How to survive in the real time Google Penguin era?

Google has always vouched for positive search engine optimization, and has brought in new algorithms to reward genuine sites. The search engine giant has always introduced updates to make individual pages more accessible and faster to find.
On April 24, 2012 Google activated the new ranking algorithm called Penguin to punish sites that relied on excessive link building, deceptive doorway pages, keyword-stuffed pages, and low quality content for driving traffic.
This ushered in a good change for businesses and entrepreneurs who were legitimately trying to get good rankings without looking for ugly games. It took time before Google could implement the algorithm but some months ago, Google announced another Penguin update and with its fourth major release, Google has introduced a real-time signal within its core search algorithm.

Google Penguin Goes Real-Time

The Penguin filter introduced in 2012 would run and catch spammy sites and penalize them even till they improved and changed their content. Until the next time the filter ran, the site would be down for months altogether. The third Penguin update happened on October 17, 2014, which guaranteed sites to be down for more than two years.
Those long delays though are now going to be past, according to Google and its latest release, as Penguin 4.0 becomes real-time. Google can now recrawl and reindex pages on a constant basis, while being caught and freed by the update as part of a regular process.
SEO practitioners would find it tough to survive in the new world of SEO. Here are some tips that will help to survive the onslaught and real-time Google crawling of content on different sites.

Be Natural, Be Relevant!

With the latest update, SEO practitioners need to focus all their attention on integrating natural links and set real link parameters. By avoiding buying and creating links from websites for search and social success, one will do a whole lot of good for their site.
One needs to avoid building links that are “spammy” in nature and lead to the target page. The link optimization exercise needs to be under control as marketer would have to be conservative with anchor texts and link-baits.

Branding

Companies need to separate their brand from competitors through online marketing for humans. Branding allows companies to condition the way their prospects talk to them. This factor is essential to leverage the brand while impacting the site’s SEO efforts, as well as conversions.
Google’s search engine needs to get signals and unlinked mentions that prove a page is an authority in the field, attaching a trust with the brand, to rank the pages very well on SERPs. Focus on associating the brand with all other authoritative brands that are in your space and try to get featured with varied A-list digital publishers.

Iinc.com screenshot

Screenshot taken from Inc.com on 7th June 2017

Sites like Inc. provide a legitimate way to expand on the brand image with legal links that are building to your site, thus getting a chance to showcase brand’s expertise, and also establish authority in the field. To be on the safe side, use anchor text as mentioned below:

  • Partial matching and long-tail keywords ;
  • Anchors with multiple synonyms and similar words ;
  • All variations of URLs ;
  • Non-descriptive anchor texts ;
  • Use anchors in other languages if site is multilingual ;
  • Use brand name or keyword hybrids ;
  • Use Image links with optimized alt text.

In addition, SEOs can learn more about anchor text optimization here which will clear your ideas about the usage of anchor text and can help you to run fruitful SEO campaign.

Content is the king, and user is queen

I love this sentence because it was said by my online mentor Cyrus Shepard who has covered it on his article about single SEO tips on Moz blog.
Sites need to watch out for gaps between user intent and content. If the entire page has little explanatory text about what the page is about and does not satisfy highest volume search queries, which means that it does not satisfy user intent.
SEOs have to make sure that the page is exactly what the users are looking for, to solve their problems in the content and even a handy call to action. Rewrite the title tags and descriptions to include keyword queries from your prospective users to boost clicks and visits from them. It is inconclusive that higher click-through rates lead to higher rankings but the site does get more traffic, one way or another. Optimizing your search snippet is the way to go. In addition, you can use some free techniques which can help you to improve your keywords research. These will surly help you to serve the user intent in search engine.
John Mueller, webmaster trends analyst at Google said the following words on content quality:

So make sure, while writing content, people need to like reading it and would want to come back to read more.

Be careful with ads

People now expect to see varied ads on most sites that they visit. Some sites do use ads deceptively creating a poor user experience. Google’s new update will encourage website owners to create new and quality experiences by penalizing faulty advertising tactics.
The new Fred algorithm will targets sites that add irrelevant ads with content, so much so that it becomes difficult to distinguish ads from the main content of the site. Make sure that the ads are identified as ads, and are not trick ads that push people to click them. The trick ads are sure to be penalised on search rankings.
Also avoid pop-up messages on your site as Google may not rank high on search result which site using pop-ups that make content less accessible to users, especially on mobile devices.
Some pop-ups are allowed, and sites accessed through desktop PCs won’t be negatively affected but since such designs usually carry poor user experience, it is best for site owners to avoid using them altogether.

Conclusion

All points mentioned above will help you improve search engine rankings, and also strengthen your online presence across the web. Hence it is essential to brand and add purpose to the content to your site after Penguin’s newest update, for positive results.

Hardik Oza

About Hardik Oza

Hardik Oza is an SEO Practitioner, having 6+ years of experience in SEO. He strongly focuses on link building to enable his clients’ websites to gain organic traffic, visibility. He is a twitter addict. He is also a contributor of SEMRush, Search Engine People Linkarati Blog. Follow him on Twitter @Ozaemotion.

Entries by Hardik Oza