Is your website compliant with Google’s new Penguin 3.0 update?

Last month, Google rolled out its latest algorithm update, Penguin 3.0, with the main objective of cutting the amount of spam on the Internet to make the search experience better for users.

Penguin 3.0 marks the fifth update to the Penguin algorithm, originally released in April 2012. Search Engine Land deemed this update the latest Penguin release as “one of the most anticipated algorithm updates in Google’s history.”

The Penguin algorithm is in place to decrease search engine rankings of sites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using “black-hat SEO” tricks that manipulate links, solely to  increase the ranking of its website. Google launched Penguin to catch and punish sites that are spamming the search engine and reward sites that have valuable, relevant links. Sites that are in violation of these spammy, manipulative tactics and unnatural links to increase rankings — Google identifies these sites as “webspam” — will be penalized. Sites with webspam will see a drastic reduction in their visibility in search results, clicks and web traffic.

Google notifies a website of its bad links through Google Webmaster Account, and if sites don’t heed these warnings, they will likely suffer the consequences when new Penguin updates roll out. These websites will be flagged, and will indefinitely suffer a lack in traffic to their website until it is cleaned up and a new Penguin is released. Violators caught with the previous Penguin update, released in October 2013, will now be able to see if the changes to their spammy links paid off in increased traffic to their site.

Although Penguin 3.0 will only affect 1% of search queries, you may be curious to see if it has affected your website traffic. Follow these steps to see if you may be hurting or benefitting from its release. Check your analytics…

  • Did you notice a significant drop in traffic after Penguin launched on October 17? You may have a Penguin problem. Read on…
  • Is traffic about the same? You should be safe!
  • Have you seen a spike in traffic? Congratulations! Penguin is working for you — perhaps rerouting some of the traffic that could have been going to your competitors’ page and directing it to you.

If your site falls under the latter two categories, you’re following Google’s guidelines and are avoiding spammy SEO. But if you are seeing a decrease in traffic, it may be time to clean up your site and nix the spammy links.

If its time for a cleanup, start by verifying your Google Webmaster Account. Chances are, Google has sent you warnings about spammy links on your page, but if your account is not set up, you may have been missing the warnings.

Have you been hit by Penguin 3.0 and need help recovering? We can help you rebuild your site to bring in leads and new customers that also complies with Google’s Webmaster guidelines.

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