Is SEO Dead After Google Penguin Update?
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Is SEO Dead After Google Penguin Update?

By Mainak Biswas July 02, 2013 - 717 views

Google makes an effort to keep its search engine free from the deliberate tampering of it in order to favor large businesses every now and then. The Google Penguin 2.0 update is a step in the right direction for this search giant to make Google Search more foolproof and at the same time dependable to businesses with a clean reputation.

Google Penguin 2.0 algorithm favors white hat SEO techniques and is bent upon discouraging black hat SEO techniques that are rampant in the business world. These black hat techniques take unwarranted advantage of Google Search by promoting a lot of spammy and malicious links to gain high placing in SERPs. Thus the search engine users are deprived of the privileges of an enhanced experience and a score of benefits that entail the use of every Google product.

What to expect from Google Penguin 2.0?

This update to the Google Penguin algorithm has made many changes to its earlier versions. Here are a few of those changes that can affect the websites and how business would react to them:

1. Devaluation of Websites

Sites accustomed to direct many of their outbound links to a single website are akin to be tagged with a hefty penalty as a caution to desist from this practice. Google has no qualms about directing your outbound links to a wide variety of other websites that are deemed to be authoritative. This is very much encouraged.

Websites that are found to be faltering in creating pages having substantial content or for that sake, content that is non-relevant are also penalized. If not penalized, they are more likely to lose authority over their links that are embedded within their content.
Bloggers too are at the risk of being penalized by having their blogs devalued if they make it a habit of regularly publishing non-relevant links and content.

How can bloggers be safe from these penalties?

People who maintain blogs have to be very careful in coming up with suitable candidates for their guest blogging endeavor that do not link their blogs to low quality websites. They should also be people who are expected to post content that is relevant to the site that the former intend to link within the post.

It should be safer to link the content within the guest blog post to other sites which have no vested interest in but that are capable of offering value to the reader or contribute significantly to the content of their post.

2. Devaluation of Back Links

Guest blog posts carrying a keyword-rich text link in their very first paragraph are likely to carry less weight. Rehashing previously published content and then republishing it with embedded links should be avoided as they too are likely to meet the same fate. This has been the norm since the last versions of Google Penguin and the trend will continue with this version too.

Links embedded within the author bio section of the guest blog posts do not carry the same weight as they used to before. Going by the trend that Google is picking on, these links are expected to lose their value even more in the upcoming versions of Google Penguin. Google can be extremely selective in the later versions to come.

What can businesses do to adapt?

Businesses cannot waste a lot of time and effort on techniques that facilitate the easy and quick acquiring of links in bunches. More emphasis has to be laid on delivering quality content that can entice visitors to their net. This way is more natural than other spammy ones.

3. Emphasis on Co-occurrence

Until recently, emphasis was laid on the traditional signals that were thought of as influential in deciding rankings on the SERPs such as keyword placement, anchor text, links and authority. Now with the introduction of Google Penguin 2.0 importance is given to co-occurrence of words, phrases and links within the search queries as the major deciding factor in garnering the topmost ranks on the SERPs.

Evidence backing co-occurrence

This connection between co-occurrence of words, phrases and links within the search queries and textual content with top rankings on SERPs has well been established through an in-depth research on this topic from people with expertise in umpteen citations. Nonetheless, anchor text will surely decide rankings on SERPs by providing signals, but Google will deal with it in an entirely different way.

The very glimpse of a Google SERP when people use it for a query can point to the fact that co-occurrence does play a major role in rankings. While searching for a query, one can find many sites that rank high without the presence of authoritative links, relevant text back links, the search query in the HTML title and a non-availability of query occurrences in the document body. This is reason enough for all the attention lavished on the co-occurrence of words, phrases, links and other content by Google Penguin 2.0.

What exactly can be termed as co-occurrence?

To be concise as to exactly what can be termed as co-occurrence, it is best described as the presence and frequency of terms that tend to occur at the same time on the same pages without being hyperlinked. Quite obviously, Google deals more sophisticatedly with this term and its extensive usage is well witnessed with the introduction of Google Penguin 2.0.

How can businesses adapt to this?

Businesses should bear in mind that there isn’t a necessity to link back to their website from inside of the blog post. Focus should be put on creating useful and engaging content that educates readers. They can make a mention of their company without hyperlinking to it, if the situation demands.

For a guest blog post, it should be noted that it’s inappropriate to mention their company outside of the author bio section. It should only be done in the wake of dire need as in the case where the linking of their content adds substantial knowledge and support to their guest post.

4. Emergence of Author Rank

Author Rank lets Google know the whereabouts of people’s content on the web the moment they publish it. This means that one can send a message to Google by periodic publishing of high quality content on the web about their commitment to quality and in all likelihood, it will surely reciprocate by placing more authority and weight on their content.

What are its adverse effects on businesses?

This can also mean that if businesses continuously publish low quality stuff and filler content, Google will be keeping track of it and many of these links in such type of content will be devalued in time. This is applicable to even the content published on a high authority domain. To be short, Google will not only be devaluing websites and links, but also erring authors too.

How can they adapt?

Businesses should be very choosy with the content that they end up publishing. The content published should be well edited beforehand and prove engaging to the readers. Utmost care should be taken to ensure that the content sticks to the overall idea from the start to the finish lest it leaves the reader confused and compel him to search quality content elsewhere.

5. Use of Social Media Signals

As social media accounts for a number of profiles and can give a search engine a clear idea of the inclinations of people and other statistics, Google has relied heavily on Google+ to better its search results. At the same time, the Google Penguin 2.0 update makes an attempt to curb malpractice among organizations that aim to deliberately tamper the search results like paying people and other entities to create social shares, votes and likes in mass quantities to promote their content.

How can businesses adapt?

Writing content that they wouldn’t mind their name getting associated with and that they would have no qualms sharing on their own social profiles can be done to keep up with the changing times. Building relationships with influencers who have garnered a huge following is also a good way to tackle Google Penguin 2.0 as there is the prospect of them sharing the businesses content with their own followers.


In the body of this article we have seen the new challenges posed by the Google Penguin 2.0 update and how the businesses can adapt to them. There is no such thing as death of SEO and what we can expect after such an update is that the business of SEO will transform for the better with new avenues. The SEO business is here to stay.

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