Have you noticed your site’s rankings drop considerably in the last few weeks? It might have been a result of Google’s latest search engine update, Penguin.
Launched on April 24th, Google Penguin is entirely about promoting white-hat practices and upholding the standards of Google’s quality guidelines, and has little to do with directly improving search results. The Penguin update has been specifically designed to penalize and de-rank sites that have boosted ranking through grey-hat means. What is grey-hat, you ask?
Simply speaking, grey-hat techniques are any SEO techniques that are intended to boost ranking for a site without regard for user experience. These techniques include keyword stuffing and link schemes, which have been all too common in the past. If you’ve had your site’s ranking fall drastically as a result of Penguin, chances are high that you or your SEO person used one of these techniques.
According to Matt Cutts, the Penguin update is intended to reward those sites that have made use of white-hat SEO techniques. White-hat SEO is complicit with Google’s quality guidelines and includes doing things such as making sites load faster, writing informative and unique content, and improving usability. These are judged to be white-hat because they benefit the user as well as the search engines; they focus on building the quality of the site rather than on boosting its rankings.
The bottom line is, grey-hat techniques will not get you results as they once did – they will, in fact, be harmful to your rankings if implemented. Thankfully, there are SEO specialists like Longevity Graphics who hold fast to Google’s quality guidelines and pay close attention to what works and what doesn’t. The Penguin update is about promoting quality on the web, and that’s something we have always believed in.