Friday 4th October in the world of SEO saw the release of the Google PENGUIN 2.1 algorithm.  Infiltrating and adjusting the Page Rankings of websites across the internet, heavy-hit web pages were being reported as early as Friday afternoon.

Penguin 2.1 is the 5th edition of the spam-busting Penguin algorithm first released in April 2012. ‘Did I get Hit?’ Well, this algorithm update is expected to affect around 1% of all searches, targeting those sites that escaped through the first version of Penguin 2. The key objective of this algorithm along with its predecessors is to improve the overall quality of those sites ranking high on Google searches. Penguin specifically penalizes those sites which are in breach of Webmaster Guidelines; practicing black- hat techniques. Penguin 2.1 is focusing primarily upon those sites which have spam-ridden and unnatural backlinks, not so much content. These targets include WebPages utilizing abnormal directories, forums, and blog comments consisting of spam. What you will see if you receive a Penguin 2.1 penalty is a dip in organic traffic from Google due to decreased position on SERP, with many web masters reporting that their pages have disappeared from results completely. The Journey to Recovery A quick, long-term solution to recovering your Page Rank? I’m afraid there isn’t one. To recover it is key that quality is central to both your links and content. Penguin is scouring over back-links, finding those which are low value, paid-for and more crucially for Penguin 2.1 spammy! Below we have listed a few vital points to recovering from Penguin 2.1:
  • Check the backlinks to your website! Make sure they are all relevant and quality with good Page Rankings and authority. (You can do this through tools such as Open Explorer on MOZ).
  • You need to identify any backlinks that will appear as spam-ridden or paid for as these will bring down your rankings. 
  • Initially to get the backlinks removed you should try contacting the sites owners asking them to remove the link to their site. (Keep a record of any contact you make; when and through what method – this shows Google you have tried to remove the link without using the disavow tool).
  • If the site owner fails to respond or remove the link you can then pursue submitting a disavow for the link to Google through Webmaster Tools.
  • Once the sites are removed you can appeal to Google to have your site reconsidered.
Following these steps does not lead to immediate success, often once Google has reconsidered your site it can still take up until the next update for major change to take place.  
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