Just got done writing this note to one of our search engine optimization clients who expressed interest in the new Google Penguin algorithm and how it might affect his business. Reading it over I thought it was a pretty simple description of Google’s war on black and white animals. What you need to know is that a major factor in how Google decides where to place a website in the search results are the quality and quantity of other websites that link back to you.
“Steven, I have a note from Simon that you were curious about the new Penguin algorithm that Google released on April 24th. This is similar in nature to the "Panda" algorithm that they released in February of 2011, but this is designed to thwart incoming links that they don't like, as opposed to bad content as the Panda was designed for.
I’ll give you two examples:
Repetitive Anchor Text: (the actual words that are linked back to your website from other web properties). If Google sees the same anchor text repeatedly from around the Internet linking back to you, they assume that was an intentional campaign and you lose credit for the link (a major component of how search engines rank you).
Links from bad websites: This is designed to thwart "link farms". A link farm is where an unscrupulous optimizer builds a bunch low quality websites for the express purpose of linking back to their client's websites to artificially build the incoming link count. A very dangerous issue with this is that it opens the door for what we call "negative SEO". What is to prevent someone from intentionally setting up links to their competitor's website from these link farms to intentionally get them penalized? This is unethical, but you know that someone is probably already doing that.
The Panda was more discriminating on how it affected websites throughout the Internet. They actually did a pretty good job separating good websites from bad ones. This new “Penguin” (notice the black and white animal theme?) is less discriminating and is affecting a lot of good websites as well. Ironically in many cases the quality of search results actually got worse, so I am expecting an update.
As far as you are concerned, don’t worry, your rankings are higher than ever. We have never used any of these “black hat” techniques and never will. We’re a “white hat” optimization service (Black hat, White hat… Panda’s, Penguin’s… I assume Orcas and Zebras are next on Google’s hit list).
Have a great weekend!
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