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Google's Penguin leaves the bad guys out in the cold

20:38 on Mon, 14 May 2012 | SEO | 0 Comments

There once was a time when SEO specialists trained in the dark arts (using shady techniques to try and alter search rankings) often soared past the good guys like us. Now however, the game's changing with the recent launch of Google's so called "Penguin update" - and about time too!

According to Google, the Penguin update is an attempt to level the playing field in favour of those websites which have gained links naturally. From reading various blogs, forums and discussion boards, what has become clear is that thousands of websites which have been up to no good 'over optimising' links to their site have been penalised - in some cases very drastically.

Some examples of this have been blog comment spam links, low-quality article sites, keyword stuffing both internally and externally and a real lack of diversity in anchor text. Penguin has also hit genuine sites that haven't tried to break the rules but are in need of improvement.

Here at Further, as online marketing and SEO experts, we have often seen shady techniques propel our clients' competitors high in search rankings. This has often resulted in questions from our clients about why we don't try these techniques too. The answer? Simple....

Cheaters get caught. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they will eventually.

So what's the answer?

Google exists to provide its users with relevant search results. It's not the only search engine out there - Bing, Yahoo, Blecko for example - and Google knows that if it does not provide the best organic search results it will lose market share. If it loses market share the amount of revenue it makes from Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising will decline. With that in mind it is constantly tweaking its search algorithm to deliver its users the best and most relevant search.

Step forward Panda and Penguin.

In fact, recent research from SEO Moz, one of the main thought leaders of our industry and a leading provider of SEO tools, shows that the most recent Penguin update has affected more search queries than any other Google algorithm update so far. The ripples from the Penguin update will be felt across the world - in India, for example, there are no end of companies which provide a link-buying and directory submission service.

The future...

So where do we go from here?

Well, SEO continues to evolve. In fact, it's become even more important for businesses. Trying to cheat the system with low-quality 'spammy shortcuts' will end in failure - Google will find you out, sooner or later. Successful SEO delivers what search engines require, and that's relevancy. This includes providing genuine, quality content. From finding websites with high authority, to researching the competition, coming up with creative ideas and providing better, more timely information - the SEO of today needs far more work than what's worked in the past.

Rather than buying random links, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, what has become clear is that if you try to cheat the system you'll get caught. Good SEO will see you reap the rewards - bad SEO will see you given the red card....

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