The Penguin algorithm affected tens of thousands of webmasters who went on to perform meticulous link audits to be in compliance, only for their effort to have little effect, if any. Perhaps you were one of the many webmasters who spent hours removing or disavowing any link that could be considered part of a link scheme by Google. But did you move up in the SERPs? Probably not.

Sites with Good Links Should See a Boost in the SERPs

The reason why there hasn’t been any real benefits for being in compliance is because Penguin is not incorporated into the normal search engine. The solution is to make a complete rerun of the algorithm so that webmasters in compliance can improve their site and boost their rankings.

This day is about to come.

Once the Penguin rerun occurs, websites that have improved their backlink profile and replaced spam links with real links should see a lift in the SERPs. But, there’s something more to think about: SEO. Penguin has been very successful in driving websites with spammy links out of the SERPs, so webmasters are concerned about the potential for negative SEO.

The Potential for Negative SEO

Negative SEO is the act of performing some type of action that negatively impacts a competitor’s organic search rankings. Google has taken an official position on negative SEO, stating that it works hard to prevent webmasters from doing this to other sites. Still, Google doesn’t control the content of web pages, so it’s possible for a site to cause harm to yours.

Protecting Your Website

With this in mind, it’s important to protect your website as Penguin 3.0 is rolled out. The first step is to determine if you’ve been affected. Use the Penguin Penalty Checker Tool to compare web traffic from before the update to now. If you notice a drop in traffic, it’s possible that Penguin is to blame, but do a complete audit to be certain. If it is Penguin that has impacted your site, perform a link audit and ensure that every link conforms to Google Webmaster Guidelines.

Even if your site has escaped Penguin’s wrath, don’t get too comfortable. It’s important to get rid of poor links. The chance of negative SEO is always there, even if you abide by white hat tactics. Moral of the story: Check your link profile regularly. You never know when a new refresh will be coming your way, and it’s better to be prepared than not.