At the end of May, Google released its latest algorithm, Penguin 2.0, cracking down further on websites that have climbed the search engine ranks by using black hat practices. This algorithm, according to Google Webspam Head Matt Cutts, has affected 2.3% of English searches in the U.S., the largest percentage since Penguin 1.0, released in April 2012. State-of-the-art, spam-combatting techniques enable Penguin 2.0 to locate and punish websites that practice suspicious activities such as:
- Acquiring large amounts of links in a short period of time (typically by payment of some kind)
- Acquiring links from unrelated websites
- Overusing exact match anchor text
What does this mean for you?
Depending on the quality of your link-building methods you use for your website, you might be noticing one of three results.
- Your website's traffic, as we have seen with all of our SEO clients' websites, has increased. Google’s new algorithm rewards websites for having rich, relevant, and natural content and links.
- Your website's traffic has decreased drastically. If your website is using some of the suspicious link-building techniques listed above then your website has probably fallen completely from Google's search results and your traffic has dropped off accordingly.
- Other websites, however, may have experienced a less dramatic change since the update. A few unusual links may have caused your website to fall a couple places or pages in the rankings. If you've created lots of exact match anchor text for specific products, you may also see a decrease in sales.
Added Benefit for Local Businesses
With this latest update, it appears that Google not only likes to see the "good guy" win, but also roots for the "home team." Local businesses, especially in larger cities, are experiencing higher placement in the search results. We expect these search results to expand to smaller areas in the future, giving local businesses a leg up and improving the relevance of search results.
If you’ve noticed a difference in website traffic or search rankings since May 22, contact us.