A short while ago – on Friday September 2nd to be exact – SEOs around the world began to notice something going on with their rankings.
Something was happening with Google’s search algorithm, as it has done so often in the past.
What could it mean? A standard update, or something more significant? Word went around that this was the latest incarnation of the Penguin update (the 2012 algorithm update that had a huge impact on link-building practices).
So what was going on? Was there another huge update to start worrying about?
Not Yet … But Soon
It seems that this update was not a Penguin update. According to sources in the know, it was just one of the many standard updates that Google carries out on a regular basis.
So, not the big one. Not Penguin. And there is nothing official from Google on the matter, which means it is almost certainly nothing major.
However, it is a helpful reminder to anyone involved in SEO that a Penguin update is almost certainly imminent.
The last one occurred a whole year ago, hence why the SEO crowd was so quick to think the next one had arrived.
And that means now is as good a time as any to prepare for it.
How to Prepare for the Next Penguin Update
The original Penguin update penalised sites that tried to abuse the system by getting huge numbers of spam links, sites involved in link schemes, those trying to cheat the system, people buying links and sites using link farms.
Overall, it was a very good thing.
These days there is more focus on obtaining better links, something good SEOs have been doing all along, and building more organic back-link profiles.
If you are concerned at all about the impact of the next Penguin update, now is a great time to take a close look at your site’s links.
Where do they come from? Are they legitimate? Has anyone been deliberately building spam links to your site (negative SEO)? If so, you might need to clear out some links to be on the safe side.
Have you ever been involved in a link scheme? These have long since failed to be effective, but now is the time to get rid of those links before a future update hurts you.
Also, are most of your links from relevant pages and relevant domains? Are they natural links from editorial sources? Or are they made up of forum links, comment links?
There is nothing wrong with these links especially, as long as they are legit. However, if you have paid someone for comment spam, this could hurt your rankings.
Rather than just removing bad links, now is also a good time to start building higher-quality links. Make sure you are not using the same anchor text for all your links, and focus on creating high-quality content that will get shared and build links naturally.
You could also go through your internal links, which have an effect on how the search engines crawl your website.
When the update hits, there will be no warning, so make sure your website is in order before that happens.
If you don’t feel like making all the checks yourself, you might want us to do it for you. If you think you might be affected by a big algorithm update, start with an SEO audit of your site, and make sure everything is in order so you are prepared when the next update hits.
As a specialist digital marketing agency consisting of a number of highly experienced digital consultants, Web Results Direct is expertly placed to support its clients with advanced, and strategic, digital marketing consulting services. To learn more contact us – call us now on 01483 429222