Brands Must Act Quickly to Ensure SEO Campaigns Comply With Google 'Penguin' Update, Advises Punch Communications
FOR: PUNCH COMMUNICATIONS
MAY 4, 2012 - 10:47 ET
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 4, 2012) - Whether they have yet experienced a drop in their organic search rankings or not due to Google's latest algorithm update, 'Penguin', brands should audit their SEO strategies swiftly to minimise the risk of any activity being interpreted as web spam by the search engine, advises integrated PR, social media and SEO agency, Punch Communications.
Google rolled out 'Penguin' last week, on 24 April. The main objective of the update is to more effectively identify websites that, according to Matt Cutts, head of Google's spam team, 'use aggressive web spam tactics', which do not adhere to Google's quality guidelines. This implies the over-use of 'blog or link networks', which, often on a paid basis, offer the opportunity to include an unrestricted number of links from pages that may be poor quality in terms of relevance and content.
As with previous significant algorithm updates, such as the various editions of 'Panda', companies cannot guarantee that their visibility in Google's organic search is not negatively affected. Google began warning web users about 'unnatural links' in early April.
The quality of backlinks is essential and natural links are favoured over paid ones, whilst the relevance of the linking sites is also another key consideration for 'Penguin'; sites providing legitimate and trustworthy links could be favoured by Google even more than previously. Brands can review their backlink profile to determine whether it is being harmed and take action to avoid being penalised in the rankings by Google.
Pete Goold, managing director of integrated online PR social media and search agency Punch Communications, commented: "This is a wake-up call to those who may have relied in the past on low quality sites and suspect methods in order to build links and increase their rankings. Many businesses may be unaware that the SEO methods their SEO team employs, such as utilising low quality blog and link networks, could potentially now be considered as 'aggressive web spam tactics' by Google. When visibility in organic rankings is at risk, therefore jeopardising web traffic and in turn the business' bottom line, it is vital that brands understand the issues involved and prepare accordingly.
"Of course, as with every significant algorithm update, there will be some sites that feel they have been unfairly penalised - and indeed others that benefit from the changes," Pete Goold continues, "Overall it's worth keeping in mind that Google does operate on the basis of continually finding ways to create a fair environment and a true representation of search results to cater for user needs. In other words, the message to marketers is that it's always worth taking the credible approach, rather than looking for quick wins which might be of short term benefit but cause longer term problems."
If you require advice on developing your search engine optimisation strategy or are currently interviewing search, PR or social media agencies, please contact Punch on 01858 411600 or visit www.punchcomms.com.