Matt Cutts during his SMX talk indicated that a new Penguin update would be rolled out shortly, likely late this week or early next week. So what does that mean to you?
For some it will be a great update with a lot of upward movement. For others, it will mean lost rankings yet again. Of course we don’t know what Google has planned, but we can infer from past updates and the name cited in this new update as to what we can expect.
The Penguin update was an update that targeted web spam. It’s goal was to remove spammy results from the search engine rankings. It did this by a number of means, but the easiest way to think about it would be an over optimization penalty. If you build links to your site with only your main keywords as the anchor text, if you get all of your links from a link network or if you keyword stuff or hide text it is likely this penalty will further erode your rankings.
On the other hand if you have been improving your SEO link profile to include a wide variety of phrases as we have been suggesting, getting links from a wide variety of places, building links on a very regular and consistant basis (preferably by hand) and writing better and original content, you could see an improvement in your rankings during this update.
Give way to PenguinsOne thing many people are not aware of is that the large moves based on the Penguin update are not daily moves. They are enacted on the Penguin updates. So if your site got hit hard last Penguin update, chances are you would not see a lot of upward movement between then and now even if you were doing everything right. One reason we believe it is set up this way is so that it is more difficult to ‘reverse engineer’ this update. If you could make changes and see results on the fly it would be very easy for many spammers that Google is targeting to simply change tactics and continue to adjust to keep their rankings.
Instead Google is making you wait for updates to really see results. This means that those true website owners who are small businesses or legitmate sites who are really trying to do things right and have taken a long term approach to staying within gidelines are going to benefit most. They key we have been focusing on is anchor text variations. If you have not already, read our post about the proper anchor text mix. Combine that with a low cost monthly service that gives you link sources to build to by hand like this one and you can create a monthly stream of links to your site with the right anchor text mix. If you are able to get a couple high quality PR links from sites related to yours each month along with this steady stream of links, your link profile will look much more natural and chances are you will see the benefits in the search engines.