Gaining Traffic in a Post-Penguin World

Gaining Traffic in a Post-Penguin World

Jun 12

penguinThe word is now almost as feared as ‘virus’ or ‘plague’. It conjures up images of lost revenue, decay and ‘closed for business’ signs. The name is Penguin. What was once a cute and loveable animal is now synonymous with pain and loss of rankings. If you think this is an exaggeration, just do a search for Penguin recoveries-it’s not pretty. Recently, a survey was done and a startling 9% of participants said they’ve recovered from Penguin fully.

What is Penguin?
Penguin, or more specifically Penguin 2.0, is Google’s advanced algorithm that was designed to root out SPAM and websites that interfere with Google’s ability to display relevant information to people that search via Google. While Google’s aims were noble, although they didn’t go far enough and many companies were caught in the crossfire between Google and Spammers. Companies were able to buy links and use black-hat methods to gain rank, and the results were that searchers couldn’t find what they were looking for. Searchers not finding what they were looking for would have been a best case scenario. Surfing the internet had become dangerous, and top-ranking sites were filled with malicious code and programs. Google had to put a stop to it. Keyword stuffing was addressed by another Google algorithm called ‘Panda,’ but that aspect is a story for a different time.

Living in a post penguin world
Although Google has done all it can to address the problems, problems still remain. Many companies have fought long and hard to have their sites return to ‘normal.’ If you’re an older company that has been hit by the updates, it’s harder for you because by the time you have been knocked down in the ranks, there are scores of other companies that have filled your spot.

Once you’ve found out you have an issue, check with Google to have your site reevaluated. If you’ve received a penalty from Penguin, you or your websites company should receive a notice. Although the instructions will not be specific, you’ll have a starting point. The best thing to do moving forward, regardless of your company or your market, is to gain credibility. This can be done a few ways.
• Become an authority. It’s vague, but it can be done. If you know your business or are an expert, write about it. Post blogs, put any information you have that is relevant to your business up on your website. Guest blog, re-write your content and don’t cut corners. Try to concentrate on Local SEO also. Being an authority in your home town can help when moving nationwide.
• Make sure your content is fresh, or at least not scrapped or stolen. Scrapped is when someone finds content on the internet, like product descriptions, and re-words it. It’s tantamount to stealing and close to having duplicate or copy-and-pasted content. Google’s algorithms are very sophisticated and can notice a spun article from a mile away.
• Get links. Google knows bad-links and their system has alerts in place if your company acquires links too fast because it seems unnatural. As you gain credibility by performing the other points on this list, you will gain authority. This authority will be noticed by other blogs, social media users etc. and you will be able to benefit from links. Links are the currency or criteria Google uses to help rank you.
• Finally, there is no quick way. If a company tries to guarantee you that they will rank you top, or top five, run. Don’t walk, but run. This are the types of companies that Google has been battling. If you’re taking up with this type of company Google will lump you in with them and bury you in the rankings. These companies might use the newest and greatest techniques to manipulate Google. This will work for a time, but Google will catch up and lay down their hammer. Think of it this way; Google has literally Billions of dollars and some of the brightest minds in the world working on this. Do you really believe there are small companies charging hundreds of dollars for services, that can defeat Google?

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