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What is the Google Penguin update, and how does it affect websites?

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Google just released a new Webspam algorithm, Penguin update, that’s targeted towards individuals intentionally spamming Google search results or claiming misinformation in order to increase their search engine ranking. The update hopes to return higher quality search results and improve user experience.

Many companies stuff their sites with keywords or include irrelevant backlinks in order to boost their Search Engine Optimization and increase their search engine ranking. With the Penguin update, these sites will lose their Google search engine ranking and will be removed from Google’s search engine results, unless their sites and search engine methods are modified immediately.

The Penguin update aims to reduce irrelevant backlinks to websites. By decreasing search engine rankings and removing websites with irrelevant backlinks from search engine results, Google is hoping to serve better quality search results. To avoid a decrease in your search engine ranking, you need to make sure your site fits into the new guidelines. The best way to do this is to make sure you have quality backlinks.

To make the transition smoother and to increase quality backlinks, Google Engineer Matt Cutts has a few tips that you can follow:

Summary of Matt Cutts’ recommendations to increase quality backlinks and improve your search engine rankings:

  1. Build Great Content
    First and foremost, you need to create great content in order to get quality backlinks and increase your site’s search engine ranking. Create content that is interesting, informative, engaging and even unique. You don’t want to collect one-time visits that will bounce off your site because it has nothing to do with what they’re interested in. People aren’t going to revisit your site if they didn’t find the experience useful and engaging. You want people who stay on your site, interact with it and return to your site. That would prove that your site provides great content and is worthy of getting ranked positively. So before anything else, CREATE GREAT CONTENT!
  2. Create Controversy
    Talking about controversial issues is another method to get people talking and linking to your site, while staying in tune with the Penguin update. In order for this to be effective, you must be careful to avoid frequently ranting about grievances. Controversy can be effective if it is used sparingly. Every so often, share your opinion on a few topics and put it out into the community, but don’t overdo it!
  3. Participate in the community
    If you become an active member in the community, people will, in turn, link to your site. You can start interacting with people by answering questions on relevant blogs or social sites. If you have some useful knowledge, share it. People will welcome your solutions and, in turn, will link to your site. They will also visit your site to discover other information you have to offer.
  4. Newsletters
    If people are regularly visiting your site for information, make the information easier for them to receive. Create a newsletter to keep your users updated on relevant information. Newsletters are also an easy way for users to share your information and click-through to your site.
  5. Social Media
    The majority of individuals on the internet are spending their time on social media. Social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube are great places to get to know your users and other potential users. Find out what type of content they’re looking for and how you can improve their user experience. Share valuable info with them on social site and reference links back to your site with truly relevant information. If you’re doing a presentation and sharing that presentation on live blogs, people may want to download your presentation and share or post your links.
  6. Blog
    Blogging is a simple means of presenting your brand as an authority in your industry. It can present your brand as a credible source in your field, as well as give your brand some personality. Blogging can also be a way to post content on a more regular basis. Whether you’re blogging about questions and answers, how to’s or about something you find interesting, you can engage users and increase links to your site by visitors who wish to share, post or reference your blog on their website, blogs or social site. So make it easy for people to share your blog by having social media and sharing buttons on all your blog pages.
  7. Videos
    Videos are growing in popularity online. Most people will watch a video to get a quick and easy summary of what they are searching for. Videos can inform your users with a splash of entertainment. They are a great way to get visitors to watch or listen to what you have to say. Videos can be used to share information, instructions or experiences in a more engaging way. Vlogging (Video Blogging) is a great way to share your opinion or answer questions in a more personal and interactive way.

With these tips in mind, your site is better prepared to create quality backlinks, drive qualified traffic and improve search engine rankings; thus survive the Penguin update.

… And by the way, if you feel this article was informative and relevant to your marketing needs, pleases feel free to link to it and share it ;-)

Thanks!

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