The Impact of Penguin 4.0
In the short span of thirty years, the term “search engine optimization” has gone from being nonexistent to being one of the most vital lifebloods of any corporation’s marketing strategies. Even newcomers to the world of digital outreach are still aware of their need for online SEO, even if they don’t know what to call it. But the million-dollar question out there is no longer, “What is SEO?” but rather… how does one take advantage of it and push their corporation’s name to the top of those search results? For a long time, that question was difficult to answer… but Penguin 4.0, Google’s latest ranking system, is finally clearing things up.
How Did SEO Originally Work to Begin With?
In earlier versions of Google’s SEO algorithm, value was placed on how many times certain keywords might appear on your website; and this meant that websites with more repetitious or redundant content were likely to receive high rankings. After that, Google instead tried to count the number of links referring people to your website, or even the keywords in those hyperlinks – but both methods could be cheated by companies hiring teams of workers to post spam links in the comments of every blog and chat-room they could find. All of this meant that, for ages, SEO rankings were based on quantity, rather than quality. But that has finally changed.
In 2012, Google started a new system which would flag excessive links and penalize websites that were advertised by too much spam. However, the system still had its flaws. For one thing, competitors could get their competitors penalized by posting spam linking back to their competitors’ websites. Additionally, sites trying to get back in Google’s good graces would still have to wait for weeks or even months to receive a new rating after disassociating themselves with said spam, and by then new spam links could pile up; and that meant workers had to spend even more time manually disavowing each individual bad link to make up for their online “sins” while their company lost potential customers.
But… Google kept each and every one of those “disavow” claims and spam reports, because they were building something during the next four years; and in September of 2016, they rolled it out for the world to see in the form of Penguin 4.0.
The central alteration to Google’s SEO ranking system is twofold. Firstly, it’s now perpetually ongoing. That means a forever-evolving database keeps track of any sites or sources that are flagged for spam in multiple instances; and it also provides instant, non-stop re-ranking for your site as your content grows or as you disavow spam links that were previously attributed to you. (No more days, weeks, or months of waiting for Google to grant you online amnesty!)
Secondly, if one of your pages is suddenly flagged for multiple spam claims, your entire site is not penalized; only the page in question. That means your website won’t suddenly disappear and cause a major drop in online business and revenues just because a single page of your site is in SEO jail (which means that your competitors no longer have the ability to knock your domain temporarily out of commission).
What Does This Mean Going Forward?
First of all, content is still king, now and for the foreseeable future. Things like customer reviews, referrals from respectable sites, and high visitor traffic are all major signs to Google’s algorithm that yours is a legitimate business; and your website gets even more brownie points for valuable content like blog posts and video objects.
And second, if content is king, video content is queen. Because videos can be somewhat expensive and require much more effort to make than the average text article to create, they are considered by Google as signs of a website’s expertise in a particular area. In fact, you can be sure that your organic ranking increases with every content-rich video you add to your website – especially if you know how to employ elements like closed captioning (which provides Google with more keywords), specific platform-based analytics, and more.
Make no mistake; optimizing one’s SEO is a full-time job, and like Penguin 4.0 it will probably continue to evolve as time goes on. That’s why, whether you decide to employ a digital marketing agency or a video marketing agency, you’d better strap in with an expert you trust.