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Penguin 3.0 update and a client case study 2014

Written by David Bryan, November 21, 2014
 | Penguin 3.0 update and a client case study 2014 image 5

Penguin 3.0 update and a client case study 2014

Whilst marketers and SEO experts around the world were left panicking approaching Google’s Penguin 3.0 announcement a few months back, here at Opace we were pretty excited about the update and waiting in anticipation!

Read on to find out about Penguin 3.0 and some of the results we’ve observed.

The Penguin 3.0 update, or indeed any future updates, shouldn’t be all that scary! In fact if you’ve been carrying out a user-focused quality-driven approach to SEO and marketing, you’ve probably found it has benefited your website.

So, what is Penguin 3.0?

In October Google announced that it had updated its Penguin search engine algorithm (now known as Penguin 3.0) and would be slowly rolling it out over the next few weeks.

The update comes almost a year after the last major Penguin update, however it must be stressed that it is actually more of a refresh rather than an update in the traditional sense.

On August 16, 2012, Matt Cutts expanded on that statement in a comment left under a blog post written by Barry Schwartz:

“…expect that the next few Penguin updates will take longer, incorporate additional signals, and as a result will have more noticeable impact. It’s not the case that people should just expect data refreshes for Penguin…”

The fact is, no new signals have been added into the mix, with Penguin 3.0 instead aiming to help websites that have made an effort to clean up their web spam penalties and penalise those practicing black hat SEO.

The update, refresh or whatever you would prefer to call it will excite many webmasters and SEOs that have worked hard to clean up their websites.

For example, if prior to the update you had carried out a thorough audit of your backlinks and made a strong effort to remove and then Disavow any ‘bad links’, it is likely that you will have seen some improvements in your search engine rankings thanks to Penguin 3.0.

Penguin 3.0 being rolled out gradually

If you haven’t noticed a difference yet, don’t panic! Google are taking a gradual approach to rolling out this algorithm refresh, so it may be the case that your website hasn’t been re-assessed yet or that it will benefit from an update in the hopefully not-too-distant future.

Seeing as the Penguin 3.0 updates are on-going rather than a ‘one off’ thing, it is recommended that you continue focusing on taking positive and pro-active approaches to your website’s SEO.

Our philosophy – taking a positive and pro-active approach to SEO

In some senses, we would prefer to avoid the term ‘SEO’ and simply focus on common sense approaches to online marketing and reaching your target market. SEO has almost become a dirty word these days with so many businesses having had a bad experience of some kind, but the fundamentals of SEO have been and will always stay the same: All the usual stuff from creating great content, having a solid SEO/website architecture (URLs, meta data, internal links, good design, etc) to gaining links and mentions from high quality, relevant websites and social media will continue helping to improve your search engine rankings. The trick is to understand the importance of your keywords (see below links), but keep them at the back of your mind and always focus on what your visitors really want i.e. useful content and a great experience.

Here are some of our earlier blogs about keywords which are still true today:

It is worth noting that whilst Penguin 3.0 will help those that have worked hard on improving their website’s SEO, it is not taking an ‘out of sight out of mind’ approach to black hat techniques. This means, that if you have been carrying out unethical SEO practices that go against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines (e.g. keyword stuffing, hidden text, spam and excessive back linking), there is a risk of your website being penalised. If you have seen a recent drop in traffic, sales, enquiries or rankings it is likely Penguin 3.0 has negatively impacted your search rankings.

If you think you’ve got away with it, don’t breathe a sigh of relief just yet because as we said before, Google is rolling this refresh out slowly, so they may not have spotted you yet, but knowing Google, it may not be long before they do!

What to do if Penguin 3.0 concerns you?

If you are concerned about Penguin 3.0 and how it will affect your search engine rankings (whether you know you have been conducting black hat SEO or have felt uneasy about outsourcing your SEO) all hope is not lost. The team here at Opace can help you to clean up all kinds of bad SEO and overcome penalties.

We offer an SEO audit and backlink removal service that is designed to identify poor and spammy links to your website and have them removed or disavowed so they do not continue to negatively impact your website’s search engine rankings.

Speaking of our SEO services, we have recently seen a significant improvements for one of our clients Baker Goodchild following Penguin 3.0, thanks to the ongoing work we’ve done with them.

Read our case study below to get the low down.

SEO case study: Baker Goodchild

Baker Goodchild is an experienced mailing house based in Birmingham. They have been working in the mailing industry since 1995, providing reliable print, mailing and postage services to hundreds of businesses both in the UK and around the world.

The team at Baker Goodchild approached Opace in 2013 for help improving their social media marketing. It logically followed that we supported their other digital activities and helped the client to deliver a quality-driven approach to SEO and marketing, including a full revamp of their website content, on-page SEO and blog. We also helped to carry out a number of audits and an aggressive Disavow exercise to ensure any suspicious links were discounted. The frustrating part is that we had to wait for nearly five months to see the results come to fruition

Thankfully Baker Goodchild benefitted from the Penguin 3.0 update in a number of ways. Immediately after Penguin 3.0 was launched, we saw vast improvements from the date we started, with a huge increase in visibility of over 20% for the keywords we are tracking on Google.co.uk – a total of almost 200 different search terms and phrases.

search engine ranking improvements post Penguin 3.0

Across all search engines we have seen 33 new keywords ranking in the top 3 positions, 64 new keywords ranking on page 1 and 147 new keywords ranking on pages 1-10; all results that the team here at Opace and Baker Goodchild are extremely pleased with.

Penguin 3.0 improvements

Search engine ranking improvements post Penguin 3.0.

Following our work on Baker Goodchild’s SEO and the Penguin 3.0 refresh, we have also noticed that the website is now ranking again for all its local keywords and that the majority have reached a strong position on page 1 after many months of being buried deep within Google’s search results. In particular, competitive keywords such as ‘mailing house’ have shown the most significant improvements in over a year.

Penguin 3.0 has highlighted that the work we have undertaken for Baker Goodchild has been a great success.

The key to our success with Baker Goodchildand our other SEO clients is the use of quality and user-focused SEO techniques. We work hard to raise brand awareness and generate exposure; create unique and engaging content, develop a solid SEO architecture, build user-friendly internal links and gain backlinks and mentions from relevant websites with high authority to ensure they climb up the search results pages.

Conclusion

Although some people will be left worrying about what Penguin 3.0 means for their business website, our SEO work with Baker Goodchild just shows that positives can come out of algorithm updates. If you would like to know more about our SEO services or want to enquire about SEO audit and link removal work, feel free to contact us on 0845 017 7661. For more information on the various updates Google have made, please see http://moz.com/google-algorithm-change.

What are your thoughts on the latest Google update? Good or bad, we would love to hear from you.

Image credit: D-Stanley

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