The Penguin algorithm is designed to target SEO techniques that have been primarily focussed on marketing a small number of keywords, therefore appearing un-natural within the back-link profile.
Other changes include the loss of priority of exact match domain names, duplicate content and duplicate meta-data within website pages.
As Google Engineer Matt Cutts commented this week, "It's gonna have a pretty big impact on web spam," and "It's a brand new generation of algorithms. The previous iteration of Penguin would essentially only look at the home page of a site. The newer generation of Penguin goes much deeper and has a really big impact in certain small areas."
So Google are cranking up their response to black-hat SEO techniques but this is also affecting websites that have a long history of SEO. It used to be common place to work on ten or twenty main keywords and Google's latest updates are now going back even further and devaluing links that are heavily focused on just a few terms.
Links that are on websites that Google class as spam such as link farms, directories and blog networks are also being heavily penalised and these days the old 301 redirect doesn't work – penalties are being passed on.
As always, Google are moving closer towards their goal of only allowing natural SEO to make a difference which is why content marketing is the only way to guarantee SEO success, long-term. Ascensor operate a content marketing strategy that involves many link sources from video to social to journals and wiki’s to create balance.
Breaking down the latest update into its component parts is well underway and we are working hard to establish exactly what the latest changes mean so that we can quickly make modifications to our SEO procedures to ensure our clients websites keep going in the right direction.
Google continuously make changes to stay one-step ahead of SEO professionals and it is our job to understand the effects and to change our working practices and keep up. An algorithm is a mathematical formula, by closely monitoring the SERPS we were able to quickly calculate the changes must have been made to effect the results in the way they have, therefore reverse engineering the pattern and enhancing our understanding of the way Google structures it’s results.
Fortunately for most of our clients the Google updates are a positive thing, as their competitors head down the index they benefit from net growth. For the clients it has affected we are working with them to make the necessary on-site modifications and review the back-link profiles to quickly recover.
Life would be boring if Google didn't keep us on our toes… :)
Have you noticed changes in your search engine positions or a drop in traffic? Please use the comments below to tell us how your website has been affected.