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What Google Penguin 4.0 Means for Small Business SEO

There’s a new penguin in town.

On Sept. 23, Google officially rolled out Penguin 4.0 — an updated version that promises to be faster and fairer than previous algorithms. But what on earth does a waddling, flightless seabird have to do with your small business SEO?

We’ve got the answers.

How Does Penguin 4.0 Differ from Previous Versions?

When granddaddy Penguin made his debut in April 2012, he was a bit of a curmudgeon. But he did his job well — namely, swimming through Google and looking for the black-hat SEO villains who artificially inflated their page rankings by influencing the number of links to the site. Penguin would then penalize those shady sites, knocking them down to the bottom of the rankings until the black hats removed the links and learned their lesson.

Except granddaddy Penguin was slow. Sometimes it could be weeks or even months before the now-reformed sites got out of Google jail, or before the nefarious SEO manipulators got caught at all. Granddaddy Penguin was also cranky, and he’d be more than happy to penalize the entire website for one page of bad content.

Penguin 4.0 fixes most of those issues.

While penalties and their subsequent parole still won’t take effect immediately, it’ll be a much faster process. Also, our new feathered friend has the power (although not the obligation!) to only send a portion of the website to the end of the line, rather than the whole thing.

What Does This Mean for Your Small Business SEO?

If you follow the rules, you don’t have to worry about anything. Don’t linkspam, and Penguin 4.0 will swim right on by, probably with a friendly wave. Keep posting great content, and you’ll keep climbing the ranks.

However, if you’ve made mistakes with your link building (inadvertently, we’re sure — we’re proud of our white-hat SEO-ers!), now is the time to fix them! Identify the host pages with the spammy links and ask for them to be removed. Some hosts will be more than willing. Others, not so much. When you’ve done all you can do on your own, check out Google’s disavow tool for more help.

The new Penguin is a friendly, forgiving fellow — and as long as you’re following the rules, you have nothing to fear from him!

Do you need some help building a Penguin-friendly site? Shoot Mischa Communications an email. We’ll show you how to develop rich content that will help you climb the search rankings the right way!

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