David Gerrard

An update from Google you’ll genuinely be interested in

Today, search engines are considered the most reliable source of information for whatever we’re looking for. While email marketing, social media and word of mouth are all important methods in reaching your audience, search engines are still top of the list for how we are introduced to a website for the first time. So making an impression and establishing a strong presence is crucial. The higher the ranking of your website, the more trusted and successful it’s perceived to be. It’s as simple as that.

Good practice Search Engine Optimisation is the key to climbing the rankings, but many businesses choose to utilise so called ‘blackhat’ techniques to unethically reach a higher ranking. This is what led to the introduction and evolution of the infamous Google Penguin.

What is Google Penguin?

Google Penguin rocked the industry last month with the much anticipated release of its 4.0 update. The original Penguin release was rolled out in April 2012 to catch out any sites spamming search results, with a focus on the quality of links pointing to a site. What does this actually mean? Well, any website seen to be buying links or obtaining them through link networks designed primarily to boost Google rankings, are penalised. It’s not front page news to hear that links are one of the key factors for ranking high in organic search results, but penalties for poor SEO practices usually mean that websites can lose visibility for keywords or, in extreme cases, drop completely out of organic search results. Through the release of Penguin, Google has changed the way it values and ranks websites, with the end goal being to make sure users find what they are looking for with ease through their own search terms.

What’s new with Google Penguin 4.0?

Google Penguin 4.0 is an official part of Google’s core algorithm and will be the last ever update. So what makes this different to previous versions? Well, historically, Penguin’s list of affected sites was frequently refreshed at the same time. However version 4.0 means that Penguin’s data is refreshed in ‘real time’, making changes visible much faster. As a result, any demotions or promotions of organic rankings for your website directly generated through unnatural links now happen more quickly. The good news is that any changes to the ranking of  your website will happen almost immediately. The bad news is that if you are using tactics deemed unnatural by Google, negative repercussions of this behaviour will occur faster as well.

The other significant change is an all new “page specific” approach. In the past with Google Penguin, websites that obtained poor SEO practices would have their entire site penalised, meaning that unnatural links would result in your entire site’s ranking suffering. With the new update, pages and websites are viewed as separate entities, making penalised pages much easier to identify and an entire site’s reputation less likely to be tarnished as a result.

What does this mean for our clients?

The practise of buying links or building them in an unnatural way is not something we undertake, meaning there’s no huge concern that any of our clients will be penalised as a result. The team had already undertaken precautionary action by reviewing the link profiles of all our SEO clients and cleaning up anything where needed. Preemptive action to increase content marketing executions was taken to build a good volume of high quality links and is something we’re bringing into the strategy for a number of clients.

The Penguin update is just one of over 200 signals that Google uses in its algorithm and highlights the importance of regular analysis of our clients SEO performance. With an enhanced content marketing offering we’re ensuring that SEO becomes even more integrated with the full range of channels we work across.

Interested in learning more click here.

Related articles.

Download, Guide, Insight

6 Day Facebook Action Plan

Insight

How To Grow, Nurture And Convert From Your Email Lists Following GDPR

Insight

Performance Marketing: Relationships At The Core

Insight

From Post To Purchase In Two Taps With Instagram Shopping

Insight

E-Retail Performance Report 2018: The Site Speed Update

Insight

Paid Search: How To Survive Without A Feed

Insight

CRO: The route to testing: What comes first?

Insight, News

Cryptocurrencies and eCommerce

red image of an employees desk
Insight

Top 10 Tips For Fashion Affiliate Campaigns

Insight

New to CRO? Here's all you need to know!

