You may have heard mumblings of a new Google algorithm update being implemented soon – and it has now been confirmed by Matt Cutts from Google who said “we [...] expect to roll out Penguin 2.0 (next generation of Penguin) sometime in the next few weeks.” According to Cutts himself, Penguin 2.0 is due to be significant in size, and is likely to be one of the most talked about Google algorithm updates this year. So what does this mean for you? And what exactly is expected of Penguin 2.0?
What is Penguin 2.0?
Technically, the latest instalment of Penguin is the fourth confirmed update, which is why some websites are calling it “Penguin 4”; however the internal team at Google are calling it Penguin 2.0 due to the sheer size of the update compared to the ones that have preceded it. For the sake of simplicity we will also call it Penguin 2.0.
In short, the new update will go deeper and will have more of an impact than Penguin 1.0. Google have progressed the data they were working with, so could now hit websites who, for example, build links from adult websites or other “bad neighbourhoods” or who ‘over-optimise’ their anchor text.
What does Penguin 2.0 mean for you?
We know that Google still places a lot of importance on backlinks to your website, so it is important to continue to attract and build these links. However, once this update rolls out you may want to look at cleaning up the older links that may be harming your site. As such, it is possible to get a better understanding of your current link profile by using tools such as LinkRisk so you’ll know exactly what action to take; you wouldn’t want to remove links that actually help your website to rank in Google.
Once you have removed high risk links you should look at replacing these with newer links. Even though there will always be a certain element of risk with link building as algorithm updates are constantly updating what they deem as ‘bad’, the majority of them still hold a lot of importance. Google sometimes changes their mind on the value it places on certain links, but to get your website ranking for the key phrases that are important to you, these volume links can still provide you with an SEO benefit.
When you consider that many of your competitors will still be building links to retain their own visibility in the search engines, it makes it even more vital to remain competitive in your link building activities. It is important to be aware of these new algorithm updates though as you may want to amend your practices slightly to focus on a different method of link building, for example, securing guest posts on a site within your niche that has a high domain authority. Another idea is widening the set of keywords you use to include more brand terms, as well as commonly linked phrases that would be in a natural link profile such as “click here” or other similar words.
We’d be happy to speak to you more about how we can help you to remain competitive even after Penguin 2.0. You can contact us here.