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May 2013 SEO

The March of Penguin 2.0

Pigkouinosophobia – The fear of penguins or a penguin.

Having a fear of penguins in this day and age is a reasonable fear, especially for SEO professionals looking to keep their websites at the top of Google.  But fear not, Rare Form readers…we are here to help. In the following, we will attempt to demystify Google’s much anticipated Penguin 2.0 update.

Depending on your SEO strategy, this update will either have you rubbing your hands with glee at the thought of the rank increase, or quaking in your boots waiting to see what penalties your website is going to incur.

So how will you be affected? And how can your site avoid any potentially disastrous penalties from the search behemoth?

First things first. Anybody who tells you that they know exactly how to weather the upcoming storm, that is the Penguin 2.0 update, is lying to you. Matt Cutts himself has said in his most recent video blog, that he is unable to give full details of the update as it is not completely finished yet. There are confirmed areas that will be subject to more intense scrutiny, with transgressors being given more stringent penalties.

The top three things we know about Google’s Penguin 2.0 Update:

1. You will almost certainly need to audit your link profile

The field of SEO has been likened to the Wild West. While there is a distinct lack of gunfire and horses, there are certainly a lot of cowboys, and this is reflected in the many toxic link profiles where quantity of links went before quality. It was almost standard practice in the years BP (Before Penguin), where it was accepted practice to buy links and use link farms.  These practices are now seen as low rent black hat techniques that will have you severely penalised in the search rankings.

Our advice – Audit, cleanse and replace.

Potential penalty for transgressors – Banned from both organic and paid searches for up to 180 days and loss of PR (Page Rank).

2. You will have to address your site content

Google does not want to see results that deviate from a user’s search query.  This means the content on your site will be judged based on these search queries. If you have just stuffed a load of high ranking keywords into your pages and your blogs,  you will fall hard and you will fall fast from Google’s graces. Google has developed algorithms that will ensure, to the best of its abilities, that the websites in the search result have the most relevance to the user’s search query.

Our advice – Keep your content relevant

Potential penalty for transgressors – Banned from both organic and page searches for up to 180 days and loss of PR.

3. Your on-page strategy should be up to date

Google no longer gives weight to certain HTML tags and has given more weight to others. To ensure that you get the most search engine weight for your website, make sure that you are using the correct tags, and in the correct places, so the search engines know what to crawl. You should also look at your internal linking structure and keyword placement.

Our advice – know your Schema and HTML tags and how they affect your SEO.

Potential penalty for transgressors – losing page rank and domain authority with Google and losing places to your competitors.

Of course, there will be other parts to your SEO strategy, such as social media influence, that will be affected by the Penguin 2.0 update, but they are yet to be announced.

So while we wait for the Google Gods to grace us with the full details on Penguin 2.0, we have some advice.

Start preparing your website now for the update, so that you can weather the storm, and come out on top.

If your business relies heavily on search engine traffic and you want to ensure that you have the correct strategy, then contact our head of SEO, James, who will be more than happy to help.

Rare Form offer a range of SEO packages from site audit, to consultancy to full-service implementation. Contact us today to discuss how we can help your website get to the top of Google, and get you into Rare Form.

Posted by: Joss Earl

May 20, 2013

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Allan Janes LLP

I have used Rare Form on 2 occasions to build websites, most recently for Allan Janes LLP. On both occasions the result has been fantastic. The team are responsive and easy going, and their custom CMS system is a dream to operate. Highly recommend.