What does that animal wants with me?
Google has now confirmed that the Penguin update has been fully rolled out. The official launch was on April 24. According to Matt Cuts penguin update isn’t designed as a penalty but it’s more of the full on algorithmic change which is supposed to level the field for all websites.
Levelling the field can be read as Google’s attempt to punish pages that have been spamming Google search results. If you’re not familiar with spam, it’s when people do things like “link schemes”, “keyword stuffing”, others methods which artificially attempt to improve once ranking which in principle violates Google’s guidelines. To learn more, check Google Webmaster Guidelines
Was my website affected?
IF your rankings suddenly disappeared then it’s no brainer. If you’ve seen changes but can’t nail it then check your analytics. Assess organic traffic and keyword data pre and post 24th of April. If you can sudden drops in traffic which coincides with negative ranking movements then you have your proof.
How to future proof yourself?
Assess your present web strategy. Do you maximise all your digital channels or are you mostly reliant on one of them.
Invest in your brand. Building brand authority and citations, concentrating on the user experience, and keeping the technical aspects of your site current will definitely pay off.
Insulate yourself from algorithm changes by choosing right ways of promoting your website particularly in the organic search results. Don’t believe in guaranteed positions as some companies tend to sell it – you can follow the best practice which will be rewarded by Google but no guarantees can be made (those who provide guarantees usually use spammy methods).
Get ready for the change.
Create contingency plans. Forecast whether your business model could afford and survive drop in current rankings. Shall you be forced to rely on PPC – would you go bankrupt or still do well.