If you own a website, and you are the type that really is serious about your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts, you might be worried about the latest update from Google which is the Google Penguin update. Google Penguin is the code name for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012.
It is now implemented and is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using SEO algorithm techniques. You might be in a panic mode now due to this update, that the update will eventually affect traffic towards your site etc.
Fact is Google Penguin update scrutinized a lot of companies’ search engine results page rankings. Let us discuss 5 myths about the Google Penguin update from those so called SEO experts, about myths that scares people but really should not be the case!
Myth #1: My links are coming from only 1 domain
If there are 80,000 links from various other websites pointing to your own site, do not worry that Google might penalize you by compromising your SEO efforts. If there are good reasons why all of those links should exist, it will most probably help you, as chances are your links are all there because they are considered to be very good references to the topics being discussed on those websites.
But, if your links are from spam or manipulative sources, you might be in trouble so ask those webmasters to take them off the net. If you have the time, it is a wiser choice to create great editorial links and fantastic brands on the internet and put in your links there rather than spending time to hunting down spam. Those editorial and brand links will protect you far better than eliminating spamming links.
Myth #2: Google punishes poor analytic
If you are a user of Google Analytics, then Google will surely get a good bird’s eye view of your site performance like low engagement or usage rates, high bounce rates, and low time on site. You might be wonder if Google will give you any penalties for them.
The answer is no, as Google has said that they don’t directly get the data from Google Analytics, but they do think about things like maybe your website answers the users’ query rather quickly, or if your website is a Q&A one, so upon obtaining the answers to queries, users are out of the site therefore yielding high bounce rates.
Google is very reasonable so do not panic being penalized, as long as your content is informative and does offer great user experience, you will surely be fine.
Myth #3: I got a lot of reciprocal links
What if you provided a link to a friend’s or anyone’s site, and they link or point back to your site, will Google lower your site’s value? Will you get penalized for this reciprocal practice? Does Google see this as a spamming tactic? Do not worry, as long as your goal is to share information that they are sharing you, this is a fine thing to do.
Google will not hold it back against you as websites helping each other out to spread more information is not a bad thing at all and will not be treated as spamming.
Myth #4: URLs without keywords will prevent them from doing well
Some URLs has keywords like in its trailing characters like “www.sample.com/keyword”, while many has no keywords at all like “www.sample.com/?id=7”. This is not a tremendous problem, but certainly using keywords in URLs and using static principles are good practices but Google will not hold this against you if you don’t practice them.
Simply creating click links will easily direct people to your website regardless of the presence or absence of keywords. If you have the time, re-engineering your URL to employ keywords will be okay but really it is not that extremely beneficial in terms of SEO efforts, it is just an aesthetic practice to let people easily know the content of your link or for easy reference.
Myth #5: Using “link bait” or content marking will get me penalized
What if you decided to create an informative content like blogs, sites with info-graphics, informative videos that have little or no relationship with your links and you put in your links to those sites? No, Google will again not hold that against you, as Google and Bing too for that matter, have specifically stated that they love the concept of content marketing.
Even if those sites do not directly relates to your links’ niche, it will still help with SEO. Think about this as the rising tide phenomenon, your link is the boat, and those link bait or content marketing sites are the tides; as the tides multiply and become stronger, so does your boat’s sailing prowess.
Your domain authority will rise due to this, and take note that Google will not count only specific pages to carry your links, as Google loves the domain authority concept as it promotes branding and lots of great informative useful stuff on the internet. Also, audiences will be piling up due to this which is good for both your websites and embedded links.
So there you have it! Do not panic about these 5 common myths. Remember that Google will act on manipulative and spam contents, but not on logical and natural construction of website contents and links. So go back to your basics and common sense for your design to ensure maximum SEO efficiency and avoid the possibility of being penalized.
Alexis Thompson is an alumna of Martin College Australia, a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on her Twitter.