Just when you thought you could breathe a sigh of relief, Google launched the next major update to its search engine and ranking algorithms. The previous Panda and Penguin updates caused panic among bloggers, content writers and businesses and this new update is no different.
The new set of updates is aptly named Penguin 2.0 – meaning that it continues to improve on the work that the original Penguin algorithm update had started. Google has always maintained that it wants to improve the overall quality of content on the Internet and that it wants to provide people with the best and most relevant search results.
Penguin 2.0 was developed and released to help Google slowly clean up online content. This algorithm update, as the name suggests, is the next version of the Penguin algorithm update and it is better than the original Penguin update at detecting suspicious link building activities. With this update, Google is hoping to improve the ranking of original, well-written and interesting content and weeding out the websites using bad link building techniques to improve rankings.
Purpose of Penguin 2.0
Online content creators, publishers and web masters often include links in content that are not spammy but are completely irrelevant to the topic and the content. This is done to gather as many inbound links as possible but the links make no sense in the content. Google wants to put an end to this link building technique. According to Matt Cutts, bloggers and online writers should follow the example of researchers and academic papers. A link in online content should be like a citation in academic papers – completely relevant and useful to the content. Basically a publisher should link to other articles only if they have actually used those articles as sources or inspiration.
Publishers cannot simply link to other blog posts to get some traction for old content. The links need to be completely relevant to the content of the blog post if a publisher wishes to remain unharmed from Penguin 2.0. This latest algorithm update was released a month ago and quite a few websites have been hit hard because of it.
The Penguin 2.0 update is specifically targeted towards guest-blogging. Many businesses and bloggers use guest-blogging as a means to get more inbound links to their websites. Most often, the guest posts are riddled with links to the author’s website and product pages that are not relevant to the content of the guest post at all. As a publisher, stop linking to your site and other articles from your content. Don’t guest blog just for the sake of building links. Instead, use guest blogging to build your reputation.
Moreover, when you are posting on your blog, do not link to archived posts just to drive traffic to old content. Instead, link to sources that have actually helped you write your blog post. Make sure you link to quality web pages and refrain from linking to one web page several times. It actually helps if you link to many authority sources of information. Most importantly, this update goes to show that you do not have to link to other web pages when you publish content. So if you have written an original and interesting blog post without referring to or lifting material from other websites, then don’t put any links in the post at all. Google wants quality content – not a bunch of links!
Keep AuthorRank in mind
Matt Cutts has also said that Google will be focusing more on AuthorRank with this new algorithm update. This means that Google is on the lookout for authors or sources of information that regularly publish excellent content and content from these authors or sources will automatically rank higher. The history of content from an author is crucial. Make sure your blog has only high-quality and relevant posts. Remove the ones you think are too spammy or poorly written.
Make it a point to publish good quality content from now on that people will love to share. You do not have to worry about publishing content in the same place. Google will find your high-quality content irrespective of where it has been published as long as you have published it under the same author name.
Infographics are all the rage nowadays as they are interesting, visually appealing and informative. However, many websites are misusing infographics and publishing poor-quality ones just to get more shares and engagement. Penguin 2.0 is the first algorithm update that is also targeted at finding and penalizing poor-quality infographics. Such infographics have no relation whatsoever with the content of the website or have been copied from other blogs and websites. Either create your own high-quality infographics or use only ones that are relevant to your content.
Most importantly, as a publisher your focus should be on creating content that is extremely share-worthy instead of on link building. Use social media channels to promote your blog posts but refrain from suspicious link building activities.