Oct 10, 2013 1:37:00 PM

2.1: The Penguin Update Strikes Again!

Posted by Jeanine Krzyzanowski

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Matt Cutts Penguin Announcement | 2.1: The Penguin Update Strikes Again!Late afternoon on Friday, October 4th, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, confirmed that the latest iteration of the Penguin update was rolling out and would impact 1% of all queries.

If that doesn’t sound like much, remember that there are 5,134,000,000 searches made every single day. For the uninitiated, let’s quickly take a trip down memory lane:

What is Google’s Penguin Update?

“Penguin” is an algorithm update from Google designed to specifically target and penalize websites using manipulative, spammy linking practices. If you’ve been keyword stuffing, abusing anchor text (the actual text of the links pointed to your site), spamming blog comments, buying links or participating in link networks, Penguin is designed to give your rankings a serious thrashing.

How Can I Tell if I’ve Been Hit by Penguin 2.1?

Sadly, penalization sometimes comes as a nasty surprise to businesses who put their trust in the wrong SEO company.

If your traffic dropped sharply around the date of the rollout (October 4th), or rankings took a nose dive, chances are good you’ve been hit. Check your analytics software to know for sure.

How Can I Recover From Penguin 2.1?

To take back your old traffic and rankings, you’re going to need to remove all the spammy links pointing to your website. Unless you know you’ve been spamming (and where), that will usually require a comprehensive back link audit and analysis to identify the toxic links, followed by a link removal program.

Removal requires contacting webmasters where the harmful links are placed and aPenguinsking them to take them down. Some webmasters will be responsive, others will not. Still, the onus is on you to remove as many bad links as possible. This is a time consuming process, especially if there are thousands of negative backlinks. Throughout this process, it’s recommended to upload a disavow list to Google.

Simply filing a reconsideration request won’t do the trick, since Penguin is an automated, algorithmic update and not a manual penalty. Of course, removing the links is only the beginning. To regain your rankings, you’ve got to change your ways and build valuable links to replace what’s been lost.

A Rude Awakening; A Second Chance

If anything, Penguin 2.1 reinforces the importance of building a natural, ethical online business. If you want to build the right kinds of links, invest in a reputable agency who can help you create and share relevant content your audience will actually want to link to. It’s a reminder that Google is serious about search quality and won’t tolerate manipulative linking or other spamming shenanigans.

Penguin can be devastating, but it’s not too late to recover, and never too late to start over with a new plan and a better strategy.

Contact us if you’ve experienced a drastic decline in traffic or rankings in Google. Our link removal experts can help put you back on the right path!


The Value of a #1 Ranking

Topics: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Website Analytics, Link Building & Acquisition

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