When you search for something on Google as a consumer, you want the most relevant results. As a business, you want your website to rank highly among those results. Part of Firm Media’s work is helping companies achieve this goal through a process called SEO, or search engine optimization.

However, SEO is always changing because Google is working constantly to improve the relevancy of its search engine results. That’s where “Penguin” waddles in.

Penguin is Google’s name for an algorithm update that took place on April 24. The consensus among professional SEOs is that Penguin targets webpages that rely on spamming techniques to improve their rankings. Two of the most likely spam signals…

Overuse of optimized anchor text: When people share a link to a website, like widgets.com, they naturally will use different anchor text to create these links. “Widgets.com”, get widgets here”, “click here”, and “buy widgets” are some examples of this. Google smells spam when many links for a page use the same keyword-focused anchor text. It suggests that few users are sharing the site organically and that the page owner is trying to manipulate rankings.

Links from unrelated sources: Microsite Masters makes the case that websites penalized by Penguin generally have few links from sites in the same niche. If a website sells auto parts and many links to it come from discussion boards about beauty products and celebrity gossip, it signals to Google that the auto parts website is behind the posting of these irrelevant links.

Google will likely continue to update Penguin with other spam signals. What does this mean for your business?

  1. Illegitimate, “black hat” SEO techniques put your company at risk. Penguin is targeting websites that are trying to game the system.
  2. Businesses that utilize appropriate, “white hat” techniques can rise in the search results more rapidly because spam sites are being filtered.
  3. Your business needs to stay informed about which techniques fall into which category.

Firm Media focuses only on “white hat” search engine optimization, high-quality content and long-term, effective results in rankings. We invite you to get in touch and to learn more about avoiding the Penguin.