Google has been known to release hundreds of minor updates throughout the year; however, they also occasionally create major changes that can sink the websites that lack the necessary preparation. One of the latest updates to the Google algorithm was Penguin 2.0; now, John Mueller, Google Webmaster Trends analyst, stated that the newer Penguin 3.0 was likely being released this year. Considering next year is only three more months away, every website owner should certainly start preparing by understanding the changes that will likely occur and the search engine optimization methods to accommodate them. Unfortunately, the algorithm that decides the search position of every website for every keyword is a locked tight secret. Therefore, we can only infer the possible changes that may occur by using past updates and the minor hints from Google employees.
If we take one step back to the release of Penguin 2.0, we can examine the changes the occurred. Unlike the Panda update, which targeted low quality content, this focused on assessing the back link profile of websites. Some of the problems that would demote sites from their position are links pointing towards them from other sites that are low quality, not relevant, and overly optimized anchor text, such as exact match and main keywords. This led internet marketers to begin preaching the quality over quantity in regards to link building. Considering having poorly positioned links could destroy any website.
Based on the concerns addressed by Penguin 2.0, the newer version will likely target similar issues. Specifically back links because they are so significant in the ranking of any site. One of the problems is the text that holds the link, which is labeled the anchor text. Keyword filled and exact match text will likely be retired entirely to replace more natural structure. Another important characteristic is the integrity of the sites themselves. For example, blogs with hundreds of high quality, socially shared posts are the premium choice. However, people often struggle to get recognition on these superior options, so they resort to less established avenues. These could be foreign language based, guest blogging networks, copied content, and any other site that uses methods that are beyond black hat. The restrictiveness of search engine optimization will almost certainly only become more restricted by Google in upcoming changes.
Proper Search Engine Optimization
Using some simple techniques, you can check if your site will be hurt by the new update. The first step is performing a link audit on any site you may be worried about. This can be just the webpage that contains the link, what page is being referenced, and the anchor text that is being utilized to hold that link. The following characteristics will help determine if any back links will damage the reputation of your websites.
1. High number of outbound links for a range of different subjects. For example, something focused on education would seem odd referencing video games and retail. Google would assume ulterior motives, and they will swiftly demote any associated website.
2. No focus. A range of different topics is quite suspicious to the Google algorithm. Most Internet marketers have already concluded this fact and the reprimand will likely only increase in the coming months. The reasoning may be that very few people have experience in dozens of topics, so anyone that has articles covering many topics is likely accepting too many guest posts or other sketchy behaviors.
3. Anchor text that is using search engine optimization too effectively. Too many instances of the main keywords or exact matches without instances of “click here” or phrasing will trigger alarms.
After performing the audit, the process may seem tedious, but every result must be clicked and analyzed to determine if any of the above characteristics fit. If so, the association with the website must be removed. If you own the post or profile, you can easily remove the link; however, you may have to contact the webmaster, if you do not have editing abilities.
If you maintain any website of significant size, this process may take some time. Considering John Mueller stated that Penguin 3.0 is coming within the end of the year, you need to get started with high quality search engine optimization techniques to ensure no drastic keyword ranking drops. Using the previous updates, we can assume that back linking practices will be scrutinized even more significantly by the secret algorithm. Therefore, you should take the steps to start analyzing every back link possible to ensure no unsavory ties.