What were the Google Penguin updates for?


The Google Penguin update was first rolled out back in April 2012, and it gets regularly discussed by SEO’s ever since.

For white hat agencies like us, the Penguin update was a blessing. The reason being is those businesses and marketing agencies that wanted to build a ton of low-quality links, to try and improve where a website ranks, well this method no longer worked.

And this is a good thing, because those who try and cheat the system, and not offer quality seo work, well they got penalised.

The users of Google also benefit, as the quality of the websites that are shown in the SERP’s, well they improve.

The reason being is this, say your looking for a coat for your dog online, since Penguin the websites that surface will be websites that have backlinks from good quality websites.

On the other hand, before Penguin well you may be looking at websites that just got there because they have built a load of rubbish backlinks, and therefore they’ve cheated the algorithm, and therefore probably don’t offer the best array of jackets for your pet pooch.

So tell me, how does this Google Penguin update work?

Think of backlinks like you would electrical wires that connect businesses together. Now some these wires (backlinks) will help your businesses seo, they are high-quality, relevant and so on.

Yet there are other types of wires, these are just created to try and fool the algorithm into thinking they are more important. When in reality they are just spam.

So Google Penguin is a filter, it works out which backlinks are quality, and which ones are simply rubbish, then it penalises the websites that use spam links.

Then the only websites which benefit from having backlinks, are the ones which have good quality backlinks.

So, when I approached a few agencies, and they offered me super low quotes, were they using poor quality backlinks?

Well, here’s the thing it doesn’t really matter how much the agency charges, what’s important is the quality of the seo.

However, if an agency is charging absolute peanuts, well the obvious question is how can they pay anybody a decent wage to implement good quality seo?


So, yes if the agency does offer low prices, well this should have you thinking, will the backlinks be quality or not?


Okay, so say my business did use black hat methods, what will happen?

Whether you’re a start-up business, or an established company, there is always going to be companies that want to cut corners.

However, our best advice is this, do not cut corners when it comes to seo. The reason being is Google is now very sophisticated at spotting low quality seo, and your website is likely to be penalised.


What happens if my website was to get hit by the Google Penguin update?

It’s likely to drop in terms of where the website ranks. So for example, you may run a dental practice, and in your area you ranked number one for “local dentists”- yet now you’ve been hit by the Penguin update, your website is on page 11 of Google.

If the seo is really bad, its possible that the algorithm removes the business altogether!


What does it mean to disavow backlinks?

Okay before we start on this one, its important to know that disavowing backlinks should only be undertaken by a white hat agency or someone who knows what they are doing.

The reason being is if the backlinks are incorrectly disavowed, well you could make the problem worse.

Plus, you need a real expert, someone who knows what they are doing to know the difference between a low-quality link, and a quality link.


Why should my SEO agency be checking our backlinks on a regular basis?

There are all sorts of reasons why your seo company should be checking the health of your business’s backlinks. This can range from spotting a negative seo attack early on, through to whether your business is accumulating too many spam backlinks.

So in a nutshell a good quality, white hat seo business should be checking the health of your businesses backlinks.

Why does my website need backlinks?


Whether your business has been investing in SEO for some time, or you’ve just hired an seo agency relatively recently, there’s one thing that most businesses recognise, and that is backlinks are important.

The reason being is if your business manages to obtain quality links, well this can help to send what is called “link juice” to your website.

Now link juice is super important, as it can help to improve where a page, or your entire website ranks.

So, if you want to learn a bit more about why your website needs backlinks, well this is the article for you.

What exactly are backlinks?

Say your looking to purchase a brand-new car, and you find a car that you like the look of on one website, yet you want to find out a bit more about the car dealership first.

So, you click the dealerships logo, and then you are transported to the dealership’s website, this is called following the link.

Yet, backlinks are important in terms of influencing the success of your businesses seo for another reason, and that’s because if a business has enough high-quality backlinks, that are relevant to that company, then this can mean that the website can be ranked higher.

It’s worth bearing in mind that Google’s algorithm is thought to take into account over 200 ranking signals, that’s when working out how important your business is.

Yet, out of all those 200 ranking signals backlinks are considered to be one of the most important ranking signals there is. And some seo agencies go so far to state that backlinks are the number one ranking signal.

So, as you can see, they are a big deal! And this is why so many marketing agencies spend so long building backlinks for their clients.



As SEO consultant’s we have to think how Google thinks. So, which website would you deem as more important, the one with no backlinks at all, or the website that has thousands of backlinks from many respected websites, and some of the websites are instantly recognisable brands?

Well, of course you would instantly think that the business that has links from many respected websites will be the most important website out of the two. And this is how Google’s algorithm thinks as well, and this is why seo agencies spend a lot of time building quality backlinks.


Quality is an absolute must

Leading marketing businesses often will only build QUALITY backlinks, this means links from quality websites that are relevant to your business are important.

And this is often why business owners know that backlinks are important, however, the mistake that some businesses make is to think that all backlinks are equal, that’s to say that all backlinks offer the same seo strength- they do not!

That’s because some backlinks can actually help your business to improve its seo, yet some other backlinks may well be low-quality or deemed as spam.

Spam or low-quality links can actually act to your business’s detriment, that’s to say they can result in your business incurring a penalty.

An example of such a penalty would be an algorithmic Penguin penalty. Also, a manual penalty may be applied against your website.


The backlinks must be relevant to your business

Some business owners may hear that backlinks are the differentiating factor as to why some businesses rank at the top, and why some businesses do not. So some businesses may try to build backlinks by asking their business friends to link to their website.

Yet the backlinks must be relevant to your business, so there’s no point running a dental practice and asking for a backlink from your local rugby club’s website for example.

That’s to say the business that links to your website must be relevant. For example, a website that offers advice on how to take care of your teeth, that would be a good website to link to the dental practice.

How do you earn backlinks?

As mentioned earlier, it’s now super important that your business, or your appointed seo agency only builds backlinks in a white hat way.

If your business was to accumulate spam backlinks, or backlinks which are deemed low quality then the website could drop in terms of where it ranks, and often it can take a long time to recover from a penalty.

So always build quality backlinks.



We believe strongly that the best way for your business to build backlinks is to offer quality information on your website.

For example, say your business manufactures skiing equipment, now if your website offers quality information about skiing more people interested in skiing are likely to want to read your website.

This means that other websites may decide to link to your website. For example, your website may talk about skiing events that are due to take place soon, and also may have interviews with athletes that compete in skiing competitions for example.

By having quality content marketing on your website, other skiing websites may want to link to your website.



Some digital marketing agencies build backlinks manually, often this means writing a quality piece of content marketing and asking publishers if they would be willing to publish your work.

For example, there may well be a well-known skiing website, which receives many thousands of visitors every single day.

Therefore, as you’re a manufacture of skiing equipment you will have knowledge that the websites readers may wish to know about. For example, an innovation you’ve made in your skiing equipment, and you now wish to publicise this new product that you have made.

Therefore the skiing website linking to your website through the article you have written can generate a backlink for your business.

Your SEO agency should carry out regular backlink audits  

As previously mentioned, low-quality backlinks can mean that your website incurs a penalty.

So, we would recommend that a white hat seo agency checks your websites backlinks on a regular basis.


Competitor backlink analysis

Quite often many seo companies look at your competitors backlinks. The reason is that sometimes your seo business will be able to spot an opportunity as to where your business could also build backlinks.

How we can help

Would your business like more help on how to build backlinks? Well, why not give us a ring?