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15th
Feb

Google Penguin update preperation

Get prepared for the Google Penguin update

Are you ready for the imminent Google Penguin update? Do you know how to prepare yourself and prevent your website being affected? Do you even know what Google Penguin is?

Google Penguin is a code name for Google’s periodical algorithm update, which works to reduce the search engine ranking of websites that use underhand SEO techniques. Typically these are ‘link schemes’ or ‘spam links’ which effectively send false traffic to websites and therefore violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines.

History of the Google Penguin update

Many people who do SEO for a living will be very aware of the Google Penguin update already and how it has evolved of time. The first Google Penguin update was announced in April 2012. Since this first release there have been six new versions of Google Penguin, the most recent one – Penguin 3.0 – was released in October 2014, but this was classed as a ‘refresh’ rather than a full update.

A ‘refresh’ simply captures the sites that have created new spam links since the last update, and also helps sites that have corrected their spam backlink issues, by elevating them back up the rankings. The new release has been rumoured for some time, but tweets from Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes in the last few weeks have suggested it will be with us by the end of the first quarter of 2016, and furthermore, it will be a full update, the first in nearly two and a half years.

What can I do to prepare?

Anybody who has built a website or who maintains one for their business, should know that it pays to stay in Google’s good books. A strong backlinks profile will see you hold a robust position in Google search engine rankings, which is essential for any website and any business or project it is attached to.

To maintain this, you should periodically carry out an audit on the links pointing to your website, which can be done through Google Webmaster tools. It is possible for your site to be unfairly penalised by a Google Penguin update because there are spam links on various sites that you don’t know about. You can remove some bad links manually or by using Google’s Disavow tool (which can also be found in Webmaster tools and allows you to inform Google of bad links you cannot remove manually so you don’t get penalised) and then you can file a reconsideration request, whereby Google will look again at the links to your site.

It is important that you build good links to your site, and even if you can’t remove all the bad links, building more good links than there are bad will always help the recovery of your ranking.

Strong content writing

Another good way of helping your site climb back up the rankings is to include strong written diverse content – in conjunction with good links. If other people and other sites can find your site naturally through engaging and insightful content, then good links will form and boost your site’s ranking.

Google loves a site that has links from trusted and authoritative domains, and there is little or no hiding place if your links are bad. So put in the hard work now, be prepared for the Google Penguin update and you and your website will reap the rewards.

If you need some advice on the Google penguin update or an audit to check the quality of your back-link profile – we can help here at Thriving Digital. Simply contact us for some free advice now.