Things to do After Penguin 2.0

There’s just no stopping Google from doing everything to improve the results that show up on a search engine results page or SERP. With the recent release of the latest Penguin update which by the way affected 2.3% of English-US queries, the picture is pretty clear – Google gets to decide if your site lands on page 1 or page 10.

So the reality is, Penguin 2.0 has caused quite a drastic impact on many sites most of which were not prepared for the impact. And it’s because these sites still insisted on the not-so-Google-Updates-friendly-ways of article syndication, keyword stuffing or repetition, over-optimized anchor texts, comment spam, too much internal linking, fake “likes’, “tweets’ and +”1s”, irrelevant and thin content, etc. These sites ignored the very essence of most of Google updates, or for that matter, Penguin updates which is all about getting rid of webspam. Hence, it’s quite expected to hear anguish and pleas for help especially from those sites that have been enjoying the best spot in the cyber world, until Penguin 2.0 struck.

In the spirit of keeping up with Penguin 2.0 and essentially keeping Google and the users happy, it’s imperative that SEOs and website managers focus on things to do after Penguin 2.0. By identifying these “to-do” things, you become aware of things that shouldn’t be done.

Get a grip

Even if it seems that you are in the worst position because of the latest roll out of Penguin 2.0, you should deal with it calmly and with the right mindset. Panic and fear are not going to help so it’s better to push them aside and just focus on what Penguin 2.0 dislikes which are on your site. This refers to any black-hat strategies and techniques that may have been still hiding somewhere on your site. As this is all about webspam, it’s time to rid your site of all elements associated with web spam and replace them with efforts to build authority, establish reputation and maintain integrity. This is the slow and steady route to winning the race.

Aim for long-term benefits

The promise of quick results is probably the best motivation for doing black-hat SEO. Unfortunately, while it’s true, it’s short-lived. It’s only good for short-term objectives. White-hat SEO is built upon reaping success in long-term. This entails the willingness to do things right and to embrace changes that happen in the Internet, the algorithms, competition, etc. By keeping your focus on the four key elements of SEO, you stand a good chance of not just surviving but winning whatever updates are coming:

Compelling content

Google appreciates sites with solid, compelling content, there’s no doubt about that, so it’s where you should capitalize on. All sites compete against quality content. If you have them, you’re in the game.

Gain authoritative and credible inbound links

Links, like content are important to be of quality because algorithm updates are usually driven by the excessive existence of spammy backlinks. And if sites insisted on having those shoddy links, they will be hit hard with stiff penalties.

Be socially active

The trend is moving towards giving importance to social signals. So, you should push your efforts in building a strong social media presence by being active and visible on social networks.

Adopt genuine onsite SEO best practices

There’s no more room for anything but genuine white-hat SEO practices. This refers to putting everything in order, from robots.txt to keyword saturation.

Fire your black-hat-based SEO webmaster

Look for a reputable SEO company. SEOs are supposed to enhance your site, not ruin them. Unfortunately, they still exist and ruining more sites to oblivion. It’s important to SEOs that value ethics and professionalism.

Clean your site starting with your link profile

If your site has been constantly hit to the ground by algorithm updates, black-hat SEO most likely is the culprit. Time to do some cutting and trimming by:

  • Downloading a list of your site’s inbound links (via Google Webmaster Tools).

  • Identifying which links are spammy and isolate them. Review each one manually and check if it comes from a spammy website. Or ask an expert to do link profile audit.

  • Requesting the link source for the removal of the link.

  • Perform disavow requests on all bad backlinks using Google Webmaster Tools You should disavow all the bad links only after you have completed your removal requests.

  • Re-submit your site to Google for reconsideration.

  • Keep the 3 Pillars of SEO – content, links and social media, integrated in all SEO initiatives. The focus should be on value and quality for the users and readers.

Emphasis is placed on the disavow process. There may be a desire to preserve all the backlinks possible and a webmaster will not completely go through the entire disavow process. In many cases, they only pick a few backlinks to throw in the rubbish bin, leaving many more hoping that those backlinks will keep the site to hold on to the position it is holding so far.

This, according to Matt Cutts is not the correct approach. He said that you have to get rid of anything suspicious. If there’s even one shoddy backlink left on the site, it will equate to a shoddy site. Never mind if you have to build the links again; it’s better than continuously be struck by algorithm updates because of one shoddy link. And it counts to have the site cleaned as quickly as possible so you can start with a fresh SEO approach that will surely pass the Penguin 2.0 update.

When you’ve done this, you’re on your way to enjoying your good ol’ search engine ranking. But as mentioned earlier, it takes time so you have to be patient. Your site has to go through the entire process of re-crawling and re-indexing in order to regain your position. It will definitely help if you hire a reputable SEO company to initiate strategies such as link building, establishing authority and enhancing your content. With all these, your site is definitely threading the road to recovery, even in the face of a catastrophic update as Penguin 2.0.

Images via Google Images

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