Google revealed, that their Penguin 2.0 update affected 2.3 % of English/US queries. That doesn’t sound too bad, but if you look at the scheme of their algorithm updates, it was the third biggest number until now.

Penguin 3.0 coming soon
Image: natanaeloliveira.com

The publishing of penguin 2.0 had an impact on the traffic of thousands of sites, you may have experienced a drop in traffic on your own sites. Some webmasters reported a decrease in traffic of up to 90%, which basically brought an end to their business and stopped any online-revenue.

Can you imagine what would happen if your website lost this amount of traffic in one day?

Today, many rumors are going around the web saying Penguin 3.0 is about to hit. We want to share some information about the aims of Penguin updates and let you know how to stay safe so your business wont suffer like many others.

What is Penguin all about?

Every search engine algorithm update is implemented to fight spam and generate more relevant search results. Just like Penguin 2.0. Originally, it was called the “Webspam Update”, until the “Penguin” nickname was popular enough to stay.  So the penguins are fighting webspam. But what exactly are the updates aiming at?

-Spammy Backlinks: Inbound links from low quality websites.

-Exact matching anchor text: Anchor text that matches the pages’ name.

-Optimized anchor text: Anchor text with keywords.

-Paid links: Links that look overly sponsored

-Irrelevant links: Backlinks that seem irrelevant to the pages’ content. Like a dog food page linking to a computer equipment website.

After all, Google is aiming to provide a real, quality user experience for people searching on the internet. Do irrelevant links really help the end user?

What can you do to keep Penguin 3.0 from striking you?

Now you know what Penguin updates are targeting, so it’s time to look at your website and see if you need to make any changes.

First I would check your link profile and audit your website. If Penguin 3.0 will be launched and you’re penalized, you will have some long lasting issues, so it’s better to be proactive and prepared. Work smart, as I always say.

Here’s an overview of the topics your website audit should focus on:

Removing links from spam sites:

Get rid of every link that might be spammy. You will be surprised how many spam websites link to your page. A simple audit may reveal dozens of off-topic and low quality sites you were not aware of. Remove them! They can get you a serious penalty. You can always add good links later, but make sure to get rid of any possible dangers.

Remove guest blogging links:

If you’ve ever made use of a guest blogging network, remove those links as soon as you can. Find out which sites sent you links by checking the records of your guest blogging network accounts, or the records you’ve kept yourself. If you have control over these links, delete them yourself. Otherwise contact the webmasters and ask them to do it for you.

Removing exact match and optimized anchor text:

When the non-URL title of a page is corresponding to the anchor text, you’re dealing with an exact match. For example, if the anchor text “cheap smart phones” leads to the page www.phoneexample.com/cheap-smart-phones, it is a link you should remove.

If you find anchors which seem overly optimized, you should remove them too. You may not like this process, because you have to remove links that seem to add value to your site. However, if you want to present a healthy link profile to Google, this is an important step.

‘Nofollow’ your guest post links:

If you’ve built many links from guest posting, particularly when you aimed at manipulating the search results, you should delete those links. Ask the webmasters of the pages you’ve guest-posted on to ‘nofollow’ the links going to your page. If you have author accounts, you can do it yourself. If you’ve made use of rich anchor texts within your guest post, it increases your chance of being hit by Penguin 3.0, so hopefully you didn’t.

To sum up the Penguin:

Steering clear of penalties by Penguin 3.0 is just like avoiding the consequences of other penalties. Try to be particularly defensive when it comes to the targets of the last Penguin updates. Even if you think you’re safe, performing these duties can only help your link profile. It’s always good to clean up your website, and it definitely won’t hurt your performance.

If you have any further questions regarding the possible dangers of Penguin 3.0, or if you need help with your website auditing, you can contact us anytime.