Google Update: Penguin 3.0
Google recently announced that it was rolling out a long-awaited update to Penguin, its anti-spam filter.
For those of you who don’t know, Penguin is an algorithm that Google uses to filter out spam, penalising websites that violate the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Such websites employ deceptive means – known as black-hat SEO – to boost their search rankings. One popular method of rank boosting – and the one that this version of Penguin specifically targets – is to manipulate the amount of external links that point to the site in question, thus artificially increasing their search engine ranking.
So Penguin analyses a website’s external links to ensure they are natural, and penalises any website that has suspicious links coming its way. On the other hand, sites that have adapted well since the last changes to Penguin have seen increases in their rankings.
What this means for website owners who wish to to keep (and improve) their ranking, is that links to their website need to be earned rather than asked for.
Regular posting of relevant, professionally written and laid-out content is probably the most important factor in earning links, but there are plenty of other factors, such as: an active presence on social media; engagement with other sites and bloggers; a considered usage of anchor texts; using contextual links; and more.
Moral of the story? Websites need to ensure that they earn their links, not just gather them up.