Any company that depends on its web presence to bring in customers understands that Google is where the lion’s share of that traffic will come from. They are at the mercy of the Mountain View company’s algorithm and any changes can have a drastic impact. Little is known about the latest update, Penguin 2.0, but it appears likely that it will continue to target low quality inbound links.
When rankings can plummet overnight, it’s easy to panic and desperately search for an immediate solution. While there are plenty of SEO companies out there offering a quick fix, most of them will rely on black hat techniques that will ultimately do more harm than good. When it comes to manipulating Google rankings, everything works, but nothing works for long, and a company that promises results at a price that seems too good to be true should be avoided.
The search algorithm is becoming more and more adept at weeding out spam and black hat gimmicks, and the only sustainable way to earn and maintain good rankings is by taking an organic approach. The three pillars of SEO are quality content, high authority links and an active social media presence. A sound strategy will follow Google’s best practices and focus on content that is designed to inform and engage the audience, not impress a search engine. It also needs to be adaptive and able to evolve as new algorithm changes crop up.
Inbound links need to be the type that are earned from high authority sources, as opposed to the low quality variety that are bought in bulk from black hat SEO companies. Business owners should also realize that their future depends to a great extent on user content, and to attract this they should be active on social media platforms. The customers on Facebook and Twitter are the people that will bookmark a website and drive up its position in search results.
The first order of business should be to eliminate the low quality links that appear to be a red flag to Penguin 2.0. First identify the problem links using Google’s webmaster tools and then ask the sources of these links to remove them. Even though this only works 5-10 percent of the time, it has to be the first step. After doing this, webmaster tools can be used to disavow the links before resubmitting the website.
This is not something that will work overnight, and it can take months before a site is recrawled and a ranking is restored. However, a proactive approach to SEO that focuses on the three pillars will go a long way towards ensuring that a business is less vulnerable to the next algorithm update.