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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

For those of you who have been reading my blog for some time, you know that I consult for a variety of companies in need of marketing strategy, planning, and online optimization.  That's why I've decided to blog about the recent conversations I've been having with my clients regarding Google's Penguin 2.0 update.  Even if web optimization has been done correctly, many sites are impacted by Google's decision to cut deeper into traditional optimization strategies.

Getting your arms around Penguin 2.0
The first place that people are seeing an impact is with link development programs they may have been working on.  Even the simple process of link building has been scrutinized to the 'n' th degree thanks to Penguin 2.0.  For example, I've been working with one client who was impacted because a number of the links to his site, which in the past were acceptable, have now been deemed toxic.  Thanks Google!  As such, his ranking have been negatively impacted and the process of link removal is underway.

The second issue with the Penguin update is link profiles and velocity.  We all know that once on page optimization is completed, the next issue that you must focus on from a search engine optimization perspective is that of content and link development.  As such, the process as a whole is being evaluated not only based on inbound link quality but velocity as well.  Google is looking close not just at the links being added but the rate at which they are added as well. This has always been a factor but now carries much more weight.

Finally, Penguin 2.0 is really all about shareability and meaningful content.  I think the word is still out on what defines valuable content but I'm sure relevance is a key factor.   And where there's relevance, there are other signals that help Google clarify quality.  These additional signals could be click-through rate or social sharing. One thing I know for sure is that they matter.

What you can do if impacted by Penguin 2.0
If the latest Google algorithm has negatively impacted your site, begin with an analysis of inbound links.  I recently signed up for Cemper's link detox tool.  Although I'm not thrilled to shell out the $79+ bucks every month, it's now a necessity for SEO's.  Once you identify the toxic and high risk links, use the Google Disavow tool to ensure that Google doesn't associate these links with your site.  Then, submit a reconsideration after a few weeks to have Google re-crawl your site.  Rankings can certainly come back but it takes time.

The next step is to consider a content marketing and distribution plan. There are fewer ways to build links but press releases, blog posts, and social media are still valid.  Focus your efforts on quality content that is truly targeted to your niche and useful among the community.  We're not entirely sure how this will play out but the goal is to be useful to others.

Don't despair.  With each update, the pendulum always seems to swing largely in one direction and then another.  This will all pan out in the wash so be patient but also, be planning your next move.


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