Three Actions Brands Hit By Google Penguin 2.0 Should Undertake – Integrated SEO Agency Punch Offers Advice

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The fourth Penguin update from Google, referred to as 2.0 internally by the search engine, was rolled out on May 22 and impacted 2.3 per cent of English search queries. Therefore, integrated SEO, social media and PR agency Punch Communications is advising brands of three work streams they can action today, if rankings have recently dropped.  

1. Monitor Google Webmaster Tools

Check the site’s Google Webmaster Tools account to see if there are any warning messages from Google regarding low quality links. If a message hasn’t been received, one person should keep a very close eye on that inbox over the next few days to see if potential spam activity is highlighted. If there is a message, then fast action and step two is a must.

2. Manually Audit Backlink Sources

Download a list of the links that point to the site from Google Webmaster Tools and start reviewing the sources, immediately contacting any poor quality sites on the way to ask them to remove the link or links. Instances of poor quality links could include when they are only visible in the code, from sites that have not been updated in years and those placed in irrelevant context. If repeated attempts to contact the sites fail, consider utilising Google’s Disavow tool, which will eventually disregard any affects those links are having on the website in question.

3. Audit Backlink Sources Via Link Type

By using a backlink profile checking tool, it is possible to understand if there is a natural breakdown between link types, for example, the numbers pointing from directories, forums and blogs. ‘Trolling’ forums and blogs to comment on topics and posts in order to obtain links back to websites is seen as a spam-based SEO tactic. Also having tens or hundreds of links from online directory sites, the majority of which are not likely to be relevant to the business, is also spammy. Such activities could have been undertaken by previous employees and this type of audit can point towards more links that require removal. 

Keredy Andrews, account director at Punch Communications, commented: “Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts, said this next generation spam-fighting update goes deeper than the original Penguin, meaning many more SEOs and webmasters should act fast. The advice we always give at Punch is to take preventative measures and comply with Google’s guidelines, but any brand that finds its rankings now hit by Google’s algorithm update can take action immediately. These three activities can be started today, meaning the business is one day closer to regaining good visibility for strategic keywords.”

For more information about Punch’s integrated services, including social SEO and online PR, please visit

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