Penguin 2.1: What’s New with Google’s Angry Bird
Matt Cutts took to Twitter on Friday to announce a minor update to Penguin.
Penguin 2.1 launching today. Affects ~1% of searches to a noticeable degree. More info on Penguin: http://t.co/4YSh4sfZQj
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) October 4, 2013
How to Tell if Penguin 2.1 Affected Your Site
For our clients and readers wondering if they are part of the one percent being affected by Penguin 2.1, BCI recommends monitoring your organic traffic in Google Analytics over the next two weeks, looking for a dip. A dip in traffic occurring on this date may indicate that your site has been hit by this update. In some cases, you might see an increase in traffic, which would indicate an outranking competitor took a blow from Penguin 2.1.
Penguin is an algorithmic penalty, initially launched in April 2012, that targets rankings inflated by way of unnatural links — or in other words, Penguin works to devalue manipulative links in Google’s search ranking algorithm.
What’s the solution to a Penguin penalty?
- Clean your backlink profile. Need guidance? Check out our Link Removal Flowchart and Link Pruning Procedure.
- Going forward, move away from a “link building” mindset. Over and over, Cutts has warned that links should not be your main focus. The main focus should be the user experience. Focus on creating and promotion quality content, that is useful, has value — in short, create something compelling that people will want to share. If you do succeed, natural links will be a byproduct of your efforts. In a recent interview, Bruce advised site owners how to best deal with Penguin:
All links should be earned, so you do not buy links, you do not reciprocate links, leave spammy, off-topic comments on blogs, or any of the things that are historically listed as bad. You don’t do the things that are generally recognized as generating an inorganic link on purpose. The best way to get links is to earn them, and the best way to earn them is to have quality content, share knowledge and have something worth linking to … Contribute to the industry. Build your brand. Those are the things you should be doing, not playing the game ‘whoever dies with the most links wins.’ That’s not the right way to do it.
- Familiarize yourself with link building best practices in the post-Penguin age. During this week’s SMX East 2013, master link builders shared their top Penguin-Proof Link Building Tactics.
Penguin Releases to Date
- Penguin 1.0: April 24, 2012 (impacting around 3.1% of queries)
- Penguin 1.2: May 26, 2012 (impacting less than 0.1%)
- Penguin 1.3: Oct. 5, 2012 (impacting around 0.3% of queries)
- Penguin 2.0: May 22, 2013 (impacting 2.3% of queries)
- Penguin 2.1: Oct. 4, 2013 (impacting around 1% of queries)
If you believe your site has been hit with penalties resulting from Penguin and are looking for an in-depth analysis, don’t hesitate to contact BCI at (866) 517-1900. Our SEO analysts can identify where your site violates Google best practices and create an actionable plan on how to overcome any ranking drop. Learn more about the SEO Penalty Assessment Service.