Last week Google finished their latest algorithm change known as “Google Penguin.” Google confirmed this as they completed a change that many of the top level search engine optimization gurus have been dreading. Overnight, the strategies used by many companies to promote websites to the top of Google search pages resulted in those sites facing severe penalties from Google. The Penguin update, also known as the “web spam” update, now penalizes sites for receiving too many “unnatural links.” This is a response to the ethically questionable practice posting spam comments with links in the comment sections of blogs and building links in sites that served no purpose other than linking to other sites.
Two important steps you should take right now to see if Google Penguin changed your search results:
1) If you have ever used a company to “promote” your website on Google, check your search engine rankings to make sure that you have not been penalized for their actions.
2) Search for your most likely keywords in Google and see if your website has moved up in the rankings. If one of your competitors were unexplainably beating you, Google may have just caught up with them.
If your site’s results have remained unchanged, it is time to start looking at why you are not seeing the results you are hoping for. With my newest site, Restaurant Marketing Plan, I am addressing some of the causes of poor search engine rankings. I am also able to look at a handful of sites more carefully and address the reasons they are not seeing results. If you would like me to take a look at your site, please send me an email at the address found at the bottom of Restaurant Marketing Plan’s home page. In the meantime, take a moment to learn to how Google ranks sites with my introduction to search engine optimization for restaurants.
PS For those of you who were wondering, 100% of the sites I have optimized for myself and my clients remained unharmed. While I think that this update has huge flaws and opens the door for “negative SEO”, I have always practiced and recommended SEO techniques that were endorsed by Google and will yield far more value as time goes by.