Insight

Valentine’s Day: Steal hearts and convert with inspiring Email Marketing

Insight

5 Ways To Combat Facebook's 2018 Algorithm Update

News

New year, new approach: 5 AdWords resolutions to kick your campaigns into shape for 2018

employees working at laptop
Insight

Future Proof your 2018 Online Marketing Strategy

Insight

Retailers: How to do London Fashion Week

Insight

6 Tips for Creating a Successful Social Media Strategy for 2018

Insight

5 Quick Wins To Make The Most of Email Marketing Around Christmas

Insight, News

The Four Pillars of Affiliate Marketing

red image of woman with short hair and glasses
Insight

E-Retail Performance Report 2017 UK Edition

Insight

Creating an effective Black Friday Social Strategy

Insight

Top 10 CRO tips to convert your Cyber Weekend traffic into sales

Insight

Search Hacks for a successful Cyber Weekend 2017

Insight

Cyber Weekend 2017: 8 Email Marketing tips you can’t afford to miss!

laptop screen with retailers website on
Insight

Black Friday-proof your Affiliate Marketing Campaigns

Insight

4 Lessons to make Cyber Weekend 2017 your best yet

Insight

5 Steps To Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing

Insight

Mobile Ad Extensions have had an update. Here's what you need to know.

Insight

Take your subscribers on a new journey through email this summer

Outreach Conference logo
News

Verve Search's outREACH Conference Highlights

News

5 Ways Overlays Can Increase Conversion Across ANY Website

Insight

What can online retailers learn from the offline shopping experience?

Insight

PPC: Bing Ads trial Meta Data in Paid Ads

News

People of VS: Meet our SEO Outreach team

Skyscrapers in Dubai
News

VS takes on the Middle East

Insight

Lights, camera, action: why your brand should be jumping on video

Insight

BrightonSEO 2017 Highlights

Insight

PPC: Google & Bing Updates

Insight

How to create effective Easter campaigns without being punny!

Voice Search device
Insight

Digital Assistants: Artificial Intelligence & Paid Search

Insight

Take your email marketing higher: 5 quick wins

Insight

What actually is CRO and what can it do for my online business?

Insight

Instagram: why online retailers should be working with bloggers and influencers

Insight

PPC: How to stand out without a merchant promotion

emoji icons - thumbs up, cross and sick face
Insight

PPC: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Insight

A fashion retailer's guide to successful Email Marketing

Insight

Is affiliate marketing right for my online business?

Insight

5 Tips to Creating Effective Web Promotions

Insight

Clock up more email sales with a festive countdown timer

woman on mobile with shopping bags
Insight

Get mobile and get ahead. It's the only trend this season.

Insight

An update from Google you'll genuinely be interested in

Insight

Measuring the Multi Device Journey

News

Visualsoft PPC team win a Bing Ads Bonanza Box

Insight

The mCommerce shift - Mobile vs Desktop

Line if people throwing buckets of water over their heads
Insight

Future online marketing trends to watch out for

Insight

Affiliate Marketing Q&A with Luke Atherton

Insight

Further Google Shopping Product Feed Specification Update

Insight

The Key to Social Success

Insight

Get real - Humanising your eCommerce website

Man with 8 arms working across multiple laptops and tblets
Insight

Be a better developer - Stop multitasking

Insight

Mobile sales rocket in Q1 2016

Insight

Google Unnatural Link Penalties Signals Big Changes for Bloggers

Insight

An Introduction to Responsive Design

Insight

Further Changes To GTIN Requirements

screenshot of Google search engine result with a red overlay
Insight

Google Remove Right Hand Side Ads - But How Will It Impact Your SEO Strategy?

Insight

Simple steps to increase your average order value

Insight

Mobile affiliate activity flourishes in 2015

Insight

Google Panda Added to Google’s Core Ranking Signals

Insight

Changes To Google Shopping Policies

a stopwatch

Does your site speed measure up?

Insight

VS SEO Episode 1: The Phantom Update

Insight

Black Friday: Shoppers switch from bricks to clicks

Insight

Black Friday by Numbers!

Insight

Celebrating #ClicheDay with our top five social media cliches

Google logo and a square penguin
Insight

Preparing for Penguin 4.0

Insight

Five Simple Tips to Successful Email Marketing

Insight

PPC Update: Changes to Google Shopping Data Feeds

News

UK Search Awards 2015 - We're in the running!

Insight

SEO FAQs - Google Search Snippets

Google Analytics interface on a latop
Insight

Customer Match In AdWords

User Testing - Choosing Who to Target and Why

Insight

Affiliate Marketing News - UK Customers Want Discounts!

