Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Penguin 3.0, Panda or Some Kind of Roll Back? Surely, Something is Going on in Google....

Google has been making some changes on its ranking algorithm since the start of this month. I have seen several ranking fluctuations going on. Although, there is no confirmation from Google in this regard but still the Mozcast indicates some kind of activity going around in Google flux. May 16th, 17th and May 19th, 2014 saw a higher flux which clearly indicates some internal changes being carried out by Google.


Without the official confirmation, it is hard to tell what's going on but it is more likely that either Penguin 3.0 (the earlier Penguin update was Penguin 2.0), some Panda refresh or may be some roll back is in progress.

Which Sites Will Get Hit by Penguin 3.0 Update?

Penguin 3.0 will hit sites having unnatural link profiles, links from same ip's, too many links from affiliate resources, similar anchor text links, bad neighbourhood links etc. Overall, any site violating the Google Webmasters guidelines and following an active link building strategy using spammy guest posting, paid linking, excessive exact match anchor text links are set to get penalized by this update. 

How to Remain Safe?

The best way to remain safe from the Penguin update is to carry out an ongoing link analysis and try to get the spammy links removed. If removal is not possible then disavowing them is the preferred option. Also, care should be taken that no link to bad neighbourhood should be given from the main site. Spammy links can cause a greater harm to the overall site. Exact match anchor links should be avoided and instead naked URL's or brand name anchors should be used for the best results.

What to Do If My Site Gets Hit?

If in case your site gets hit from the future Penguin updates then follow the steps given below:

1- Carry out a complete link audit of your website using tools like Ahrefs or Link Detox.

2- Mark the links as "spammy" or "natural". All unnatural links should be marked as spammy.

3- Take steps to remove backlinks coming from low quality and spammy domains. Links from low quality article syndication sites, low quality bookmarking sites etc should also be removed or be made nofollow.

4- Create and submit a disavow file for the links that you were unable to remove.

5- Check the anchor text ratio of the site, if the overall anchor text ratio points to 2-3 main keywords then that might look spammy. The best way is to use the brand name while linking to the site. Forget anchor text and use contextual co-occurence and co-citations as a strategy to correct the spammy links.

6- Sites having too many links from link farms are at a greater risk from this update. Repeated affiliate links taken in an unnatural manner can cause a problem. So, refrain from taking them in an unnatural manner. 

7- Don't stop earning backlinks, try to get links from trusted seeds.

I have a hunch that the coming Penguin 3.0 update will take on low quality guest posting links, affiliate links and paid links. Sites that are maintaining a high trusted seed link ratio along with a higher percentage of brand match anchor text will remain safe when this update takes place.

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