Is Your Site Ready for Penguin 3.0?
Chris Surovick, September 17, 2014
Apparently Penguin 3.0 is on the horizon, so site owners and webmasters across the internet are scrambling to secure their position in Google’s good graces. With details scant about when exactly it will go into effect, and what the change will ultimately target, you might be tempted to make sweeping changes to your link building approaches, or overreact and torch your existing link profile via massive disavow attempts, but as should be the case with all of these announcements, let’s review things rationally. The hope is that you’re already employing good link earning methods, and that this announcement should just be an opportunity to reflect on current practices and possibly make them better. In this article, we’ll discuss the vital difference between building links and earning links, strategies for establishing your site’s long term value, and a few things that can make the entire effort easier.
Link Earning Vs Link Building
We don’t know the specifics of Penguin 3.0 yet, but if you look at Google’s past behaviors, and the results of previous overhauls, you can be certain that once again, popular techniques for building a site’s presence inorganically will become anathema. That reaffirms the need to rely on only natural, organic link building strategies—link earning, not link building.
If you realize that Google aims to connect its users with the best sites possible for their searches, it’s easy to connect the dots and understand that surviving an algorithm overhaul means ‘being a good site’. Earning links with high-quality unique content, savvy social media campaigns, and community outreach lends to a site that will survive a million algorithm updates, since there won’t ever be the appearance of one trying to “get over” on Google—you’ll be running a site that search engines want at the top of their search results.
Your Three Strategies
Make sure these three approaches are part of your link earning strategy:
Developing High-Quality Content
Building and maintaining a site with highly resourceful content, in various formats - good articles, videos, guides, and the like - will bring your site attention from the wider world. One or two truly excellent pieces picking up enough attention from your targeted audience can turn a website into a Big Deal overnight. Investing the extra time into an informative and linkable piece will rarely be a waste of time, effort, or resources.
Social Presence and Image Building
Being involved in the community around your website, whatever its niche or industry may be, works wonders for natural link building. Engage the people who would be interested in what you have to offer, if they knew about it, by lending advice, discussing current issues, and by being accessible (never leave a question unanswered into the next day!). Timely, natural outreach will work wonders for the kind of link building you’re after. If you have solid content and a reputation in a community, members of that community will link to your articles, not your competitors’, when a situation requiring a link arises.
Perhaps the most difficult strategy to implement if you’re not working on it already, developing the relationships and tools needed for effective media outreach can be a major endeavor - but the benefits are unparalleled. If you have the connections and framework to launch a media blitz when something new happens in your industry, and then get mentioned in turn by industry peers when you’re doing something big, you’re well on your way to becoming authoritative as far as Google is concerned.
Defuse Ticking Bombs
In addition to building up your ‘good website’ credit, anyone looking to survive Penguin needs to take a serious look at their current content and link building. Even if you’ve been fairly honest in how you’ve been link building, you might have toxic backlinks from questionable sites, content that looks spammy to Google’s bots, and other liabilities. It may be well worth your time to invest in professional attention, to analyze (and maybe overhaul?) your assets in preparation for the big day. An experienced SEO company like WebiMax that has navigated countless clients away from the treacherous snares of algo updates, can proactively safeguard your business from Google ‘slaps’ by employing a quality approach to building your web presence without the unnecessary risks.