Understanding the Penguin Update

If you have been actively marketing your practice online and have been compulsively checking your site’s ranking, chances are you are pulling your hair over the last Google update. The “over optimization penalty” or “Penguin update” is by far one of the most significant algorithm change since the 2003 Florida one. Whether this is a legitimate Google effort to return the best relevant results for its searches or a move to further capitalize on its quasi search Monopole by stirring away from Organic optimization to its pay per click program, the verdict is still out.

So what does the “Penguin update” mean to you?

If you have done things right, you will have seen some loss in rankings for few keywords, if your SEO tactics where somewhere in the grey area then your website is definitely thrown way back in the darkness of Google.

Should you panic?

Yes and No! You have a serious problem If your site’s rankings has been badly damaged, engage or engaged in reciprocal linking, if your SEO consultant does not have  both a solid theory that holds water and a strategy to implement. In any case you should reconsider your SEO techniques and completely change course before it is too late.
The good news is that this algorithm update has affected about everyone and you are not alone in it. Not very comforting since rankings affect your bottom line, but the point is that this is a change in the search engine environment and those medical practices that adapt will definitely have the competitive advantage over their competition.
This update mainly attempts to address link building, an indication that link building does work! So let’s talk about some of the Flags to watch for in your link inventory.

1 – Exact-Match Anchor text links
I believe this is the biggest one! As a best practice we have always done the following: Make the link building process as NATURAL as possible.
-Don’t abusively use the same anchor text not matter how important that keyword is to you. Instead use semantic variations of the keyword as well as other keywords.
-Webmasters won’t link to your site with an anchor text so also use a regular link (Naked Link) and certainly not just with the one you want.

2 – Mass directories/Networks
Any site, directory or network that actively advertises their services as SEO friendly should at least raise eyebrows. Getting most of your links from perfectly “optimized” site is NOT a natural occurrence.

3 – Linking From Dubious Sources
Building your SEO profile online with expediency in mind instead of actively making sure that your SEO profile is as natural can be deadly. Just ask buildmyrank.com that has seen 3000 of its link building sites banned in one single day. The bans devastated that company and had to close its doors.

4 – Link Frequency
Again If it is not naturally occurring sooner or later Google will catch up with it.
– Don’t perform your link building in one day
– Don’t perform your submission the same day each month
No matter how much budget you allocate into your SEO campaign, 50,000 links in one day will do you no good and will lead to zero change in ranking.

5 – Automated, Scheduled processes, unnatural backlinks
Anything that contains automated and scheduled are a no-no…That is one reason quality SEO is costly: It simply has to be done manually. Think of your link building like sharing YouTube videos. Web surfers don’t all share videos on the same day at the same time and get viewed the same number of times and get all described with the same words. Keep your link building unpredictable and link build throughout the month.

6 – Neglecting inner pages can be costly
People share sites but also things they find interesting. Is that not the same you would say? Not really. Consider a medical scrubs website, some people will find the site interesting and share it, but other will share individual scrub pants, lab coats and jackets. So link build naturally and promote all of your site.

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