A Cold Wrath?
SEO forums and websites are crazed with the latest news about Penguin 3.0. This tux-attired part of Google Algorithm targets unnatural and spammy links. Speculation has been running rampant for months. In this post I’ll summarize the signs as well as the implications of this latest SEO change.
MozCast is one way to see if the SEO weather is getting hot. In the last four weeks or so, we’ve seen at least five spikes nearly the 80 degree mark. Temperature is a simple way to communicate complicated changes. Moz tracks how websites fare in organic search; hotter weather shows turbulence in how the Google algorithm is affecting rankings.
Bruce Clay, the granddaddy of SEO, presented a link building session at Pubcon on October 9. He predicted that a Penguin (3.0) update would be coming within the next 10 days. He was right.
There seems to be some inconclusive signals coming from other SEO volatility tools. Some SEOs are reporting sharp improvements while others see declines or no movement at all. A few industry sources are questioning if Google’s Penguin 3.0 has stealthily eluded capture.
John Mueller announced via Hangout on Monday, October 20th Penguin 3.0 has finished rolling out as far as he knows.” Guess that’s as official as we’ll get for this round.
Links & Penguin 3.0
For many Webmasters, especially those who for look ways to get fast results, the Penguin 3.0 rollout may be a day of reckoning. Google has become more and more punitive when it comes to links. It’s been a year since the last link-related algorithm change and Search Engine Land’s article had some sobering commentary:
By the way, for those who tried disavowing bad links, if you did that within the last three weeks, that was too late for this Penguin update. Our article from a talk Google gave at our SMX conference earlier this month explains more.
Do keep in mind that some people may see ranking drops but not actually be hit by Penguin. That’s because if Penguin causes a wide range of links to be discounted, those links will no longer pass along the credit or act as “votes” as they once might have.
Ok, so what does all this media frenzy mean?
Well… Google has been pretty darned clear that they are smacking websites with contrived, unnatural and poor quality links. Guess some folks didn’t believe Google the last 1,000+ times warning them unnatural links are SEO trouble. In the past there was a longer ranking gap from when high-ranking/low quality links were added and then caught and penalized. That’s how Grey Hat SEO practitioners claimed guarantees and delivered short-term results. If you are using these techniques or have outsourced to an agency that does, beware. Look at your statistics as the impact of Penguin 3.0 is fully realized.
White Hat & Link Building
- Research into relevancy of other websites in order to drive qualified traffic
- Cultivation and maintenance of relationships with Webmasters with sites related to your industry and business
- Frequent review of your link profile to keep it clean and natural
So that means White Hat link building is slow and steady. Be suspicious of anybody who guarantees results.
Are you celebrating this latest release? Or has Google buried your website in an avalanche?
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