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20 10, 2016

Penguin 4.0 – What Does It Mean For You?

By |2017-01-24T13:21:56+00:00October 20th, 2016|Algorithm Changes/Updates, Backlinks, Google, Penguin Update, SEO|0 Comments

What is the Penguin update?

Google’s Penguin update was first introduced in 2012 and is one of many factors they use to affect Search Rankings in a positive way. This update targeted those websites using black-hat techniques such as keyword-stuffing and any link-building schemes that blew up rankings artificially.

Why is Penguin still relevant?

In the last couple of weeks, Google have started rolling out the 4.0 update that has come with a host of new features, causing a shift in the search rankings for websites that weren’t aware.

It has been 2 years since the last penguin update and many webmaster’s have been preparing in that timeframe with the other minor and big updates (Mobilegeddon anyone!), wandering what Google would have up their sleeve for penguin.

Key features of 4.0

  • It was a worldwide launch. So everyone was affected at the same time, meaning certain websites in other locations wouldn’t get to enjoy those extra couple of weeks they would usually get at the top of the rankings. Even slate for everyone.
  • The update is now in real-time. Google will now update the rankings every time they update the information discovered by the crawlers, meaning you will notice changes to your rankings at a much faster rate than before.
  • Recover from Google penalties faster. Factoring in the real-time nature of the 4.0 update, if you have been penalised before you will know how much of a long process it is to recover from. But thanks to the update it is now a faster process to recover once you have made the necessary changes.
  • Google has now made Penguin part of its core algorithm. This now means you wont see any official announcements regarding penguin, so keep an eye on your link-building.
  • It is targeting more specific pages instead of whole websites when penalising toxic links. In other words, Penguin is becoming more granular making it crucial that websites are audited on a more regular basis.

Why is it a good thing?

  • The algorithm is now much faster in picking up updates to websites. This is a good thing as a lot of companies are put off SEO in the first place due to it being a long process to see any benefit. But thanks to this update, you should start to see the rankings benefit much sooner.
  • Like I’ve mentioned in the key features, it is now much faster to recover from Google penalties. This is great for the webmaster’s who have been stuck with penalties for a while, since the last update for Penguin was 2 years ago.
  • The granular nature of the update makes it less harsh on websites that are generally in the green save for one or two pages that may have a toxic link by only penalising those pages specifically.

What issues may websites face?

  • Whilst granular may be a good thing it also makes it more difficult to track any changes to affected pages, meaning deeper analysis is required to pick up any problems.
  • Since Penguin is now becoming a part of Google’s core algorithm, this now means there will be no more announcements regarding updates to the specific algorithm. This can be a problem for webmaster’s as it means they will have to start consistently analysing and auditing their websites for any changes, adding more work to their already busy SEO schedules.

How will I know when Penguin 4.0 is live and what can I do to stay ahead of the pack?

The Penguin 4.0 update launched on September 23rd 2016 or as Google have stated it is “Rolling out” so there is still time to make the necessary changes and tweaks to keep your website on top.

But how do I make sure I have covered all bases for the update?

Keep a constant eye on your positions in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) – Put it into a daily plan to check your most crucial pages in the search results, keeping an eye on any fluctuations positive or negative based on the keywords you are tracking.

Make sure your backlink profile is regularly in the green – Put it into the daily plan again, ensuring your link-building efforts are not including any toxic or low-quality links.

Perform deep backlink checks on your website weekly – It may take longer than a normal audit but it will be worth it to discover if there any pages that are letting the rest of your site down by having a toxic link. Penguins new granular approach makes this step a priority.

Our SEO experts deal with all the latest updates from Google, so if you think your website has taken a hit thanks to one of these updates then check out our SEO page to see how we can gain ground back on your rankings. Or why not check out the 5 killer SEO methods that you may not be using!

18 03, 2016

Backlinks The Right Way

By |2019-01-30T21:20:52+00:00March 18th, 2016|Backlinks, SEO|0 Comments

How to start getting those powerful links to your website…

Backlinks are a vitally important tool and key factor in good SEO. Get it right and it will improve your website ranking ten-fold, but get it wrong and you could be in trouble with not only the search engines, but with the ‘wrong’ traffic coming to your site.

What Are Backlinks?

Backlinks are links directed at your site, known as inbound links. Usually a higher number of inbound links means your site is popular and will rank well in the search results because of it.

But, having a high amount of backlinks, doesn’t mean the search engines will put you at the top. They measures the quality of the backlinks coming into your site, if they are not up to the high standards of quality and reputation when passing through their algorithms, your rankings won’t be affected positively.

  • If links are coming from websites relevant to yours, the search engines will consider them to be high-quality links.
  • If backlinks are not relevant to your site, they will be considered low-quality links (basically not worth your time and possibly harming your websites reputation).

Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing all like to see websites gaining relevant links over time and not manipulated for quick gain, that’s why it’s important to have an effective back linking strategy, so you avoid creating potential problems.

Link Farming

Search engines like Google now employ sophisticated algorithms that are now even stricter when it comes to scoring backlinks, most definitely a good thing enhancing customer experience and relevance. Google found website owners who were using hidden links and automatically generated pages, where they provided easy inbound links to websites. The older search algorithms didn’t pick this up and the ongoing development of algorithms and releases makes it near impossible to manipulate the links.

Many off-shore businesses sprang up in the pay for links format, so Google took a stand against these dubious websites and the websites that used these link farmers by banning their sites, some even permanently.

Why Get Involved With Backlinks

The main reason anyone with a website gets involved in SEO and back-linking is simple… TRAFFIC! The cornerstone of any website, why you create a site in the first place. Driving potential clients to what you’re offering, whether it be a product or service.

Back linking is one of the best traffic generators around and also instills users with an element of trust, as they are more likely to click-through if they see your website on page 1 or the top 3 results. Being honest, trust levels start to go down if what you’re looking for goes beyond page 1.

How Do You Backlink The Right Way

It all start’s with the website experience itself. The site should be easy to navigate and enable first-timers to easily be able to access a wealth of content and/or contact you for more information. It’s about building that trust level and reputation as a recommended website to visit, but also making it easy for the Search engine crawlers to find the content that’s relevant.

A lot of effort should go into making great quality content and a minimal amount in link building (not only does great content help with back linking but also makes the user subscribe into you and the website experience). Once you have made the site easy to navigate and produced relevant, high-quality content (blogs, in-depth pages, services you offer, contact, about you etc.), it’s time to begin getting those backlinks.

One of the best way’s to go about this is researching similar websites to yours. Other websites and businesses that share in your interests, who you could build relationships with so they link to your content. The same rules apply as with your website, their site should be easy to navigate and have high-quality content, then the search engines will see both as genuine, relevant and a natural link to each other, which is what we want.

A great tool for this is: Similar Site Search

Other great link building strategies:

  • Leaving comments on other websites/blogs
  • Guest-blogging
  • Social Media
  • Reviews
  • Many more…

Summary

Google has been getting stricter over the years, with Panda and Penguin updates increasingly putting off webmaster’s from investing in link building, worried about Google planning more updates that are similar in the future. If you keep to the principle of better quality content that is interesting and engaging to your target audience. Gaining backlinks in the right way reaps the benefit, so plan it and nurture the links.

If you would like more information on backlinks, SEO, or anything Digital Marketing, then get in contact with us today. We look forward to hearing from you!

You can also check this link out for more SEO information.

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