Insight

Marketing Tips from the Experts: Understanding your Analytics Data.

Insight

Dealing with Google Webmaster Tool errors

Google Shopping image including a range of consumer products
Insight

Google's Taxonomy Update

News

We're Google Winners!

Insight

Improving your site's images for better SEO results

Insight

Facebook's Video Partners to Earn Ad Revenue

Highlights from the Google Analytics Summit 2015

Google Analytics Partner Logo
News

Visualsoft awarded Google Analytics Certified Partner status

News

Going mobile? We've got an app for that!

Insight

Google announce update to Mobile Search

Insight

A guide to choosing an eCommerce provider

News

Visualsoft client featured in eConsultancy post

logo for BBC Digital Excellence Awards
News

VIsualsoft named as finalist for the BBC Digital Excellence Award

Insight, News

Explosion in online shopping could hold key to Visualsoft's growth

Insight

eCommerce Platform Magento Go to Close on 1st February 2015

Insight

Study reports over half of mCommerce users abandon checkout

Insight

Research highlights the need for mCommerce

16% in big red letters
Insight

Online sales up 16% in March

News

Visualsoft apprentice on the road to success

News

Values matter to Visualsoft client Charles Clinkard

Insight

Boxing Day a huge hit for online spending

News

Visualsoft Directors recognised in the Online Fashion 100

Speedometer
Insight

Online shoppers crave a speedy checkout process

Insight

eCommerce experiences are not up to scratch

Insight

Are 76% of retailers missing a trick with mCommerce?

Insight

mCommerce spend is on the increase

News

Another three clients named as Drapers finalists

person holding a credit card in front of a laptop
Insight

eCommerce is booming in 2011

Insight

45% of consumers prefer shopping online for fashion

Insight

Facebook revealed as important sales tool

Insight

European eCommerce on the up

Insight

UK consumer trends revealed for Christmas

someone on their mobile, holding a credit card with a gift wrapped parcel next to them
Insight

Retailers urged to prepare for the festive season

Insight

40% of teens embracing eCommerce

Insight

Amazon reports 51% sales increase

Insight

eCommerce sales boosted in 2011

Insight

Consumers embrace mCommerce around the world

80% in red lettering in a box
Insight

80% of consumers say shopping online is cheaper

Insight

Research highlights the need to embrace changing email habits

Insight

Companies fail to communicate via social network platforms

Insight

UK online advertising spend hits £4bn

Insight

New payment system set to increase eCommerce

a speedometer dial maxed which says boost
Insight

Digital boost for UK advertising industry

Insight

Social networking proves to be a big influence

Insight

More than £5 billion spent online during May 2011

News

On the road to PCI Compliance

Insight

mCommerce on the up

twitter and facebook app logos
Insight

Social networking used to maximise online sales

Insight

CBI reveals predictions for UK high street sales

Insight

Sharp growth predicted in the m-Commerce market

Insight

Retailers suffer record fall in sales since 1995

Insight

Marketing trends for 2011 revealed

tablet with online fashion store displaying
Insight

Online fashion spend up 34%

Insight

eCommerce growth threatening the high street

Insight

Online spend hits £4.9billion during February

Insight

Facebook reaches 30 million UK users

Insight

UK tops eCommerce sales chart

woman at desk on laptop with a credit card
Insight

UK consumers name top three innovations

Insight

Online spend hits £5.1 billion in January 2011

Insight

Tips for a successful email marketing campaign

Insight

Internet shopping to increase by 18% in 2011

Insight

Results through relationships

gift wrapped present
Insight

Merry Clickmas!

Insight

Shoppers go online during cold weather

News

Another eight Etail Awards!

Insight

UK's eCommerce boom continues

News

Two Visualsoft clients named as Drapers finalists

Evening Gazette logo
News

Media spotlight focuses on Visualsoft

Insight

Online shopping predicted for 4% annual rise

News

Drapers report on Pritchards success

We'd love to share success with you...