A question we’re asked regularly by clients is “What is Google Penguin?” and “What can I do about it? Should I be worried?”
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer that fits everyone as different websites, industries and factors have been treated differently.
Has everyone been hurt? Not really. Latest numbers out were that only 3.1% of search results were affected by the changes (with 12% affected by the Panda update a few months prior).
So what does it mean? I’ll try and explain it for you.
Exact match domain names not as important
For years this has been a free pass to the top. Throw up some content, around 2-3 pages and you would have secured a number 1 ranking in a matter of weeks. It was super easy.
Since the ‘Penguin’ update, we’ve seen the value of having an exact match domain name to the search term you are targeting devalued, with many long-standing top ranking domains, experiencing dramatic fall in rankings on the SERP.
Link building is still needed, but quality is the key
Google has always valued high quality links over non-relevant low quality ones – this hasn’t changed, but it’s now even more important.
Google is smart and devaluing a site, type of site or type of link, is easy for them.
Low quality link building isn’t worth much these days, its all about high quality content and high authority websites doing the linking.
Google+ Authorship – you need it
Google has always had it’s eye on getting a piece of the social media pie but never really got there. With the launch of Google+ and it’s continued integration of this platform into the SERP’s, setting up your website or blog with proper and validated Google+ authorship is so important.
By helping Google out by telling it which content you have written using authorship mark up, you are giving credibility to the content you write, and shows Google you are a real person who’s content can be trusted and ranked well.
You may have noticed recently small profile images appearing next to articles found in search results – this is Google+ authorship in action.
What is coming up?
Google will continue to roll out changes in its effort to improve the information we find when using them – that’s their job.
Want to stay ahead of the game? It’s pretty easy:
- Have relevant and good content
- Get links from other relevant websites in your niche
Sounds easy right?