Last year, Google launched its Penguin update to fight bad linking techniques and to crackdown on spammy content. Matt Cutts – Distinguished Engineer at Google, has just announced that the next major algorithm change will be out in a few days. SEO experts are calling this new set of algorithm changes “Penguin 2.0” and even the news of its imminent launch is causing a major flurry among online marketers. Penguin 2.0 is set to crush bad linking methods and unnatural links, which in turn could improve the quality of web content and improve the rankings of websites that constantly publish authoritative, original and valuable content.
So why has Google decided to release another major algorithm update? What is Google’s definition of a good link? With Penguin 2.0, Google aims to devalue websites and content that have links to websites that are completely irrelevant to the content and are present only for quick link building purposes.
According to Google, a good link is a link that is most relevant to the content. Links should be like citations in academic papers where the researchers list only sources that they found extremely useful for their research. Post the Penguin 2.0 update, links that are anything less than completely relevant to the content and the website could end up hurting the search rankings of the website.
Negative link building practices like getting links from websites having content in foreign languages, placing footer links, etc. have already been tackled by the last Penguin update. Instead of waiting for Penguin 2.0 and then cleaning up your link building act, start improving your link building activities now.
• Awarding badges to irrelevant websites
Many companies still award badges to other websites as a sign of recognition. You can continue using award badges for authoritative sites in your industry. However, you need to avoid using them for website that are not related to your industry or are not good sources of information. You could end up hurting the credibility of your website.
• Guest-blogging for the sake of collecting links
Guest-blogging is one of the best ways to collect links, but many companies often publish low quality articles on their blogs just to link back to their websites. Some companies even guest-blog and link to irrelevant pages of their websites. This could not only devalue your content but also hurt the ranking of the website you are guest-blogging on.
• Linking to one website
Many websites have content that only links to one website. Often times, the sites that a website links out to are not even authoritative sources of information and this practice will most definitely get any website penalized. Your website needs to link to multiple websites. You could definitely improve the rankings of your website if you link out to authoritative websites that can be valuable to your readers. So link out to websites you think your readers will benefit from even if you have to link to competitors’ websites. It goes without saying that the links should be relevant to your content.
• Publishing low quality content
AuthorRank is now an important signal that Google algorithms consider and it helps Google track the content that authors are posting on various websites. Google will notice if an author is pushing out low quality content and will penalize not only the websites publishing such content but also the author. Your AuthorRank could take a serious beating if you publish low quality content frequently. Along the same lines, if you create and publish high-quality content regularly then Google will take notice regardless of where the content is published.
Low-quality Infographics is one of the things that Google is looking to eliminate with its Penguin 2.0 update. Many websites publish Infographics just to make the web pages look more attractive. Sometimes the Infographics have nothing to do with the website or have been published on so many blogs and websites that they have lost their value. Republish Infographics that link to other websites only if the Infographics are related to the content of your website.
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