Google 3.0 Is Rolling Out

Link building was changed forever following the release of Google’s Penguin algorithm in April 2012. Before that, having links to and from other sites didn’t do a lot of harm however, that all changed in 2012. Following the initial Penguin rollout, many websites have either dropped down the rankings or disappeared completely as a result. Any even slightly dubious linking will now be detrimental to your website and should be avoided completely.

This does not mean that there shouldn’t be any links at all, that would not be natural and would therefore incur scrutiny or even dismissal from Google. The most desirable links are those from authority sites pointing to yours, these are however, very difficult to achieve but you can still make good gains by having links to good quality relevant sites.

It is always a good idea to check links from time to time to ensure that they are of good quality and that they are relevant to your niche. The rule of thumb is that if a link does not look or feel natural, get rid of it. Ask yourself if you really want to be associated with toxic sites such as gambling, pornographic, pharmacies and paid for links. These types of sites are going to damage your site’s reputation with Google and as such you could be penalised for being associated with them.

As well as avoiding damaging sites, you should also be aware of how and where you place links within content. Be aware of what you are putting into the anchor text so that it is very relevant and is going to be beneficial to the reader. It is not at all natural to have lots of links contained within ‘money’ keywords, if you are not sure, check out authority sites and see how they distribute links within their text, where they place links, what pages they link to and how they use the anchor text to get their ranking.

Penguin’s purpose is to weed out sites with rubbishy links so that the audience is not directed to spammy sites. The updated Penguin 3.0 has just been rolled out so be aware of your linking strategy so that you do not incur Google’s wrath.

It’s been over a year since Google last unrolled a new Penguin update, and now it looks like they’re ready to catch up. Google recently confirmed that the most recent iteration of their large-scale “Penguin” algorithm update started rolling out late on Friday night (October 17th). One of Google’s Webmaster Trends Analysts recently hinted that the latest Penguin update would be coming out soon, but as of October 17, we have full confirmation that the update is live and currently unfolding.

Penguin is an algorithm, originally launched in April of 2012, that identifies evidence of what Google identifies as “webspam” (occurring both on and off a website), and significantly penalizes websites identified as being guilty of spammy, manipulative tactics by drastically reducing their visibility in its search results.

Like with the initial Penguin rollout and its 2.0 follow-up, there’s a chance any website will be affected. If you’ve noticed a major change in rankings and organic search traffic, you need to be proactive to diagnose and correct the actions that caused the Penguin penalty. In this article, I’ll explain how Penguin 3.0 works, how it connects to previous Penguin iterations, how to tell whether you’ve been affected, and of course, what you can do to recover if you’ve been hit.

The Penguin Update – to Date

The first official Penguin update rolled out on April 24, 2012 as a complementary partner to the Panda algorithm, which was designed to reward sites with a better user experience, while penalizing sites with a poor user experience. The Panda algorithm just saw a new refresh in the form of Panda 4.1. The Penguin algorithm covers the biggest ranking factor—external links. Penguin rewards sites that have natural, valuable, authoritative, relevant links, and penalizes sites that have built manipulative links solely for the purpose of increasing rankings, or links that do not appear natural. The original update, later dubbed “1.0,” impacted about 3.1 percent of all search queries. That may not seem like a lot, but the impact it had on the world of search optimization was stunning.

Google followed up a month later, with Penguin 1.1, and again in October of 2012 with Penguin 1.2. Over the course of 2012, Google unleashed a series of “refreshes,” which updated data, but did not make any major changes to the search algorithm. Click link to continue reading

Further information

Hit by Penguin 3.0?

Penguin 3.0 still rolling out

Succeeding At SEO With Content Marketing

You will be aware of how important content marketing is to your SEO strategy. Technology is evolving and more tools are available to help us make use of these advances. Content marketing has remained fairly static however, there are now more ways than ever to communicate your message and share your content. Posting blogs, using social media and guest articles are some of the ways in which you can share your expertise and information.

These days, the definition of content marketing is that the written pieces are published online so that they can be accessed by other people. The content must be interesting and have a value to those reading it so that they gain something from it. It is important to target your content to a specific audience who are interested in your niche, so it must be relevant in order to be noticed by the search engines. When people are interested in what you have written they will usually share it via social media this leads to an increase in online traffic. When the search engines are interested in all this activity, they will increase the ranking in the organic listings.

It is still important to optimise your content so that it is seen to be relevant and interesting to the search engines. Failing to do this means that they will ignore your site and as such, will not rank on the organic listings. So, do your keyword research before releasing your content so that you can ensure it has a good range of valid keywords and key phrases that appear in a natural fashion throughout the piece.

Back links are still vital for success however, care needs to be taken with link building so that the links are appropriate and niche specific, not just randomly placed or mixed in with non-relevant subjects. Social media can be a very effective way of sharing links however, search engines don’t always pay a huge amount of attention to these links.

