The Google Penguin 2.1 Update Hits

Google have once again made another large algorithm update, Penguin 2.1. 2013 has been a tough year for any company who uses Google to gain traffic for their websites with Google consistently introducing quite a number of very large updates. It seems just as the dust is settling from one update, another large one comes along. Google’s Matt Cutts announced last Friday that the update was being rolled out and would roughly affect 1% of searches, which is quite a significant change. The last Penguin 2.0 update was in May of this year. This latest update comes only a month after the Google Hummingbird update. The Penguin updates are focussed on decreasing webspam. Despite Google’s assurity that this will improve results, one thing we’ve noticed this year is an overall increase in bugs throughout Google products, and I believe this is flowing through to their search algorithm. Sometimes the algorithm updates have been quite accurate, sometimes they seem to only have benefited large companies, making it even more difficult for smaller companies to compete. Google have again iterated to move away from thinking about link building and to creating great content that others will naturally want to share. While this is good in theory, for many small to medium businesses this can be a challenging task.

However some things to consider for creating content*:

  • Creating Infographics
  • Sending out press releases on something new and exciting about your business or industry
  • Creating tips and hints that will benefit both existing and potential new clients
  • Write about industry trends
  • Write how to articles
  • Write Product Reviews
  • Videos are a good quick way of conveying content to your users. A high percentage of users on the internet want their information quickly, and don’t take the time to read text properly. Videos are often more easily shared as a result, especially when the content is widely useful. Of course, make sure you brand your videos with your logo or business name. And you don’t need to spend big dollars on a camera.
  • Case Studies

Post your new content to your social media channels such as Google + and Facebook. Posting to social media channels can be an easy way to get broader reach for your content, and importantly, share it with existing customers. The underlying element of the points above is building quality content for your website. This is one thing that Google has always insisted on, however as the search engine gets smarter at recognising quality content, so to do they ‘try’ to enforce it being produced and properly utilised. One thing to note here though is that despite it not always being an easy task to develop this content, especially for a small business, there is enough research to prove that the value associated with adding interesting content to a site keeps users on a site longer, which ultimately leads to increasing sales. Read more from Google about this update here: * Content should ideally be a minimum of 500 words and considerably higher if possible.

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