Over the weekend, Google announced the roll-out of a major algorithm update, in the form of Penguin 3.0, targeting websites with low quality links. Penguin 3.0 is much more than just a tweak to the algorithm – it is a major update.
The ‘low quality links’ that Penguin intends to address include links that are against Google’s guidelines. This includes article and link directories, link networks and paid blog links. Generally, sites at the highest risk are those with many links that have ‘exact match anchor text’. For example, links with keywords as anchor text rather than the brand, page name or URL.
Penguin 3.0 is a complete refresh of the data set and the first update to the Penguin algorithm for over a year with Penguin 2.1 having been implemented back in Oct 2013. Many websites across the globe who were penalised following the last iteration are reportedly seeing recovery in search performance having been working on removing low quality links over the past year. However, many sites that escaped the first few Penguin updates may now fall victim to this new data refresh.
To avoid being negatively impacted by Penguin 3.0, and future Penguin updates, do not participate in schemes to artificially create links. If you have done so in the past, audit back links and remove the low quality links (FirstClick can help you with this).
The best way to safe guard against Penguin (and similar updates) and ensure your website doesn’t suffer from major drops in rankings, is to invest in content creation and promotion that earns you links.
This only reinforces the importance of a quality Content Strategy for your brand. Quality content earns genuine links.
FirstClick only applies quality link practices that fall within Google’s guidelines, and as a result, none of our clients have been affected by this update. Additionally, our account teams focused on reviewing all of our client’s ranks and visibility yesterday and confirmed no one has been adversely affected. However, please get in touch if you’d like to discuss or have any concerns.