Though just about everyone in the online marketing business has something to say about the latest Google Penguin Update, conflicting information and mass confusion abound. Even the so-called experts are struggling to understand and articulate the effect that Penguin has had across the web. Google's system of numbering the Penguin updates hasn't helped.
These are the facts:
- Penguin is designed to detect spam and penalize sites that appear to be using spammy techniques to improve search rankings.
- The penalty for those sites that are caught is a loss of search visibility.
- This is the fourth release of Penguin.
- The first Penguin update was a big algorithm change and the second and third were minor refreshes of the first.
- The fourth Penguin update is a big algorithm change, better able to detect spam.
- Google is calling the latest update Penguin 2.0. Penguin 2.0, Penguin 4, Penguin 4.0, Penguin Second Generation...all the same thing.
Websites that were penalized need to quickly adopt content marketing, the technique that Google encourages.
- Thoughtful content focused on the end-user - IN
- Content that people will actually want to read - IN
- Incoherent articles - OUT
- Articles written for search engines that are complete nonsense - OUT
- Spun/recycled/duplicate content - OUT
- Heavy use of geo-targeted keywords - OUT
One more thing we know for sure: Google will continue to adjust its algorithms and get better at detecting spam and other unacceptable SEO tactics. Content marketing done the right way is the best way to get the kind of attention you want from Google—good search results!