TLDR – Google is preparing another upgrade to its Penguin algorithm. If your business isn’t ready, your traffic could disappear.
Here we go again: Gary Illyes, Webmaster Trends Analyst from Google, says there’s another Google algorithm update coming. Could it hurt your business?
Recap: What IS Google Penguin?
No, it’s not a new service from Google. Instead, “Penguin” is a code name for an update to Google’s search algorithm targeting “blackhat” search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
(In case you’re not familiar, “blackhat” is hacker lingo for unethical or against the rules. In this case, blackhat SEO means helping sites get higher search engine rankings through methods specifically forbidden by Google.)
Google and blackhat SEOs have been in a cat-and-mouse game for years. Here’s how it works:
- Blackhat SEOs use techniques like link spamming, keyword stuffing, and other methods to help a page rank higher.
- Google recognizes ranking manipulation and releases an algorithm update to identify and penalize sites using the blackhat techniques.
- Blackhats then find new ways to “game” the system and boost page rankings.
- Google responds to the newest techniques, updates its algorithm…etc…
And so on.
The Penguin update (originally launched in 2012 but upgraded over time) specifically targets sites using blackhat techniques like link networks and keyword stuffing. While details on the coming update are sparse, it’s good to know it’s coming.
Here’s what Google’s Gary Illyes said about it:
Why This Affects Small Business Owners
It’s tempting for small business owners to hire blackhat SEOs in order to get new traffic in a short period of time. But as we’ve covered before, Google algorithm updates can destroy your business if you don’t play by the rules.
Fortunately, there’s a good way for small businesses (like yours) to stay aware of coming Google updates and know exactly how to adapt your digital marketing strategy. Keep checking this blog.