Seo continues to evolve and develop so do keep a look out for trends that are working well for others in your niche. Be innovative and try different things that might help promote your business however, steer clear of strategies that are known to attract the wrong kind of attention from the search engines or you might find that your site is de-indexed.


Want to succeed at SEO? Good practices start with avoiding bad habits of the past. Eliminate ineffective practices and replace them with strategic, content-focused tactics. Here are seven great ways to do that:

1. Approach keywords strategically

Without proper keyword research, any SEO campaign is doomed to failure. Keyword research sets the stage and lays the groundwork for an SEO campaign.

Take a vague keyword phrase like “dog food.” This might be used by people seeking information on dog food or news about it (such as recalls). But a specific keyword phrase such as “buy raw dog food” is more likely to be selected by someone who’s ready to buy a specific type of canine chow.

Keyword phrases should be as specific to your company as possible and have an easy, conversational sound not a marketing vibe. Just consider how you search for things online.

Perhaps more important than selecting specific phrasing, however, is not becoming paralyzed or slowed down by the temptation to achieve perfection in keyword optimization for every text-based piece of content you publish.

While keywords form the basis of an effective understanding of — and competition for — a target market, trying for a #1 search-engine ranking (or even for a top 10 spot) for your business niche’s top keyword is usually extremely difficult when you’re starting an SEO campaign in a field with competitors who have doing this for a while.

Instead, take a long-tail approach to keywords. Consistently publish as much amazing content as you can, which naturally will include keywords, and you’ll capture long-tail search traffic. This type of traffic tends to come from keywords you would probably never find during the research phase and that are often more targeted, resulting in better conversion rates.

2. Strictly adhere to an originality rule.

When it comes to SEO, originality refers to duplicate content or the same text existing at two different URLs — something that you should always avoid. Republishing articles from other sites is not only a potential copyright infringement, but it also creates duplicate content, which can ruin your site’s search rankings.

Check to see if your site has duplicate content by using tools like CopyScape, SiteLiner and Screaming Frog. Find more details about how to identify and remove duplicate content in this article I wrote.

3. Strategically adjust your site’s navigation and internal links.

The way your site’s navigation is structured plays a major role in how search engines determine the importance of each page. Simply put, the more often a page is linked to within your website, the more PageRank flow it has and the higher it will rank in search-engine results pages for relevant queries.

Most webmasters and business owners, however, have no idea how their internal link flow is structured and are often surprised to learn that unimportant pages or ones that never stand a chance rank high in search-engines results (like contact pages) are cannibalizing the majority of their site’s PageRank flow. This offers major opportunities for improvement with relatively minor effort. Read more here

More information

SEO: why content isn’t always the answer

User-centred SEO: creating long term value

SEO – Trying to cheat Google or is it just a Different Form of Advertising?

I recently attended a webinar run by Chris Cardell, who is well known for the assistance he has provided to numerous on line businesses throughout the World. I myself have been on one of his Adword’s courses (many years ago now) and believe that he knows an awful lot about getting more business for businesses, large and small.

But that does not mean he knows it all and that everything he says is right, in fact he said some things about SEO that I really have to take exception with. What he said, in a nutshell was that SEO was all about ‘taking on Google with all it’s rocket scientists and technology’ and that as it was such an unequal battle that it was best to avoid it in the first place….

I totally agree with this on the basis that trying to battle with Google is like trying to stop the tide coming in, it is simply not worth it. But true SEO should not be about taking on Google, rather, Google should be considered a friend, a friend that you want to help to find the very best information on the Internet for a particular subject, a category that you trust should include site you are trying to promote (which of course means that the site should be a good one).

So how do you try to get Google to see things the way you want? Certainly not by ‘tricking’ them, with some dubious tactics, be they on page or off page. No instead you must take a leaf out of the advertising world, as here they don’t try to trick their potential customers, but rather they ‘bring  the fact of the existence of their product to  people’s attention’.

People then either ‘buy it’ as they like what they see, or not, it all being down to the quality of that product, something that of course includes the ‘packaging’, as well as the perceived worth of the product by what others say about it and how  many others have bought it.

In my view, this is just what SEO is about, you have to bring the site to Google’s attention, make sure that enough other people ‘seem’ to like it, whilst also ensuring that the ‘packaging’, (the Titles, tags and of course all that vital content) are up to standard.

There is a lot to all of this of course, and there are many ‘rules’ that you have to follow if you want to get (and keep) it right, and the creation of that content and keeping it fresh is a huge job, but if you want to ‘convince’ Google rather than ‘trick’ it that is what you have to do.

In the end success will come to those sites that ‘advertise their presence to Google, get enough real people to mention it / like it, and, most importantly, deliver the goods (the content) ‘ at the time Google decides to get serious about considering giving it a placement.

So don’t try to trick Google, just try to help them believe and understand that your site ‘deserves’ a place at the top of their listings for some appropriate search terms.