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Google Penguin Updates Continue

Google states they will continuously update the Penguin Algorithm "As It Goes"

penguin updateLast week, a Google spokesperson told the SEO world that the Penguin Algorithm will not be undergoing periodic changes, but continuously change or evolve as it goes. This is why your website's position in Google seems to change from day to day, and according to Google, will continue to do so.


The Penguin Update is Google's latest attempt to filter out search engine "spammers" that are able to inflate their ranking for keywords, based on taking advantage of how much Google loves Backlinks. Google rates your website according to a number of factors such as:

  • Optimization of the webpage
  • Placement of Keywords within the page body
  • Social Media involvement
  • Age of website
  • Links from other sites "back" to the website

These are the basics and each have nuances, but that's the general gist. While the first points are pretty self-explanatory, the last one, backlinking, gets people a little fuzzy. Let me explain. Backlinks are links from another website to yours. Each link to your site is a 'vote' in your favor; the higher the quality of the link, the more powerful it is for your ranking.

If your site is a pagerank of 2 and you get a link from a site with a pagerank of 7, that is a powerful backlink that will boost your ranking; but if the link is from a PR1 site, it can hurt your ranking. It's a bit more complicated, but in general, you have to see the Internet as an active spider web, with you in the center. The more links you build to your website, the better for pagerank. But what links should I try to build, you ask?

I'm glad you asked. There are many services out there that can help you build legitimate backlinks that Google digs. Links need to be from relevant websites, preferably with a high pagerank themselves. While it's tedious to research each website for how many backlinks they have, it's not a bad practice to get into of you are building individual links. If you are a Trig Web Design customer, fear not, we do it all day long for our clients. If you are on your own, stay away from:

  • Link Farms
  • Paid Link Schemes
  • Black Hat Linking techniques
  • Many Web2.0 backlinks

What's "Black Hat SEO"? Another great question. Black Hat refers to the tactics used to fool the search engines into thinking you are more popular than you really are. Techniques vary, but they usually involve keyword stuffing, creating thousands of pages of "scrapped" content, then building backlinks and "pinging" those links to Google. Pre-Penguin, these tactics were fairly effective, and mimicked the work of real SEO experts for their very real customer websites. Google has now filtered out many of these link sources, and eliminated many Web2.0s that used to carry great weight when backlinked from.

What the heck is a Web2.0 Backlink? Web2.0's are basically social media and blogging websites such as, Blogger, Tumblr, Wikis and other blogs. Social media sites like Facebook are no longer counted as they now have what are called "nofollow" META tags for bots. If you have a link to your site from a NoFollow page, it is useless for backlink building. Google has now filtered out many of these Web2.0s entirely, and many more now have "nofollow" tags. So where should you focus your writing and linking efforts?

How to Follow the Penguin to SEO Glory

There are a number of Web2.0s that carry weight with Google for backlinks, my personal favorite is, as it is a high pagerank, and has relevant content for just about anything. Other sites you should consider linking from include:

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Backlinks to your site should be from relevant websites and/or articles that pertain to your industry or genre. Writing articles about industry news that affects your business and posting in blogs is a great way to spread the word about the news, and putting a link to your website in the article gives you a nice backlink. The more you do this, the better it is for your PageRank. Don;t forget to create a Google Plus account and post your blog headers to your timeline, with links to your post! For extra credit, you can also post a link on your Blog to your Google Plus, and you should absolutely have a link on your website to your Google+ page, in the form of a free widget.

Directory Listings

If you are a business, it is very important to claim or create your Google Local Business listing and optimize it. Once this is done, you'll want to make sure the other directories have the correct information about your business. Go to and look up your business to see what they say your current status in all the directories from to Once you have your local directories taken care of, move on to the smaller directories.

Pitfalls to watch For

Google sees fast backlink growth as "unnatural" and can penalize you for rapid growth. Keep your links to 5 new ones per month, of hire a company to do this for you. We can do all of this for you, contact our web design company in Raleigh, NC for more details.