Penguin 2.1: What Changes Have Occurred Since 2.0 and How To Recover From It

You can call it the latest version of Google's web spam hunting algorithm or just an honest attempt to improve the online experience, either way the 5th edition of the famous Penguin update (Penguin 2.1) that was released on October 4th 2013 has had quite a lot of web owners on the edge of their seats. With the last update (Penguin 2.0) affecting approximately 2.3% of web queries, Penguin 2.1 definitely had webmasters scuffling around. So what's the difference between the two? Well, the latter has the ability to deeply analyze deeper-level pages and identify spam activities therein.

Understanding Penguin 2.1

This update targets spammy links lacking page ranks, so if you are fond of spinning content then you are most likely to get hit. On the other hand, if you do provide readable and manually spun content that actually offers relevant information, then you are on safe grounds.


How can you tell if your site has been hit?

  • Significant drop in web sales
  • Significant drop in web sales
  • Sudden drop in traffic to your site
Have you noticed any of the listed signs? Don't panic! Fortunately, this article will provide you with a recovery plan that is bound to get you back in business!


The Road To Recovery

1. Pinpoint The Problem

It’s best to realize that Google is only out to improve its services and ensure its clients get nothing short of the best. With this said, check out your site and try to root out the problem. Do you have spammy links in your site? Do you have anchor texts that appear too robotic? Have you over optimized your site? Do you have an ungodly amount of links to your sites homepage and none pointing to internal pages? All these should be considered in your plan to recover. Remember, only by knowing your problems will you be able to fully recover from Penguin 2.1.


2. Build Credible, Authoritative And Reputable Inbound Links

Links have and always will be important in the SEO world. In fact, it is accurate to conclude that links are the core of the search engine algorithm changes. This can be attributed to the fact that a great number of SEO campaigns often choose to build countless spammy links all in the bid to boost their online presence on SERP's. Enter Penguin 2.1, where sites using such shoddy techniques are really taking a hard hit. This algorithm can identify sites that are using spammy links and distinguish them from those that deserve credibility. So whether you are guest blogging or consulting with an SEO agent, always insist on high quality links for your site. There are numerous ways to build quality inbound links including social bookmarking, blogging and cross-linking just to mention a few. At the same time, you also need to make sure that unnatural links aren't being added to your site as time goes by; this is what got most web owners hit by Penguin 2.1. Regularly remove spammy links and avoid targeting specific URLs on spammy domains.


3. Maintain Activities On Social Sites

It is no secret that social media does hold a strong position in the operation of search engines, therefore make the most of this by creating a strong social presence. Your online presence will give you a face, so take caution as this could work either way for you. However, do not forget the fact that you are dealing with social sites, avoid pushing sales, updates and comments down your 'friends' throats, instead interact with potential clients and really get to know your market. Also, Google wants to see that you are active on social sites so get a profile on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn along with other giant social sites. Note that the greater your domain diversity including editorial content, press release posting and blog commenting, the less likely Penguin 2.1 will have an effect on your site.


4. Slow Down!

Try to ease up on whatever you are overdoing. Whether you have an overly high anchor text distribution or are solely focusing on building links to your homepage, the idea is to simply ease up. Consider getting tools that can scan your website and tell you how many of your links are 'over-optimized'. After the scan, these tools provide a downloadable report that details how many links are pointing to your domain and the anchor text for your link. In most cases, you will find that 2 or more keywords vastly outnumber the rest leading to a very noticeable alert. This will help you clean out your site and recover successfully.


5. Adopt A Long Term Strategy

6. Content is King

The content marketing world is always changing to suit the best SEO. And in this information age, traditional advertising strategies are starting to lose their luster, meaning your best shot at getting your products and services out there is by perfecting the art of SEO. However, central to this ever shifting paradigm is content. Always aim to attract traffic not by selling them your brand, but by entertaining, creating interest and providing compelling content that will influence the visitors without making any explicit and irritating sales pitches. Having your site penalized by Google's updated algorithms can be frustrating. However, one thing is for certain, Google won't stop making these updates, the ball is in your turf, make the right move and help your site and business stay on top of the competition.


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