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Google’s “Angry Bird”— Penguin Update Tips

June 21, 2013

On May 22, 2013, Google released the newest in their series of “updates.” Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Spam offered up this official statement:

“We started rolling out the next generation of the Penguin web spam algorithm this afternoon (May 22, 2013), and the rollout is now complete. About 2.3% of English-US queries are affected to the degree that a regular user might notice. The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more web spam will see more impact.

This is the fourth Penguin-related launch Google has done, but because this is an updated algorithm (not just a data refresh); we’ve been referring to this change as Penguin 2.0 internally. For more information on what SEO’s should expect in the coming months, see the video that we recently released.”

So what exactly does all this mean for the average business owner’s website? Rather than waiting around to see what happens, we suggest taking a more proactive approach and assess, and if necessary; re-vamping your website’s content, structure and links.

Understand the intent of the Penguin update

This update is made with a very specific purpose in mind. Although they may not divulge the entire scope of the update, Google has put out enough information to get you started. Be sure you get your information updates from trustworthy sources that constantly research and share information such as Google, SEOMoz’s free MozCast tool, and sites like Search Engine Land and Adeo’s Blog.

Adhere to Google and Bing Webmaster Guidelines!

Search engines have clearly given guidelines that will enable you to optimize your site properly. Start by brushing up on the rules and strategies outlined in the information provided there. Also be sure to check your Webmaster Tools for notices, messages, and notifications. These can give you valuable pointers on where you have problems, if you do end up with problems.

Check out the competition

Take a look at your competitor’s rankings and website. See if you can notice any effects there and what the underlying factors may be. Apply what you find to your own websites.

Take care of known issues

If you know there is questionable content, or potential problems on your website, take care of them right away! If you don’t know how to, or don’t have the time, hire an internet marketing company to do it for you.

Monitor your performance data/analytics

Take note of increases or decreases in traffic, keyword performance, and other analytics. If you start seeing changes in performance, you need to be quick about adjusting your strategies.

All in all, if your goal is to have a high quality website, that meets your user’s expectations and needs, you should get along just fine. If your website is slap-stick quality or cut and paste, now is the perfect time to change that! Shoot for having a website that clearly presents information that is helpful, easy to find and use, educates if necessary, offers further references, is linked with relevant and supportive websites or blogs, and matches your company’s persona.

And remember, if everyone does that, we should in theory, be able to find superb results when we search for things online, which will benefit businesses and consumers alike. If you’d like to discuss how to update your website, or would like to create a new one, give us a call!