Category Archives: Search Engine Updates

google fred

5 Link Building Tips to Survive Google Fred

Google Fred continues Google’s effort to reward websites with higher rankings when they provide users (customers) with the best experience.

While users are the definitive winners in this arrangement, this isn’t a selfless act.

Google wins again.

This update sets out to further reduce the visibility of content that isn’t user-centered. This way, when someone enters a search term, they pull up exactly what they’re looking for from the best source to provide them with that information.

The user is happy with the website Google suggested. They’re therefore happy with Google.

And Google comes out on top.

But this doesn’t mean you have to be the loser.

You can use this new algorithm update to your advantage to achieve that prized top ranking. Let’s explore how.

Quality Over Quantity

No one except Google actually ever knows that the exact algorithm. But updates are studied extensively to figure out what makes them tick.

And the focus on quality hasn’t changed. They’re simply getting better at weeding out low-quality content and backlinks.

That’s why it’s important to invest your time in acquiring high-quality links rather than “lots of links”. With the changes, lots of links from low-quality sites can hurt you.

Yes, Google can pull a disappearing act on your website.

When link building, focus on acquiring links for your site that have a high DA, sometimes called a DR, depending on the program you use.

DA is a term invented by Moz, a respected leader in SEO tracking tools.

This rating follows a scale of between 1-100, with 100 being the highest. The more links you have from high DA sites the healthier your link profile will be.

But there’s a catch….

Relevance Is Even More Relevant

Google Fred continues Google’s trend of considering the relevance of the website that’s linking to your website.

A high DA cooking site backlink to an industrial equipment site will seem a little strange to Fred.

The backlink may be completely legitimate. Perhaps a blogger on the cooking site references industrial equipment and wants to link to it.

Hey, it could happen.

But it won’t matter.

Does this mean that this link is bad? No. Some of these links that seem non-relevant will happen naturally.

Google Fred will be on the look out for lots of links from sites that don’t seem relevant. If your links from unrelated sites exceeds what might happen naturally, Google may penalize your site.

But again, only Google knows what they consider the backlink limit from unrelated sites. And this could include links to loosely related sites like directories.

So how can you work this to your advantage?

The best things for you to do is work on getting more backlinks from industry relevant websites with a high DA.

The more relevant, the better.

Invest in High-Quality Content

Create linkable content. It often takes longer than we’d like to build links through content. Because of this, we wouldn’t recommend this as a short term or primary linking strategy. But you could be missing out on free, natural links that your content can acquire over time.

Creating high quality, linkable content is a very important part of your long-term link-building strategy.

Create content that’s:

  • Relevant
  • Interesting
  • Helpful
  • Actionable
  • Longer and more in-depth… not just longer with fluff.
  • Has prominently placed facts and stats that people will want to link to
  • Multi-media – videos, gifs, images, infographics, quizzes, slideshows, widgets, etc.
  • Links to authoritative sources that help support your statements.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, 60% of the content we create isn’t effective at meeting goals. That’s bad news for competitors. But you can turn a challenge into your competitive advantage for link building and engagement.

Content that’s re-written, duplicate or spun by a computer program may have worked 5 years ago. But today, with Google Fred, you need a high-quality content from a human writer who specializes in writing Internet content.

Check Your Links

Check the strength of your link profile with tools like AHrefs and SERPs.

Through tools like this, you’ll see how many links you have for high DA sites and how many from low DA sites.

It will help to take a closer look at the websites linking to you. Are the relevant to your site? Is their content high quality?

If not, they may be using shady practices to obtain a ranking. It may serve them well for a time. But with updates like Google Fred, they’ll be found out soon enough.

You don’t want to go down with their ship.

You may choose to disavow certain links if you’re concerned that they’re not doing your site any favors.

Reduce Ads

Affiliate marketing isn’t going away. We’re not suggesting that you remove all of your ads. That would be counter-productive.

But ads should add value the user experience not crash their browser.

Sites that are providing very small amounts of content and then filling the page with ads are among those being hit the hardest.

Google doesn’t want these pages at the top of their searches. Users who are searching for information don’t want to click on these pages. They provide a bad user experience.

Instead make sure the content on the page is current, relevant and helpful to those that are clicking on your pages.

Check your page’s load speed on several devices. Don’t just consider load speed on the initial page, but as people click through the site. Hire beta testers to provide you with experience feedback.

Google Fred will reward sites that create the right content-ad balance and therefore the right customer experience.

A better content to ad ratio will produce more linkable content.

Google Fred Is Here

Google Fred is here. And it won’t be the last update. Google will continue to modify its algorithm. It will use improved technology to reward sites that value quality and the customer experience.

And it will penalize those who don’t.

Getting high DA relevant backlinks will help potential customers find your high-quality content and your website.

Getting these links isn’t easy. But we have the solution.

We’ve been successfully helping websites rank higher through backlinks for over 10 years. Learn more about how we can help you get not only more backlinks but the right backlinks. Reach out today.

