On May 22, Google unfurled their latest algorithm update, dubbed “Penguin 2.0”. As with every Google update, there was plenty of pre-launch speculation as to who and/or what would be affected. Early indications are that Penguin 2.0 is not quite as big and far-reaching an update as was expected, but many “thin” sites, those with thin or untrusted links, and those without at least a moderate amount of SEO have all taken significant hits. Even after the release of Penguin 2.0, it remains unclear what changes Google has made to their ranking algorithm exactly, but early website rankings shifts have begun to point towards a handful of major cues.
That being said, no matter what state your site is currently in, it’s still very important to make sure it passes muster with the new update. What follows are tips and strategies that can help you make the most of your SEO efforts in the wake of Penguin 2.0, and its likely changes:
- “Smarter,” More Natural Backlinks: The original, 1.0 iteration of Penguin put a lot of focus on domains’ backlink profiles, specifically the percentage of exact match anchor links in those profiles. Too many specific anchor text links and too few branded anchor text links could seriously damage a site’s search engine rankings. Penguin 2.0 seems likely to further that formula, giving greater preference to sites with more branded anchor text links over those with more non-branded anchor text links. Industrial SEO programs need to provide backlinks that are “smarter” and more natural, avoiding an overreliance on exact match anchor text links.
- Content is Still King: Google has always worked to put websites that offer users unique, valuable content at the top of SERPs, and Penguin 2.0 continues this trend. Authoritative content, such as white pages, how-to articles, and other informative and niche-centric documents, is the best way to get Google to view your site as an “expert” one, and will help boost your site’s rankings accordingly. The more focus you put on creating quality content for your site, the better your results will be.
- Social Media Continues to Gain Importance: While social media already plays something of a role in rankings, Penguin 2.0 is likely to make that influence a bit larger. Not all social media platforms are right for industrial B2B SEO, but LinkedIn can be a powerful tool for the industrial market, and Google+ is, of course, designed to interact with Google’s search engine algorithms to maximum effect. Your SEO strategies should include at least these two social media forums—adding more can certainly be beneficial, but it may take some time to determine which platforms are right for your business.
- Guest Blogging, Etc.: While Penguin 2.0 will likely significantly reduce the value of advertorial style links and other similar linkbuilding methods, guest blogging continues to be a popular and effective approach. Sending out PRs and industry- or niche-specific informational articles for publishing on the web can be equally valuable. As mentioned above, content is king, so be sure that your business’s communications team is providing informative, unique content to go along with those oh-so-important backlinks you’re creating.
There’s much more speculation as to what else may included in the Penguin 2.0 release—penalties for tiered link building? Increased use of disavowed link information?—but the full spectrum of the update may never be known, as Google keeps the exact details of their algorithm changes under wraps. The tips and strategies we’ve provided here are by no means a complete guide to navigating the Penguin update, but are some basic good-practices for search engine optimization for industrial websites, and should prove helpful in maintaining your search engine rankings. Or at least until Penguin 3.0 or whatever else Google has in the works is released!