Websites across the board have come under fire from Google’s latest algorithm update, the Penguin. If you’ve suffered the wrath of this seemingly innocuous creature you could well be wondering what to do next—your rankings have suffered, and that means you need to turn your entire SEO strategy on its head. Right? Well, perhaps not. Drastic measures aren’t always necessary, because if you take a cool, rational approach to things you could well come back from the brink relatively unscathed.
RULE ONE: DON’T PANIC! It’s all-too easy to panic at times like these, but actually that can do more harm than good. There’s no need to completely change your strategy just yet—wait until the dust settles so you can see what the issues actually are, then take a cool-headed approach to identify ways to fix things without jumping in at the deep end.
RULE TWO: DON’T UNDER OPTIMISE. A trap that a lot of people are falling into is under-optimisation. From the outside, it looks like a good way to go—Google is penalising over-optimised sites, so why not bring it down a few notches? Well, even though over-optimisation is a bad thing, under-optimisation is just as detrimental—fail to do anything and you’ll drop off the radar completely, so now is not the time to forego your SEO efforts. Yes, you might need to alter your strategy slightly, but you still need to optimise if you want to bounce back.
RULE THREE: DON’T FORGET YOUR CONTENT. After looking at their drop in rankings a lot of website owners decide that they need to slash SEO budgets, with content creation often being the first to go. What are you doing that for? The key to good SEO will always be good content and it’s more important now than it ever has been, so if anything you should be ramping up your content creation efforts—Google loves content, as do readers, so by regularly offering fresh information you’ll be hitting your target from every angle.
These are the three basic rules of bouncing back from the Penguin, and as you can see, there’s no need to take hugely drastic measures. Of course, if you’ve been engaging in serious black-hat techniques then yes, you’ll need to do a complete SEO overhaul to start off on the right foot, but for most companies this will just be a temporary glitch that can easily be rectified. Stay rational, don’t under-optimise and remember the importance of content and you won’t be taken down by the Penguin just yet.
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