Google released Penguin 2.0 on May 22, 2013, as the new algorithm for ranking search results has moved deeper into the issues of the first Penguin release. It’s definitely not a good idea to engage in random link exchanges anymore. Website maintenance has now become crucial for following the new guidelines announced by Google engineer Matt Cutts. At the same, there really aren’t any shocking surprises from the update.
If your focus as a web designer or business owner has been on delivering original useful content to users with natural links to credible websites, then you don’t have to worry much about the update. It’s the spammers who need to rethink their strategies and get on board, Google’s easy to figure out manifesto on SEO guidelines that continue to move in the same direction toward giving quality content sites the best rankings. The most unique aspect of Penguin 2.0 is that the algorithm has moved beyond home pages for tracking violations.
Some of the outdated black hat techniques that Penguin 2.0 has begun cracking down on include:
– comment spam
– paid links that use matching anchor text
– links to dangerous sites that may deliver viruses
– guest posts on low quality sites
– sites that market articles
Natural vs. Unnatural Links
Google is already penalizing sites that engage in too many unnatural links. A natural or organic link is one that goes along with the concept that you are trying to provide users with deeper useful links to relevant web pages. Unnatural links are any kind of links that don’t fit the general flow of your website or that provide little help to users. Random link exchanges no longer work because if you’re not careful you can unintentionally link to a spammer, scammer or a site infected with bugs. Sites that buy thousands of links can be considered link spammers.
Website maintenance is still necessary to double check the status of your links. That’s why it’s a good idea to test your links on a regular basis to make sure the links work and your link partners are on top of white hat SEO.