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Google's Penguin 2.0 Update: What You Need to Know

How to align with, rather than battle against, Google's latest algorithm update.

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On May 22nd Google's head of webspam, Matt Cutts, announced the launch of the search giant's latest algorithm update, Penguin 2.0. In essence, it turned the volume up on its original Penguin algorithm and targets websites with inbound links from questionable, low-quality, and irrelevant sites.

Digital marketers who want to know more about this update and how to react will find advice and solutions in the new eBook, SEO in a Post-Penguin 2.0 World. Here are three steps taken from the eBook that will help you recover if your organic search traffic has experienced a dramatic decline since the release of Penguin 2.0.

1. Create Remarkable Content Targeted at a Specific Audience

Google has been telling everyone for years to do this. However, search engines traditionally haven't been very good at distinguishing good content from bad content. This latest update helps it further validate the off-page signals (links) that segment remarkable content from the rest.

Online content must be consumed, shared, and cited if it is to gain visibility in search results. If content is truly remarkable and easy to find on relevant and authoritative third-party websites, search visibility happens naturally.

The Penguin 2.0 update specifically targets websites that are getting the majority of their links from unauthoritative or untrustworthy third-party websites. This is generally an attribute of unremarkable content.

2. Create Advanced Content

Advanced content is more than just an article or blog post. Jay Baer would call this sort of content a Youtility. It usually comes in the form of a problem-solving eBook, white paper or guide. SEO in a Post Penguin 2.0 World calls this a contribution to an industry.

Advanced content that's well-researched, well-written and impactful is a link-worthy asset. People want to consume, share and cite it if it's remarkable. In the long-run, creating linkable assets of this nature will organically build a diverse set of off-page search signals. In the short term, they can drive referral traffic, conversions, leads, social buzz and e-mail list growth.

3. Promote Advanced Content to Online Media Outlets

If advanced content is indeed remarkable, online media wants to know about it. However, online media's resources are finite. As a result, not all remarkable advanced content gets mentioned or cited. Digital PR techniques can expose this type of content to the large, relevant audiences of the media outlets that your target audience visits on a regular basis. This process is called earned media.

When executed properly, earned media campaigns result in hundreds--even thousands--of natural off-page signals. This is because popular online media outlets are widely syndicated and socially shared across the Internet. SEO in a Post Penguin 2.0 World shows how one media citation drove 894 syndicated mentions, over 1,000 social shares and produced more than 2,000 leads. Considering that the average cost per built link is around $1,000, this campaign required approximately $50,000 of resources for less than 1/10 of the effort.

In addition to using the three steps above to recover from Google's Penguin 2.0 algorithm update, download SEO in a Post-Penguin 2.0 Worldas a reference. This should help get your website back on track and ensures future algorithm updates will never negatively impact your search engine visibility.

Last updated: Jun 5, 2013

AARON ADERS is co-founder of DigitalRelevance, a national leader in earned media and inbound marketing services. Building on more than a decade of Internet marketing experience, Aders steers the strategic vision behind DigitalRelevance's market research and collateral.
@drelevance




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