In April 2012 Google introduced an algorithm called Penguin with the goal of penalising websites spamming the search results. The particular focus was on sites who used link schemes to manipulate search rankings. Penguin works by seeking out inorganic links i.e. those links which are bought or placed solely for the sake of improving search rankings. Prior to Penguin bad links would be devalued and needed replacing in order to recover search rankings.

The recently released version 4.0 of Google’s Penguin went real time. This means a site will be penalized in near real-time (if it gets unnatural links) as well as recover from a penalty incredibly quickly (if the bad links are disavowed or removed.

Here are some key features of Penguin 4.0

  • Penguin 4.0 was released for all countries and languages at the same time making the rules the same for everyone
  • Penguin is real-time now. Both the positive and negative impacts of your actions will become noticeable faster
  • The real-time algorithm allows you to recover from a Google penalty faster
  • From now on, Penguin is a part of Google’s core algorithm, not a separate filter
  • Penguin is becoming more granular, the algorithm is now focused on the specific pages toxic links are pointing to, rather than on the whole websites

Here are some quick pointers on how to avoid being penalised by Penguin

  1. Watch comments on you blogs; when you submit a comment, you’re requested to add a name, email and web address. The blogging system will then turn your name into ‘anchor text’ and use it as a link back to your website. If you add the same thing every time you post, you could find your anchor text ratio hitting dangerously high levels.
  2. Built your trust by ensuring you do not link with untrusted sites.
  3. Avoid active link building as this is akin to manipulation. Rather focus on producing great content
  4. Never buy links: in all likelihood those selling the links are doing so to many others and you risk being lumped together with other sites with the same links.
  5. Use the services of Digital Marketing Services companies such as WSIOMS who are experts in SEO and who have a track record in the field.
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