Whether you’ve ever been a fan of the black and white creatures we call penguins in the past or not, the odds are good that if you do business online or depend on a website for commerce, you’ve had a few choice words about the animal over the past several weeks. The reason for these choice words and evil thoughts isn’t the fault of the animals, but of Google for naming their current product of torture for internet marketers after them.
For many in the world of online marketing, Google Penguin version 1.0 was the shot heard around the internet. Top ranking sites were suddenly nowhere to be found in search engine results. Some began to rise again once the dust settled. For the most part, though, those that fell out of favor in the initial days of Penguin had to make significant changes in order to once again appeal to the search engine giant’s good graces. That’s why so many feared Penguin 2.0 and continue to do so.
What Are the Pertinent Facts about Google Penguin 2.0?
Much like the original Penguin release, Penguin 2.0 had an immediate and frightening effect on people who have been following traditional SEO methods that focused on link building. While links continue to have importance with the latest incarnation of Penguin, how you got those links is now more important than it has been in the past.
Google still believes that links to your site are an excellent gauge of popularity and, by default, usefulness. This includes links from other blogs, websites etc. that value your site. However, when Google feels like webmasters are “gaming” the system in an attempt to build links (paid links, low-value forum profile links, links from blog comments, and even low level article directory links), they devalue or punish those links.
The Silver Lining That Comes with Penguin 2.0
This time around, Google has sent a bit of a lifeline to webmasters who may have followed bad advice or have simply been naughty by employing black hat tactics for link building in the past. In fact, they’ve now given webmasters two lifelines. The “phone a friend” option will just have to wait until the release of Penguin 3.0, it seems.
First, you can quickly restore some lost ranking by going through and removing any questionable links into your website. This provides the quickest possible fix. Remove the links that Google doesn’t like whenever possible and wherever you have access.
That’s great for things like article directories, where you have access to go in and do just that. However, you don’t always have access to the “junk” links Google dislikes so much. Rather than continuing to punish you for misdeeds of the past, Google has provided the Disavow tool. However, before you dive right in and start disavowing links pointing to your website or blog, you should understand that even Google urges great caution before utilizing this tool. Using it without restraint could actually harm your site’s performance in search engine results.
While the shock and fear of losing ranking overnight is hard to overcome, and it may take some time to build your website(s) back to the pre-Penguin 2.0 status and earnings, Google has, this time, provided a little bit of a roadmap to help you find your way back into their good graces.