By MATT BESWICK at Search Engine Journal
If you’re not familiar with Google’s latest algorithm update codenamed Penguin, you might be perplexed by falling search rankings for your websites. Every now and then, Google changes up their search ranking algorithms to cut down on spam, penalise duplicate content and generally eliminate weak websites from the first page. It’s an ongoing arms struggle between Black Hat SEOartists and Google, one which will probably never be resolved. The general idea behind Penguin is to crack down on underhanded backlinking techniques and reward strong sites by focusing more on content and less on SEO tricks. Here are a few reasons why Penguin is actually a good thing for quality SEO in general.
Authority Matters More Than Ever
The major focus of Penguin is on backlinks and the manner in which websites garner “link juice” to increase PageRank. Specifically, Penguin places more of an emphasis on the reputation and quality of a site that’s linking to your specific domain rather than the sheer number of links that point in your direction. Basically, this means that SEO technicians won’t be rewarded anymore for taking shortcuts when it comes to link building. Those $10/mth for 2000 back link offers are now not only pointless, but they’re also quite dangerous.
Content is Still King
You’re well within your rights to roll your eyes at the cliché, but content is the lifeblood of the web. If you don’t put out a quality information product, you can’t expect visitors to stick around to be bombarded with irrelevant ads and annoying popups. Penguin incorporates Google’s latest research on Latent Semantic Indexing or LSI deeper into its indexing recipe, which means it’s getting harder and harder to fool the search engine with generic, badly spun articles. The main takeaway with Penguin is clear when it comes to content: if you don’t have time to write something decent, hire somebody who does.
Penguin Rewards Natural Backlinks
It Brings Stability to SEO
Anyone that works in SEO full-time knows that keeping up with the latest changes in Google’s algorithms and endlessly modifying web pages is a drag on productivity. It takes focus away from the real goal of SEO, which should be to help quality websites and businesses attract more eyeballs online. Though the collateral damage that comes with any Google update can be disheartening in the near term, Penguin is ultimately a good thing for ethical SEO professionals. By punishing the many ne’er-do-wells that inhabit the world of online marketing, Google makes life easier for people who play by the rules.
There’s always going to be a few hiccups that come with any major update to Google’s highly secretive and proprietary ranking system. For the SEO industry in general, all the Penguin update really means is that SEO experts, copywriters, webmasters and marketers will have to step up their game and deliver quality if they want to succeed. If you’ve already been doing that from the start, then you don’t really have anything to worry about. The entire business model of Google is predicated on the goal of serving up only the most relevant results to the end user, and their algorithm changes will invariably pursue this objective. You can either swim with the tide, or get washed up on the shore by not modifying your SEO practices to reflect the current reality of Google’s search algorithms.