What is the Google Penguin algorithm and what does it do? This is something all new affiliate marketers should get familiar with and understand, because the Google Penguin algorithm is a huge part of search engine optimization. Gaining traffic from the search engines is something almost all affiliate marketers strive for because the traffic is free, highly targeted, and often times, people are ready to buy. So, what do you need to know about the Google Penguin algorithm in order to rank highly in search results?

The Google Penguin Algorithm Is Only A Small Part Of Google

Have you ever wondered how Google works? Well, Google actually has a very difficult job. There are billions of web pages out there and billions of people searching for information online everyday. In order to give people quality search results, Google has a computer based algorithm to determine what websites (and pages) are about and also if they are higher quality. Ranking websites for a nearly unlimited number of search phrases is no easy task and that is very evident by the massive super computers that Google has all around the World.

The Google Penguin algorithm is just one small part of the overall Google Algorithm. With over 250 different “ingredients” in the Google algorithm undergoing 400+ changes every year, it can be difficult to know exactly how the Google algorithm works, but we do know a few very specific things about how the Google Penguin algorithm works specifically.

The Google Penguin Algorithm Is All About “Off Page SEO”

You’ll hear a lot of different SEO terms thrown around such as white had SEO and black hat SEO. But you should also be familiar with both on-page and off-page SEO.

Basically, on-page SEO is all about having your website properly optimized for search engines. This means using “keywords” in certain places such as your page title, description, and in the content itself. Other things like how fast your website loads and whether it’s mobile friendly is also considered on-page SEO.

On the other hand, off-page SEO refers to search engine ranking factors that have to do with things outside of your site. For example, if CNN.com links to your site, this is a very powerful indicator to Google’s algorithm (more specifically the Google Penguin algorithm) that your site is high quality since you are receiving a link from a well known and trusted source. By far, the biggest off-page SEO factor is the number and types of links pointing to your website from other websites.

Follow me so far? Great, let’s continue!

The Google Penguin Algorithm Is Google’s Response To Link Manipulation

Once the word was out that links were such an important factor to ranking in the search engines, website owners began to manipulate and exploit the Google algorithm as much as they could. Many website owners would simply find services that would “link build” and point hundreds or thousands of links to your site. In the early days, it wasn’t so much about the quality of links to your site, it was more about quantity, so this technique actually worked. The Google Penguin algorithm changed all of that and Google had been warning about “unnatural link building” for many years prior to the Google Penguin release.

These days (post-Penguin), Google doesn’t just look at the number of links, but the quality. And unlike before Penguin ever existed, poor quality links to your site can actually harm your rankings in a very serious way. That’s why it is so difficult to build links these days – get the wrong links and Google will destroy your business. Get the right links and you will make a ton of money with a ton of traffic.

How To Get High Quality Links After The Google Penguin Algorithm Update?

If you were to ask Google this question, they would tell you not to worry about links at all. In the perfect world for Google, all links would happen naturally and over time. Google figures if somebody naturally links to you, than your site must be higher quality. Of course, simply waiting for links is an excruciatingly long process, so many of us do some things to help accelerate the process. Social media is a great way to find like minded people who may link to you and there are many other “outreach” methods for building links such as guest blogging or letting other website owners know about broken links on their site and then requesting they use your link as a replacement. Just be warned, if Google catches you trying to actively build links, they may penalize your site. Your time would be best spent on developing more great content for your site.

Does “Link Building” Still Work After Penguin?

Yes, and it still works very well. The problem is, it’s a risk. If you build links unnaturally, Google may figure you out at anytime and shut down your entire site. However, if it works, you can make some huge profits in a very short period of time. What most affiliate marketers are doing now is spreading out the risk by having sites they actively build links to as well as sites they never build links to. That way, no matter what Google does in the future, they will be covered.

It’s also important to go after non-search traffic by setting up email marketing lists, social media accounts, paid advertising, and getting active in related forums or other communities. Being reliant on just one source of traffic is a very dangerous way to do business, so remember to always diversify. Doing this alone will shield you from almost any Google algorithm update, included the dreaded Penguin.