Taking On Penguin 2.0: How To Recover and Institute Best Practices

penguin 2-0

Did you make it through Penguin 2.0? Even if you survived the update unscathed, this latest Google attack on link building probably struck fear into your heart. However, many sites got hit with harsh penalties that are killing their business.

So how do you recover? The short answer is that SEOs still aren’t exactly sure. Yes, we know that Penguin 2.0 is focused on squashing unnatural or artificial links, but we’re still a long way from completely understanding what a site must do to regain its rankings. Some Penguin 1.0 penalties still haven’t been removed, so it may take us a while to fully grasp the implications of this update.

The Road to Recovery

Google’s ultimate goal is to ensure balance and moderation in all of our SEO practices. The key to avoiding a Penguin penalty is to present a link profile that isn’t too heavily weighted in certain areas. Those nasty penalties appear when your site sets off too many red flags.

So is intentional link building dead? No, but you have to exercise caution. One of the current theories is that Penguin 2.0 examines the ratios within your link profile as they compare you to your competition. Regardless, the components that are going to tip Google off are links from poor quality sites, links from irrelevant sites, and any links that you had to pay for, to name a few. Penguin 2.0 also seems to penalize high densities of money keywords in your anchor text.

If you’ve been hit with a penalty, it’s time to perform a link audit. There are plenty of tools out there, but I recommend Link Detox. Your link audit can help you discover which links are toxic. Don’t hesitate to disavow those links!

Once you eliminate unnatural links, the best thing you can do for your site is to focus on gaining healthy, high quality links. Use guest posts, above-board links from competitors, and social media shares to rebuild your image. Just make sure that all of these new links are relevant to your brand!

When you’re sure that you’ve improved your link profile, you can submit a reconsideration request to Google. Again, we’re still not 100% sure how long it will take to recover, but all you can do is follow due process and practice high quality SEO.

A Quick Refresher On Penguin

Still not sure you understand what happened in May? Essentially, Google released an update to their Penguin 1.0 algorithm that served heavy penalties to site with link profiles that look contrived. Penguin 2.0 fits right in with Google’s never-ending quest to offer searchers highly relevant SERPs. Sites with stellar content and a great user experience have nothing to worry about!

Did your website take a hit from Penguin 2.0? What white-hat SEO practices are you sticking with for your business site?

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Sarah Beth

Sarah Beth Wiltse earned her BA in English at Boston University. Though she currently lives in Dallas, TX, she spent a year in Paris, France after college, cultivating her love of the French language and a passion for travelling. She has spent much of her life developing her skills in the arts, primarily as a ballerina, violinist, and pianist - and now, a writer! Follow her on Twitter!

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