Major Changes for Google’s Penguin Algorithm

Major changes for Google's Penguin Algorithm

Google’s dubbed “Penguin” algorithm has been a vital part of how legal clients locate law firms every day since its implementation in 2012. Essentially, the algorithm targets web spam, decreasing rankings for sites that violate Google’s existing quality guidelines by using excessive links, keyword stuffing, or other “black hat” SEO strategies to attempt to force a site to rank without featuring quality, engaging content.

The Penguin update was great for businesses that wanted to rank well by doing all the best SEO practices that are regularly encouraged by Google. These practices include publishing content that’s high in quality and useful to readers—without featuring lots of keyword stuffing—and organic backlinks that are built up naturally over time thanks to referrals and content that drives genuine interest.

Businesses like yours and ours that focus on these elements do better, and in return, search engine users gain a quality web experience. Everyone wins. There was only one lingering issue with the Penguin update, and that was the fact that it wasn’t real-time. The algorithm had to be refreshed before it could help push out rank changes. This led to ranking delays.

These delays created issues we see every day at Legal InSites. Websites and businesses will feature quality content on the surface, but underneath, we’ll find off-site pages full of spam links and non-quality content. Under Penguin’s original model, the refresh delays encouraged businesses to use black hat techniques that were easy to set up, difficult to locate, and easily removed. This let them “cheat” the ranking system temporarily while taking advantage of the fact that Penguin had gaps in its data-gathering process.

All that’s changed. Announced today, Google’s Penguin algorithm is now part of the company’s core algorithm. This means that Penguin will now work in real-time, constantly refreshing and scouring the web for sites and businesses that utilize spammy black hat SEO techniques and other such nonsense to push their rankings. This means that these sites will see penalties far more quickly. In return, sites and businesses that focus entirely on organic white hat techniques should see a genuine ranking boost.

That’s great news for businesses like yours. Every type of business—including law firms—should focus on delivering quality content and search engine optimization (SEO) that not only helps boost rankings, but also delivers an engaging, impactful user experience. Doing so guarantees that your clients and potential clients view content that teaches, informs, and is inherently interesting. When you accomplish this, your website’s viewers can’t help but pick up that phone and give you a call.

If you’d like help creating a website that’s tailored to driving organic client growth thanks to content that’s high in quality and SEO efforts that are honest and entirely built off natural links, referrals, and great legal writing, look no further than Legal InSites. We can bring you the clients you need—without all the nonsense.