get in touch with the website owner and request that they remove the link(s) which are pointing to your website.
Try to contact them several times and wait a couple of weeks before submitting a disavow request to Google.
Top Tip: do not pay to have your link removed. Lots of spammy websites are now requesting payment to remove links. This is not acceptable and you can always disavow these links.
Step Three: Disavow Any Remaining Unwanted Links
Once you have contacted the website owners and left enough time for them to get back to you. We normally recommend 2-3 weeks. Then it is time to upload a disavow request to Google.
You can so this here; https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main?pli=1
Step Four: Use Best Practice Link Earning Tactics in the Future
Now you know that your website could be jeopardised by spammy link building techniques, it’s important that you create a link earning strategy which is centred on building natural links.
If you’re struggling to clean up your back link profile be sure to contact the team here at Anicca who have previous experience clearing up back link profiles. We can also help you to create a natural link earning strategy. To contact us, complete the online contact form or alternatively phone us on 0116 298 7488.