If you take interest in internet marketing, you know that on May 24, Penguin 4 was released by Google. The intent of this algorithm update is to provide a list of more relevant websites to those searching for specific topics. It also intends to provide less spam to researchers.
Since the change, many sites may have lost traffic and/or have slipped in the rankings. These sites tend to be gaming sites, big business sites and several blog sites. Site speed was also an indicator. If your site takes more than 5 seconds to load, it is probably time for a web hosting upgrade.
Instead of skimming through dozens of articles about the new updates, pay attention to the major Penguin 4 takeaways:
In the past, many companies have hired third party companies to create backlinks for its website, in order to push its rankings up. These backlinks were also created to increase page views. While that tactic is fine, these links must be truthful, authoritative and organic. Double-check your links to make sure they are natural. Hint: article software links are not natural!
Recent research shows that that Google is now ranking sites that include a date higher, than those that do not display the date. It does not seem to matter the topic of the site, just that the date is visible.
Penguin Spam Report
Google has also released a new tool where individuals can report websites that they consider spam. Once you get to the form, you are asked to enter the URL of the website you wish to report. You will also need to enter the Google search result URL of the site. The final box is a place where you can add extra information, including why you feel that it is spam. Now, nobody likes a snitch, so I think this could be a good thing with a lot of ugly consequences. If you have a competitor that seems to find a way to outrank you each time, what better way to just fill out a spam report for your competitor just days after your ordered a Fiverr gig and pointed 1,000 spammy back links to the website? I am sure the gurus at Google have already addressed this possibility and have ways of sifting through the set-ups, but this new tactic worries me.
The best advice?
Stay up on your backlink portfolio. If you see something fishy in your backlink analysis, such as an influx of unrecognized backlink destinations, then it might be worth investigating.
If you have found that your site has lost traffic or is not ranking as well as it once did, take the time to review the items listed above. Do an audit on your site and make sure you are following the rules of organic search. It might be worth going through your backlinks and removing spammy or unnatural links, or it might be better to start fresh with a new domain and website. If you need to start over, don’t fork out thousands for a new website. Start off by using an easy CMS system such as Tumblr, Empower Network or WordPress to get started.
Finally, build amusing and informative content, and the links will naturally follow. This is the blueprint you want to follow moving forward. In doing this, your website will stay penguin-proof for years.
Thanks to Jeremy Page for contributing this article.