April, 24, 2012 is a date many marketers will remember for a long time. It is the date Google launched yet another “automatice” update. Many businesses and sites were affected by this latest update and in fact many are even throwing their hands in the air not knowing what to do or why their site was affected with this recent update. Sites that were once ranking on the first page, cannot even be found.
As you all know, Google is in business to provide their viewers with what they are searching for. In order to do so, they have to make sure viewers are seeing the most relevant, unique content or else they loose part of their market share go somewhere else to find better results. So what did “operation penguin” do in order to “clean house” so to speak?
Well, as we’ve always told our clients, it’s all about quality, not quantity. Google is looking for sites that play by their rules. Most professionals in this business know how to get top rankings by “manipulating” the system with black hat strategies, however, it’s inevitable that Google will continue to launch updates, therefore those strategies are very short lived and is what we are seeing with this newest update.
We are seeing that one of the biggest penalties is the over optimization of links and their anchor text. Google wants to see a natural variety of anchor texts links instead of all keyword specific. The more natural it looks the better and less spammy. Along with the anchor text, we’ve also heard that Google is giving a lot more credit to those who have inbound links from similar niche sites. So basically they are putting less emphasis on anchor text and more on the quality of site that is linking to yours.
So what can you do if you were one of the sites affected?
Do what we’ve always told our clients to do… Build it right the first time and you won’t have to worry down the road. Build out good content pages or micro-sites. Don’t spin articles anymore, Google is catching on. Randomize your anchor text. Find good sources to link to you. Play by the rules. Google is all about high quality. Good content. Good ethics. Yes, it’s a lot harder and takes more time, but it’s worth it in the end.