When Penguin first rolled out in 2012, it shook the foundations of online marketing. Business websites left and right saw their rankings plunge deeper than Lake Macleod. As an English-speaking country, Australian websites were among those hit hard, making up part of the 3.1 percent of all English search queries.
In Penguin’s aftermath, affected websites were given two choices to reel from the situation. They could either fix certain issues or start from scratch.
Marie Haynes, an expert on unnatural links, discusses the latter in her report for Search Engine Watch. Although a promising solution, it can’t circumvent the effects of Penguin without hitting the reset button. Here are several issues described by Haynes, along with insights from other experts.
Importing Old Website Content
Good content is too precious to be discarded, even from a site that incurred Penguin’s wrath. Simply carrying content to the new website, however, may trigger Google’s duplicate content alarm. In other words, Google may treat the new website as the old one due to the similarities. You can save old content by taking advantage of 301 redirects and other webmaster tools.
Redirecting to New Website
While a 301 redirect may work for importing content, Haynes strongly suggested against using it on redirecting users from the old to new. Your Penguin-hit website may follow you to the new domain, given its nature of passing authority. Your best bet, according to Haynes, is to use the Robots.txt file.
Although more complicated and not a guarantee, the Robots.txt method can pass the authority but not the penalty if done right. With Robots.txt preventing search engines from crawling onto the old domain, a 301 redirect can be performed safely. Of course, you should make sure that the new one isn’t a carbon copy of the old one; otherwise, the effort would be futile.
Perth SEO companies like Viper Online Marketing are well aware of Penguin and other Google updates. They change their strategies with the changing algorithms to prevent their clients from being penalised. While such companies used to stuff keywords on websites during the early years of SEO, they don’t do it anymore today since Google had already marked that as spam.
It’s safe to say that this won’t be the last time websites will take a blow from Google. This is evident with Google’s release of Penguin 3.0 back in October, 2014, which has made rounds in several search news sites since. Whether you ask Perth search engine optimisation companies to fix the issues or start over, you’ll need to make sure your decision is justified.
(Source: “Can You Safely Redirect Users From a Penguin-Hit Site to a New Domain?” Search Engine Watch, December 3, 2014)