What Does the Penguin Say?

Written by Christina on November 3, 2015

The Penguin refresh is simply making the Penguin algorithm faster and more responsive to changes. It will be updated in real time so any mistakes that appear or fixes to sites will be instantly recognised and ranked accordingly. This real time update means the algorithm will be continuous and you will need stay on top of your SEO strategy.

The algorithm is going to be updated before the end of the year so it is important to be aware of the changes and make sure your site is tip top so it can benefit as soon as possible from the alterations.

The Penguin Algorithm

Okay, so it will be updated in real time… but what does this algorithm actually cover? Penguin focuses mostly on links and aims to rank sites by penalising the sites that:

  • Stuff pages with keywords to a point that it isn’t conversational content
  • Use automated software for low quality backlinks
  • Optimises numerous links using the same anchor text
  • … and more. Take a look at the Google Link Scheme to ensure you are within those guidelines as many are assessed by the Penguin algorithm.

How can I optimise my site for Penguin?

Firstly, with the update in mind, you need to schedule time in regularly to keep the links on your site clean and remove any bad links. Here’s what you will need to consider when tidying up the site:

  1. Clean up the links and remove any unnatural links pointing to your site – these could be links from PR sites, links spread across the site, links from new domains or ones with little traffic.
  2. If that doesn’t work… update your disavow file to request Google to not look at links from certain sites. Note: Try other methods first of all and use this as a last resort – Google may manually penalise if you go straight in for the disavow method.
  3. Ensure there are enough links still on your site of a good enough quality – that’s worth a whole other blog (…later).

How can I monitor the effect of Penguin?

Unfortunately, you won’t get a notification from Google that Penguin has penalised you so you need to keep on top of your site analytics to see if you’ve been hit.

Easy test to start… see where you’re ranking for your brand name. Naturally you should be top dog for that so if you’ve dropped in rank that is a clear sign that Penguin could be taking effect. Dropping pages suddenly for any keyword when you haven’t updated the site is a definite sign.

Alternatively, it may not just be ranking:

  • Has your site been taken out of the Google cached search results overnight?
  • If you search for your site using ‘site:yourwebsite.co.uk’ and return with no results.
  • Your traffic to the site shows a significant drop from one day to the next for no apparent reason (check for the last Google update when this occurs to see if there’s any coincidence).

This Penguin update is a stark reminder that websites cannot be left to go stale. They must be constantly monitored to ensure they are optimised for both search engines and for users. It all goes hand in hand, creating a great user experience will help boost yourself up the rankings.

You can resolve issues that arise with the Penguin algorithm as soon as they are flagged and get an instant resolution. While focusing on this you mustn’t forget all the other 200+ factors that could be influencing your ranking! It’s a lot of cogs that you need to keep in motion, all working together to make your hard work pay off!

Take a look at a few of our other blogs on how to SEO your site and get yourself up the rankings: