Are Links On the Brink Post Panda And Penguin?
Google’s recent algorithm updates have really seemed to have stirred a hornet’s nest of a debate around the web. There’s much buzzing online over whether we are now living in a post Panda and Penguin world. To link or not to link – the eternal agonising question! And should we all just focus on our social signals to keep our rankings safe?
The fact is link building remains the essential underpinning of SERPS and is not likely to be dismantled any time soon. While Google themselves claim that, “nofollow links are a small one digit percentage of all links”, at the same time it has to be recognised that as a result of the way today’s sophisticated algorithms operate, Google’s measure of site relevancy, value and trust is simply not as reliant on where SEO keywords are best placed, onpage, offpage or by site ranking.
The rub is that Google need to ensure their search engine is doing its job properly and returning the most relevant and up to date results to an enquiry – and not link spam content. By contrast, social media content should be aimed at linking to humans, engaging their interest and potential for sharing among their own networks.
Google bots read social activity as valuable signs, which help reinforce their trust in the intrinsic value of the content being read. Holistic evaluation of content and its links and keywords has become increasingly more important in creating online marketing campaigns than simply the inclusion of the links themselves.
The crucial ‘takeaway’ from the Panda and Penguin updates is that the same old linking tricks will no longer necessarily fool Google. But as long as site owners care only to scam page rank to grab quick conversions, there will always be SEO spammers ready to offer deals on unethical links and atrociously written content at the lowest prices.
Inevitably, the social networks are also the target of spammers offering to sell ‘likes’ and ‘tweets’ at volume. The reason they do this is because they know that there are still many site owners who still possess analogue ‘push marketing’ mindsets, who believe they can still fool the internet and its users. Sadly, they can and do and will continue to do so, irrespective of Panda and Penguin.
The temptations can be especially attractive to start-ups and SMEs. Planning for the long-term should be the objective in building a trusted online presence and site authority. Post Panda and Penguin, your value to Google is rated by the real and relevant links and content, which bring your presence and intrinsic properties to your audience.