It’s been almost two weeks since Google unleashed its latest search algorithm update that designated to improve the quality and to reduce spam on the search results, and although the main storm has weaken, the loud voice of many wounded site owners still being heard.
I’ve examined myself multiple websites that were hit (sampled from Google forums) and although I’m far from fully comprehend this algorithm, I’m certain (as I already posted) that it mostly targeted sites with many unnatural links. But what I also revealed is that many webmasters believes that Google will undo the Penguin.
So let me break the bad news for you guys- The chances that Google will “cancel” the Penguin equals to the possibility that Yahoo’s CEO didn’t noticed a “little” error on his resume for the past four years. Fellows, the Penguin is here and it is not going anywhere.
That said, the ones of you who suffers from Penguin might find some comfort with the high probability that it will change and evolve somewhere in the near future. Few legitimate sites that were unjustifiably hit would probably return to their natural spot, but most of the victims status won’t change drastically. Unless.
Unless they’ll dig in deeper into their site’s activity, from end to end, identify what might have triggered the Penguin’s slap and resolve those issues. You see, praying to the Google gods without doing anything will likely to turn out to be very one-sided monologue. Act.
That might be a very difficult task though- For example, trying to locate spammy backlinks, sometimes may require going back years to find them and I’m sure that it also won’t be easy to remove them. By the way, to do so you can use this great article by MajesticSEO.
Google Long-Term Strategic Search Plan
I think that Google is slowly implementing a long-term strategic plan to remove or at least to subtract significantly spam on the search results. That plan’s process already began last year with the Panda update which takes a deep look into websites’ content and determine their quality.
The Panda itself has been changed, evolved and updated many times since its initial launch and currently we are at Panda 3.6 (what suggests that we will see alternations in the Penguin as well). Two weeks ago, the second stage of Google’s plan has began. The Penguin.
While the Panda set to examine websites from within, I think that the Penguin is mostly set to examine websites from without. Paid links? Slap. Article submission? Slap. Spam blog comments? Slap. Links exchange? Slap. Any other type of unnatural links? That’s right, slap.
But that leads into another interesting question- While site owners are obviously in full control of what’s happening on their own site, how can they control what happens outside? Theoretically, rivals and competitors can create many spam links to websites which will cause a penalty from the Penguin.
Although I don’t have a definitive answer on this, as no one else at this point, I want to believe that it is much harder to do it than speculate it, and that the folks at Google prepared for this scenario at least in some level. For more information about negative SEO you can watch an informative video in this SEOmoz post.
Yep, I’ve Just Checked, SEO Isn’t Dead
Recently, there are many who ridiculously claims that “SEO is dead” after the launch of the Penguin (the murderer). That claim is nothing less than a joke. Not only that SEO isn’t dead, but in some ways it is even more alive than ever. SEO is changing and evolving alongside the whole search industry. The statement that it’s dead simply reflecting poorly on its author.
As I sees it, SEO’s whole purpose is to exploit the full potential of a website or a page. For example, you can have the best website in the world but if mistakenly you don’t allow access to search engines to crawl it or only parts of it or you didn’t wrote compelling titles or meta description tags, you don’t exploit the full potential of your site. That is what SEO is for.
Therefore, the only way SEO will vanish is if people would stop creating websites. Until that day, SEO will be very healthy.
The important lesson from the Penguin update is that webmasters must not rely on Google search traffic alone! In fact, webmasters shouldn’t rely on any one traffic source alone. In today’s age, when the social media is blooming it’s not that hard to vary the site’s traffic sources. I would even dare to say it’s a waste NOT to use all sources available.
Google would probably remain a serious traffic source for almost any site but it can’t be dependent only on that. The Penguin just proved it. Before that, the Panda proved it. And before that, many other algorithm updates proved it.
I will end this post with an old but very true cliche that today it’s more relevant than ever: “Don’t build your website for search engine, build it for people.”