Penguin 4 Update: Has Your Site Recovered?

Did your site get hit by the Penguin 4 update? Are you wondering why it hasn’t recovered?

After almost two years of waiting, the Penguin 4 update finally rolled out at the end of September. Different from previous updates, Penguin 4 is a real-time update. This means websites are now being evaluated in real-time and will increase or decrease in rankings in real-time.

This is good news if your site was hit during the roll-out because you can make changes and get out of your Penguin penalty now. If your site hasn’t recovered yet, read on to learn more about Penguin 4 and what you can do to get your site rankings back up.

If your site hasn’t recovered yet, read on to learn more about Penguin 4 and what you can do to get your site rankings back up.

What You Need to Know About Penguin 4

From specific words on websites to your region and the freshness of content, Google’s filtering process relies on over 200 unique signals to find the search item you’re looking for. One of these signals is called Penguin.

Google detects sites that are spamming the search results. The Penguin filter has been run periodically since 2012 to capture those sites that are getting past the regular spamming systems. In the past when Penguin caught a spammy site, the site would remain penalized no matter how they changed until the next time Penguin ran.

Before Penguin 4, there hadn’t been a Penguin update since October 17, 2014. Every site hit then had to wait until this recent update of Penguin 4 to become unpenalized.

Now, site owners won’t have to wait months to be recognized in the search rankings by Google. Penguin 4 is real-time, so as Google constantly reindexes pages, the Penguin filter is constantly assessing those pages. Penguin with catch and free sites in this ongoing process.

The Penguin 4 update also made the filter more granular. It now adjusts ranking based on spam signals, rather than affecting the ranking of the wholepenguin 4 website.

This means that it is no longer only a sitewide penalty. Penguin can impact specific pages on a site as well as sections or wide swaths of a site. But the whole site isn’t affected, and some pages may be fine.

Why Your Site Hasn’t Recovered from Penguin 4

Even though Google has claimed that the Penguin 4 update is real-time, some sites still haven’t recovered from previous penalties. Here are a few possibilities for why your site hasn’t recovered yet?

1. The update is still rolling out.

Penguin 4 is quite different from the previous versions. Rather than being an actual update, it replaces the previous versions and works differently than they did.

Penguin 4 has been rolled out in a couple phases. The new code went live around September 23 when Google announced it. But for the new code to completely take effect, it had to wait for the entire link graph to be refreshed, which can take some time for deeper links.

Because of that, it may have taken a few days for the initial roll-out to fully take effect.

Google also rolled back previous Penguin penalties after the new code launched. Google announced on Twitter that the Penguin roll-out was in the final stage on October 7, still removing demotions over the next few days.

It is possible that not all Penguin demotions have been removed yet. Your site may be one of the unlucky few. Monitor your keyword rankings instead of traffic to see if your site is improving.

2. You still have too many broken links.

While you may be trying to hold on to as many links as possible, bad links may be keeping your site down in the Google rankings.

Bad links can come in several forms. When you delete a linked page, insert an incorrect URL in a text link or change a URL address without correctly updating the URL, you get a broken link.

One of the ways Google’s algorithms rank websites is by crawling their links. If your site has broken links, these algorithms stop from crawling and indexing it.

Google aims to avoid directing users to sites that have these broken links. If you still have too bad links lurking on your site, it is likely affecting your ranking with Google.

Even though Google claims not to be penalizing the whole site, bad links could still be causing the issue. Other algorithms could be catching these bad links and keeping your site low in the rankings. Continuing to clean up bad links could help get your site back up in Google.

3. You don’t have enough links anymore.

Perhaps you got so carried away with taking out bad links that your site doesn’t have any links left. It’s possible that your Penguin penalty was lifted when you removed the bad links, but if you don’t have enough good links left then your site still won’t rank well with Google.

Backlinks are important for ranking in Google. They may account for as much as 80 percent of the weight that search engine ranking algorithms give websites. Without backlinks at all, your site doesn’t stand a chance.

Instead of focusing on taking out all the bad links, turn your efforts to getting more quality and authoritative backlinks in your content. Since Penguin 4 is real-time, implementing backlinks now can have a positive impact and get your site back up in the rankings quicker.

4. Your site has other issues that don’t involve Penguin.

Penguin is only one of more than 200 signals that Google uses to determine site rankings. There could be a slew of other catches taking place that have nothing to do with Penguin. Your site could have been suppressed by Panda or one of Google’s Quality Algorithms.

You may be having other technical SEO issues that don’t have to do with bad links. If your site hasn’t recovered from Penguin, it’s worth digging deeper than just fixing your links.

If your site hasn’t recovered from Penguin 4, keep waiting a short while as the update is still rolling out. But don’t hesitate to disavow those bad links or add some high-quality backlinks. Most sites are experiencing improvements from the update, and yours should be right up there with them.