As we’re sure many of you already know Matt Cutts announced yesterday that Penguin 2.0 has rolled out.
At this early stage we’d recommend you keep an eye on Google Analytics and Webmaster tools for any fluctuations. If you have suffered a traffic drop or feel that your site has been affected, we’d advice you perform the checks outlines below.
Penguin 2.0 Checks
Checks 1-4 are to basically check for bad SEO, unfortunately this does happen. Points 5-8 are to determine if you’ve been hit by Penguin 2.0.
- Check Webmaster tools for crawl errors and messages
- Test your robots.txt file and make sure the site is accessible to Googlebot
- Use the site command to check that your site is still indexed
- Check that the Google Analytics is installed on every page on your site
- Check organic traffic from Google in Google Analytics and look for a drop independent of seasonality
- Install the chartelligence chrome plugin to overlay Google algorithm change history onto GA reports and use this to see if you’ve had a drop in Google traffic since May 22nd
- Use a tool like Searchmetrics to check site visibility and rankings. For those of you that don’t know Searchmetrics has access to ranking data for 100m keywords. Once again look for a drop in referrals since May 22nd
- Look for a correlation between the keywords that have lost visibility in Searchmetrics and actual keyword traffic and conversion data in GA
What to do if you think you’ve been hit?
If after completing the checks you feel that your site has been affected by Penguin 2.0 we recommend that you get an agency to independently audit your links and check for anything that appears to be inorganic. You can do this by downloading a list of your backlinks from webmaster tools. Depending on the size of your site we’d recommend supplementing your data from other sources such as Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO and Ahrefs.
Most people should be aware of the types of link building they have been engaging in. If you’re not sure or would like a second opinion this is something we would be happy to offer advice on.
As ever we’d recommend pursuing a future proof SEO strategy that puts you audience at the heart of everything you do. As Matt explained in his recent video “you should make a great site your users love”. Whilst we’d the first to admit that this sounds a little cheesy. The reality is that in a Penguin 2.0 world brands do need to invest time and resource into planning high quality content and promote this directly to their audiences.