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Small Business Owners Weery Before The Holidays With Another Google Ranking Change

Small Business Owners Weery Before The Holidays With Another Google Ranking Change

Google has been in the news frequently over the past seven days, first when they released their earnings and now with a major change to the way they display websites that could impact thousands of business owners globally. There latest change, named Penguin3.0 has been long romored and could follow the footsteps of other changes that the worlds dominant search engine provider has undertaken in an effort to promote quality search guidelines.

So many business owners first reaction is to question, whether website been a victim of the Penguin? The Penguin of course, is an algorithm developed by Google in the mid-aughts to ferret out websites who artificially enhance their rankings through links. If targeted by the Penguin, sites are deemed “untrustworthy”, and their rankings are suppressed. “Well, good,” you think. “Cheaters shouldn’t prosper”. True enough, but what if the site is the victim of spammers or parties inserting “unnatural” links? If Penguin spots enough of these links, the targeted website can be crippled. Do innocent administrators have any recourse?

According to Don Marks, a web marketing consultant with MarketingRelationship.com “a website administrator’s first course of action should be to determine whether they’ve received a manual penalty, or been targeted by Penguin. To determine whether it’s a manual penalty, an administrator should go to Webmaster Tools and click on “Search Traffic”. If the site’s been given a manual penalty, an explanation of the action taken will appear. The administrator can then click on the accompanying red “Request Review” button to continue resolution.” However, neither Google’s Penguin or Panda algorithms alert you that they’ve taken action. To determine if this has happened, administrators must determine when an algorithm change last took place, go to their analytics data, and see if there has been a corresponding drop in organic traffic at the same time.

Merely disavowing unnatural links if a manual penalty has been issued is may no be enough to regain Google’s trust and restored ranking. In such a scenario, administrators must first not only remove any suspect self-made links, but try to contact originators of low quality unnatural links to have them removed as well. These efforts will be reviewed by Google’s WebSpam Team. Once Google is satisfied every effort has been made to clean up the site, they’ll allow administrators to disavow any remaining unnatural links that can’t be removed.

However, Google doesn’t consider its Penguin and Panda algorithms to be penalties. This means that if one of these algorithms targets bad links, it’s not going to notify a Google employee. But that doesn’t mean an administrator should ignore this either. If Penguin perceives enough unnatural links, it can cause rankings to be suppressed.

Google suggests two approaches for getting back in Penguin’s good graces. The first would be to try to find an expert who specialize in helping restore websites to then determine the origin of all unnatural links, and make every effort to have them removed. When targeted by Penguin, administrators can also use the disavow option without the WebSpam Team’s approval. In a 2013 Google instructional video, a company representative stated that Google would prefer that administrators have bad links removed from their sites whenever possible. In the case of Penguin however, the algorithm considers link removal and disavowing to be “essentially the same”.

So while disavowing is less time consuming and an acceptable method to escape the wrath of Penguin, experts still recommend having links removed whenever possible. They point out that the disavowing tool is often used incorrectly. And of course, just like disease, disavowed bad links can return, if not treated effectively