When you work in a web design company, in digital marketing, or in SEO, Google Algorithm updates are often a trigger for mild panic attacks. You hold your breath as you start to see the effects of the change. You cry a little if your traffic starts to tank, or you jump for joy if your traffic sees a large rise. The good news, though, is Google’s Penguin 4.0 signal change might just work as well as a meditation ritual for reducing your stress.
Web Design Companies and the Harsh Realities of Old Penguin
Google’s Penguin signal has been focused on the effects of spammy links since 2012. Like the rest of the internet, the signal has evolved a lot since its original release – and for the better. The largest complaint for prior Penguin versions was the intermittent and inconsistent penalization of bad links.
Slow Penalty Timelines
As it ran the Penguin algorithm in waves, Google only assessed and removed website penalties periodically. Meaning, if you were a site that had disavowed your bad links, you may not see any removal of your penalty for several weeks or even months down the road. Your site’s rankings, in the meantime, were still being penalized. In your web design and content strategy, you then were stuck waiting for Google’s next wave before you saw results of the positive work you had done since the disavowal.
A Bad Page is a Bad Domain
Painful timelines aside, Google’s older Penguin versions also implemented a one-size-fits-all policy towards spam links. If you received link penalties on one page, your entire domain was penalized in the rankings. Now this small problem, on top of the long timeline before your penalty could be removed, became a massive migraine for web design companies and strategists.
Rewarding a Proper Web Design Company: Penguin 4.0
In Real Time
Penguin 4.0 was slowly released throughout the fall of 2016, and has now been made core to Google’s algorithm. The new release, deemed the ‘Real Time’ update, seeks to expedite the link penalty process. Operating in almost ‘real time’, Google will now assess and remove penalties for websites much more quickly. If you have a poor web design company who with many spammy links, this update may have killed your traffic. Sorry. While you previously may have been able to go for longer periods before penalties were assessed to your site, this is no longer going to fly with Google. If you have a great web design company and a solid set of credible and clean backlinks, it’s your turn to jump and cheer. Google can now reward your good behavior by quickly decreasing the rankings of sites with spammy links, thereby increasing your rankings. Free traffic without additional effort – just for doing the right thing in your web design to start with!
The Changing Significance of Spammy Links
Penguin 4.0 also removed the one-size-fits-all policy and removed the automatic penalty to the entire domain. Now, Google will not confirm that this means only the page that the link appeared on will be penalized. But, it is likely that your entire website and rankings will not be penalized for one page with bad links. Google also has become smarter and more selective around reviewing and interpreting your links. For example, if your website is in an industry where spammy links are plentiful across competitors, rather than knocking all of these website’s rankings, Google may just decrease the weight of the links in its ranking algorithm. This is just one part of how Google has become more semantic and understanding of the subtleties of linking strategies that a web design company uses.
The Solution: a Proactive Web Design Company
The trick to adapting to Google’s changes and staying on top of your rankings is often by utilizing a creative web design company. With a full-time team of designers, developers, and strategists a web design company can stay in the loop with Google’s changes. They can also keep your site and link strategy evolving with the Penguin releases. OCG Creative provides a full team to help you with web design, content strategy, SEO, and ongoing internet marketing initiatives. Call us. We’d love to help. (775) 324-1644