SEO Audits In Demand After Google Penguin .pdf
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Title: SEO Companies See Surge in Demand for SEO Audits After Google's Penguin 2.0 Update
Author: Ker Communications
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Global Press Release Distribution
SEO Companies See Surge in Demand for SEO Audits After Google's Penguin 2.0 Update
Source: Ker Communications
Dated: Jun. 25, 2013
Google's Penguin algorithm update is part of the search engine's ongoing battle against "webspam" and
has many website owners scratching their heads. Since its launch, demand for professional website analysis
and SEO audits has exploded.
PITTSBURGH -- Since the roll out of Google's latest Penguin 2.0 algorithm update, many website owners
are struggling to find out why their sites no longer rank as high as they once did in Google's organic search
results. The Penguin algorithm update is part of the search engine's ongoing battle against "webspam",
which includes several promotion methods which fall outside of Google's Webmaster Guidelines.
Unfortunately, many webmasters have used methods of manipulating rankings ranging from excessively
repeating the keywords for which they would like the websites to rank, to buying or otherwise building
hundreds or thousands of backlinks emphasizing those key search terms. While a great many website
owners did know that what they were doing could one day get them in trouble with the search engine, many
did not or were taken advantage of by unscrupulous offers of overnight search engine success. Low-cost,
"too good to be true" search engine optimization or "SEO" schemes have tempted many business owners
into SEO practices which have severely limited their websites' positions in organic search results.
Not all SEO service providers are spammers.
For the most part, legitimate search engine optimization providers are also working to eliminate spammy
tactics and their practitioners from the search marketing industry. Inbound marketing leaders like Moz.com,
SearchEngineLand and others provide well researched and documented explanations of safe and effective
legitimate optimization and online marketing methods, as well as comprehensive guides to how to optimize
websites for best results without resorting to linkspam, keyword stuffing or other "black hat" SEO tactics.
Help is available.
Nick Ker is an SEO consultant and founder of Ker Communications, a Pittsburgh Pennsylvania based
inbound marketing company which provides website auditing and other SEO services
(http://kercommunications.com/seo-services/). "When the first Penguin update launched in April of 2012,
we spent a great deal of time analyzing sites that were hit, as well as analyzing the data and findings of
other reputable search experts so that we can help get good websites back on track."
The first Penguin update in April of 2012 targeted spammy links which could include links from irrelevant
or low quality sites, or even links from good sites that simply used the same keywords entirely too much. A
commonly held misconception in SEO is that having lots of links to your website is always a good thing.
Links which are purchased, exchanged, or are otherwise built just for SEO purposes no longer have as
much value in SEO. Confused? You are not alone. Nick explains, "The SEO industry has a serious problem
with misinformation. One blogger with a good reputation can throw out one wrong idea and a hundred
more bloggers will repeat it. Then thousands of webmasters and inexperienced optimizers stumble upon
that bad information and implement it in their search marketing strategy. Webmasters and inexperienced
SEOs tend to have a "more of everything must be better" mindset, when the opposite is closer to the truth.
Next thing you know, you have all of these websites all doing something spammy that either doesn't work,
or will have a negative impact on business. And they are doing a lot of it."
Enter Penguin 2.0.
According to Matt Cutts, head of Google's search quality team, the latest Penguin update goes a little
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deeper in the hunt for webspam and closes some of the loopholes that existed in the first Penguin update.
Google estimates that 2.3% of all search queries are effected. Since Penguin 2.0, Ker Communications and
other SEO experts have seen a surge in requests for penalty analysis. "Demand for SEO auditing services
has grown over the past year and we have added much more link detail to the audits. We also offer penalty
diagnosis services which dig a little deeper into the link profile to find the spammy links. The number of
requests for help with Penguin problems has more than tripled, so I think that 2.3% figure is a bit low."
Not every drop in a website's search engine ranking is a penalty.
Nick explains, "Nobody wants to acknowledge their own website may be to blame. Sometimes websites
have other issues that can cause problems with Google, whether it was intentional or not. In our SEO
auditing process, we look for potential penalty or algorithmic problems, as well as analyze the site for more
traditional optimization issues that are often much easier to deal with."
Google provides tools for webmasters who believe that they have been hit with a penalty. Website owners
can submit a list of the backlinks that are from low quality sites or were acquired through unapproved
methods using Google's Disavow Links Tool. This sends Google a request to not count those potentially
negative links. By having those links ignored, the search engine's algorithm may allow the site to return to a
normal ability to appear in the search results based on acceptable methods.
Nick explains, "We have had a good success rate with removing unnatural links penalties, since those are
usually triggered by paid links which are relatively easy to track down. Penguin problems are a bit more
persistent, and it usually means getting a lot of other websites to remove links that they may not even be
aware of. If your domain has good brand recognition or is otherwise worth saving, the disavow and
reconsideration routine is the last hope of getting back on Google's good side." The alternative to cleaning
up hundreds or thousands of links is to move the penalized website to a new domain and starting over.
What Can You Do?
If you think your website has been penalized, check Google's Webmaster Tools for any messages. If there
is a warning, read it carefully and follow any instructions it gives. Google has started giving more examples
of possible causes, and you may be able to fix it yourself.
If there is no warning from Google and your rankings have dropped more than just a few positions, you
may have met the Penguin, or some other part of the algorithm. Chances are good that something you or
your SEO company did was not in line with Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Review the guidelines and
see if your site breaks any of the rules. Accurately determining what went wrong and what can be done
about it is essential. A majority of the penalized sites he reviews usually have several violations due to
following bad advice, or are caused by webmasters doing way too much of one or more SEO tactics. Nick
says, "A lot of people think they have done nothing wrong, when in fact they have broken several of the
rules because of bad information or they hired a dirt-cheap fake SEO company. Or they just didn't know
there were any rules. There are very few cases of websites that have nothing wrong being penalized."
For more about SEO Audits: http://kercommunications.com/seo-audit/
For information about SEO and other inbound marketing: http://kercommunications.com/
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