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Google search traffic: P-P-P-Pick up a penguin?

If you thought a penguin was a biscuit, says Nelly Berova, you need to catch up. Google’s latest update – Penguin 4.0 – knows your website’s weak links.

Nelly Berova

Nelly Berova imageFor most agents leads are generated these days either via social networks, property portals like Rightmove or Zoopla or Google search traffic, which is led by either pay per click (PPC) or organic marketing (SEO).

Google's Penguin 4.0 imageIn the past, SEO was the main method used to increase lead volume but this has changed in recent years, mainly due to algorithm updates implemented by Google. Today, a balanced, multi-faceted approach should be taken if you are to reap the results and bring in those leads.

There are several tools that analyse your website, but you need to be able to properly interpret the findings.

Why should I still invest in organic SEO?

According to Reevoo, approximately 80-90 per cent of customers now check online reviews before finalising a purchase or signing up to a service. These numbers are set to increase. If your website is not ranking organically then you can still invest in PPC, however visibility in both, paid and organic sections of the results page will increase your market share and therefore increase the number of leads.

Will Google’s latest Penguin update help my business to gain more leads?

Unlike previous Penguin updates, the Penguin 4.0 update is generally seen as positive. Penguin is now real-time, so any changes made to the website will be visible as soon as the page is re-crawled and re-indexed. If you have struggled with your rankings due to poor quality links, then remove those links. Penguin is now part of the core algorithm, so updates will occur regularly. Your rankings will improve as soon as the regular update is completed. If you only employ SEO best practices, you will be rewarded by these regular updates. Improved rankings will help your business to gain more leads.

Why was the Penguin algorithm introduced?

The first Penguin algorithm was launched in 2012. Prior to the launch, it was easier to get a website to rank well. After the launch, many businesses which previously enjoyed good rankings suddenly saw their rankings drop. The aim of Penguin and its updates is to evaluate websites and alter their rankings accordingly. The Penguin filter crawls the rankings in search of unnatural links. If issues are found, you might see a decline in rankings.

What impact might the Penguin 4.0 update have on my website rankings?

The latest update will only affect your rankings negatively if you have engaged in black hat SEO tactics. If you adhere to SEO best practices, your rankings will either remain the same or improve. If your website has been negatively affected by the algorithm update, the best indicator is a reduction in the amount of organic traffic to your website.

Will I know if my website is penalised following the Penguin 4.0 update?

Check your Google Analytics account and compare your organic traffic of the last three months with the three months prior to that. Do you notice an unusual reduction in organic traffic to your website? If this is the case, you can use the Google Webmaster Tool (Google Search Console) to analyse your site’s visibility. In the case of a manual penalty, Google will notify the website administrator.

How can my website recover if it’s hit by the latest Penguin 4.0 update?

Check Google Webmaster Tool as this can establish any potential issues which might lead to a penalty. Any poor links should be removed as soon as possible. The good news is that the latest update will ensure your website recovers its rankings quickly once any harmful links are removed. How can I access my website’s link profile? Link analysis is an important part of any search marketing strategy. There are a variety of tools available which allow for website analysis, but you will need to be able to interpret the findings properly.

At Art Division, we use several tools which allow us to access a client’s website links portfolio. Here are a couple that we regularly use for a detailed link analysis:

Majestic SEO – this allows us to understand a website’s link profile and provides an in-depth analysis on links, anchor text and links to specific pages.

SEMRush – this allows us to analyse the technical SEO on a client’s website, while providing insight on their competitors. We can then advise you as to the best online marketing strategy for your business.

Do you have a digital marketing question? Email it to sheila@thenegotiator.co.uk and Nelly will answer it in a future article.  

January 3, 2017

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