Google released its Penguin 2.0 algorithm update just before Memorial Day weekend, causing many online retailers to begin their summer season on a bad note. Slightly more than two percent of English language queries are estimated to have been affected. Straight from the Internet business consulting experts at Illumination Consulting, here are the scoop and tips for protecting your site.
When Google updates its algorithms, its objective is to provide users with search results that are more relevant and of a higher quality. Penguin 1.0 addressed manipulative inbound link profiles. These include paid links, links from sites considered low-quality or irrelevant, links filled with keywords, and links featuring overly-optimized anchor text.
Penguin 2.0 was designed to penalize sites that use black hat search engine optimization while rewarding sites that provide excellent experiences. Site developers who purchased mass links, commented on blogs all over the Web, and spammed links to questionable directory sites are now in its crosshairs. Those who built links ethically and focused on improving the quality of site content should see their search rankings improve.
With Penguin 2.0 both homepages and internal pages are analyzed. Developers should review the Domain Authority and PageRank for the domains of linking sites to assess the quality of the design, content, and social media involvement of each one. Domain Authority should be at least 30 and PageRank should be at least four. All links should be from relevant sites. If a developer opts to post to a general site, the material should be posted to a relevant category or page.
Analyzing the link profile is less complicated than it sounds. Create a list of every link that points to the site and evaluate it from a quality standpoint. The list can be developed by downloading links from the Google Webmaster interface and using Scrapebox or another query tool to analyze the information. A professional can be retained to conduct an audit of site links and advise which ones should go.
As Internet business consulting professionals, we have seen how keyword-intensive anchor text and an unnatural increase in links raise suspicion with Penguin 2.0. To maintain high rankings, ask webmasters to change anchor text to make it more diverse and use the Google disavow tool to remove questionable links. If the site has already been targeted by Penguin 2.0, submit a reconsideration request that outlines specific action taken to remove questionable links and improve site quality.
*Photo Courtesy of Siddartha Thota via Creative Commons License