Nearly three years ago, a little bombshell was dropped by Google’s algorithm team, called Google Penguin. This was a major update to the SEO algorithm that was put into place to put many sites into check that were abusing parts of the algorithm to boost rankings. One of the major portions of this algorithm update was the negative effect of spammy links online. This practice was extremely popular three to five years ago to boost your website’s rankings. Previously, if your website had links on other websites, directories or blogs, no matter what that site was, you could potentially receive favor from the Google algorithm.
This ceased with the drop of Penguin and instead became a major penalty. Many sites saw serious drops in their rankings, making it very hard to recover. Shortly after the Penguin drop, Google offered a Penguin recovery practice that enabled you to resubmit for consideration. Businesses were encouraged to remove these spammy links and Google would then reevaluate the overall site SEO strength. Businesses have been submitting over the last two years, but few have seen the results of this recovery.
That changed a few days ago, when Gary Illyes with Google announced via Twitter that these recovery applications would finally hit the rankings. This is to be completed over the next few days. But what does that mean for those with sites hoping to recover or who have not submitted?
It means that those links are now just there. They neither hurt nor help your algorithm, but are still noted in the algorithm as potential high risk sites. Although this fixes the major problem for many businesses, the elephant in the room is still there. What can your business do now that this practice has been implemented?
Follow Tried and True White Hat Practices
Avoid creating spammy links altogether. Link generation is actually a common-sense area. If you are considering adding your link to a specific website, think about this question: Is this website relevant to my industry, region or customer’s interest? If you run a bakery in the Salt Lake City area, does it make sense to have a link to your website on a page that has to do with British mom and pop shops in England? No. These are the types of links that Google will see through quickly. Avoid directories in foreign countries and use only reputable directories. Examples include Angie’s List, BBB, Chamber of Commereces, etc.
Want to learn more about how the Penguin update is hindering your SEO success. Atria is a full-service local and national SEO business that can help boost your brand presence today.