You’ve probably heard that Google rolled out its Penguin 4.0 algorithm update – and you might be wondering what it means for your SEO campaigns. There are a few big changes, but the bottom line is that Penguin 4.0 rewards white hat techniques more, and does a better job of promptly catching and penalizing black hat techniques.
For those who aren’t familiar with these terms, “white hat” strategies are search engine optimization efforts that follow the rules and guidelines Google has established. “Black hat” strategies are the opposite. At their essence, white hat strategies focus on content written for humans, and link building that provides value to the people who are searching on Google. Black hat strategies focus on content written specifically for search engines, just to gain traffic, higher rankings, or links.
Examples of White Hat SEO Tactics:
- Quality content
- Internal linking
- Site optimization
- Guest blogging
Examples of Black Hat SEO Tactics:
- Hidden text
- Keyword stuffing
- Blog spam
The most important update to keep in mind is that data is now refreshed in real time, so any changes will be made as soon as the page has been recrawled and reindexed. This means that if you make a mistake with your SEO or content, Google will notice the fix on a daily or weekly basis. The flip side, of course, is that the use of any black hat methods, spam, or link schemes will be noticed and penalized faster.
Another exciting change is that Penguin 4.0 has a more granular focus. If you make a mistake – or purposely use spammy SEO techniques – the individual page will be punished, instead of the entire site. This gives you a chance to fix any errors without losing too much ground for your organic traffic and search results.
So what is the best way to maximize your SEO efforts now that Penguin 4.0 is here? The answer is simple – provide original content with appropriate links, and be sure that it offers value to your website visitors.
Here are some additional tips:
- Focus on developing your brand, not your links
- Convey information in multiple ways, including written content, videos, images, and social media posts
- Monitor and audit your current links
- Don’t try to take shortcuts – do it the right way from the start!
Penguin 4.0 will be great for those who are already following best practices, and not so great for those that are trying to game the system. This newest algorithm is more fair for everyone involved, and that benefits both content providers and search engine users.
If you’d like a refresher on the fundamentals of what SEO is, check out the video below:
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