Google's most recent update to its search algorithm called the Penguin Update is Google’s way to even the playing field between website’s that deserve to be ranked highly and websites that in the past have ranked well strictly due to search engine optimization. Many sites recently have fallen out of page one ranking with the Penguin update and the site owners are now asking themselves why.
Google has long time stated that they aren’t against search engine optimization (although some search engine optimizers would argue with that). They want you to follow certain rules that will allow them to figure out what your site is about so that the most relevant websites will come up in search. However, Google has also stated for a long time that they don’t want sites to be overly optimized (i.e. buying backlinks).
Pixo has looked at a lot of data since the Penguin Update and what we have found is a consistent pattern to sites that were hit and not hit with the Penguin Update. Only 3% of the sites that Pixo does search engine optimization for were inversely affected by the Penguin update but we wanted to know why. What we found was interesting.
Every single site we looked at that dropped in ranking after the Penguin Update had keyword heavy link text in over 60% of its incoming links. On the other hand, the sites that were not hit by the update tended to have more random usage of text used in its links. Having over 60% of your link text being heavily keywords did not guarantee that your site would be hit by the penalty (many of the sites not affected had numbers just as bad), but if under 50% of your anchor text for incoming links were “keywords” it’s almost guarantees that your site’s ranking will be affected by this update.
Another pattern that we have seen with sites that were affected by the Penguin Update is sites that do not use natural language in the site content where there is blatantly too many keywords in the text. Google has gotten very smart over the last 3 years when it comes to spammy site content and Google is now penalizing sites that don’t follow the rules.
We see many of these changes as good for search engine optimization. It does make search engine optimization more challenging in some ways but we’ve always found that good optimization has always followed the rules of good content and quality backlinks. Our clients enjoy very good ranking because of it.
To find out more about search engine optimization for your website contact Pixo.