Well, what a few weeks it’s been for many website owners! If your website has slid down the rankings in the last week then there is a pretty strong chance that your website has been pulled up as part of Googles major algorithm change – the Penguin Update.

On April 24th Google released their first major update of the year, and just like last year’s Panda update many websites have experienced a huge positional shift.

One of the key changes that this update has had is that Google is now looking for websites to have a large proportion of their backlinks constructed in a natural format ie not keyword rich. This means that websites should have a high proportion of their links containing non-descript anchor text eg ‘click here’, ‘go to website’ etc. Sources suggest that websites where more than 50% of their in-bound links are keyword rich may have large proportions of their links de-valued.

These changes have had massive repercussions, there is even a petition available to try and get Google to consider reversing the update. As always Google maintain that their only concern is in delivering the most relevant traffic to a search query. The update has caused up-roar as white-hat SEO companies have continuously strived to provide natural looking link profiles, this further step towards an even greater natural appearance looks set to undermine significant volumes of work.

But is it all doom and gloom? Well it is likely that the update will be refined over the coming months as usual and so expect further turbulence in rankings. The best way to begin to stabilise your website is to start to build non-contextual linking into your strategy, combining keyword rich and non-descript in roughly even amounts. Be careful not sway too far the other way, this mistake will likely lead to penalties for over optimisation.

As with all Google updates it is very important not to panic, the best way to navigate through is by changing the link building strategy to suit and over-time the positions will begin to improve. It is impossible to reverse the effect and so knee jerk reactions are likely to be even more damaging. These changes are causing links to be devalued, as far as we are aware sites are not being penalised.

Remember – Google’s master-plan is to provide the most relevant results to the searcher by ranking websites based recommendation. The non-contextual linking requirement has always been there; ensure that it is now a key part of your SEO company’s strategy.

Ascensor provide SEO Leeds and London

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