Penguin 2.0 Roll out

Guest Blogging Post-Penguin 2.0Search Engine Optimization is big on researching keywords, keeping up with the latest trends, instituting best practice methods and studying algorithm changes that search engines put into place. The biggest word this month is about the new Penguin 2.0 webspam algorithm that is now officially out.

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team announced the roll out on Wednesday May 22, 2013. “About 2.3 per cent of English-US queries are expected to be affected to the degree that a regular user might notice,” Cutts said. “The change has also finished rolling out for other languages world-wide. The scope of Penguin varies by language, e.g. languages with more webspam will see more impact.”

Penguin is created to differentiate websites containing spam in order to add weight to those who are legitimate. These changes were implemented in order to decrease the rankings of poor quality websites that are using manipulative linking practices. The new Penguin 2.0 is a more aggressive Google algorithm aimed at decreasing the keyword value of links using unnatural anchor text or in other words, using keyword rich text to point towards a website in the hopes of higher rankings for those linked keywords.  Natural links generally have a company’s brand name within the anchor text instead of exact match keywords.  Penguin 2.0 dug deeper into interior links this time into pages such as category and article pages.  Websites using these manipulative linking techniques will be penalized with this update.  

Exact match keyword stuffed anchor links can be now be considered another Black Hat linking method. Other Black Hat linking methods that may get hit by the Penguin 2.0 algorithm updates are:

  • Link Farms: groups of websites that all link to each other in order to appear to have more genuine inbound links
  • Blog Comment Spam: comments filed on blogs merely to place links to other websites
  • Doorway Pages: landing pages used with the intention of enticing searchers with keyword phrases not related to the main content of the website.
  • Paid Links: purchasing many links on many low quality website or few links on high quality websites to give the appearance of more inbound links


Penguin uses Google’s spiders to tell if a website violates the Google Guidelines. The spiders can also tell if a site is badly written with grammatical errors or has content that offers little or no value. They will also distinguish websites that are up to date, from those that are obsolete.

What should we expect to see in the next few months in terms of SEO for Google? Check out this video.

Will your site be affected by  Penguin 2.0? If your site is full of unique organic reader friendly content then keep on keepin’ on.  If not, penalties could be in your near uture.

Have questions about SEO? Leave a comment on this article and a member of our SEO team will get back to you when they can.

For more info and helpful hints in everything social media, franchises and marketing: follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and, (of course), stay tuned on our blog.


Thinking beyond SEO: Website Attention = Retention

Beyond SEO

Franchise online marketing strategy is as much about engaging the visitors on your website as it is about building traffic and search engine optimization.

The goal of online marketing is to convert leads into business.  Beyond all of the SEO work to get people to your website you must also pay attention to the content, layout and aesthetic appeal of your website in order to turn attention into conversion and even better… retention (which is driving people back to your site again and again).

Here are some actions you can take today that will optimize your online marketing:Franchise Online Marketing

  • Make sure that any links that lead visitors off of your website open in new windows. Do not direct traffic off of your webiste.  Ushering people off of your website is not productive.  By opening links in new windows,  your website will still be up when they close that window.  This is also applicable to your social media icons. Make sure they open in a new window as well.  Keep the traffic on your site as long as possible.
  • Be aware of the users display.  Remember, an increasing number of people are viewing your website on mobile, or handheld devices.  Recent studies show that mobile traffic is on the rise, so having a strategy for a mobile friendly website both at the national and local levels is a must for 2012.
  • Review your website for deficiencies regularly.   It may be just as easy as mending broken paths or replacing broken code. Again your site is only as legitimate as it is functional. Use websites like to validate your website and find issues with it.

Following these simple suggestions will garner results. You will see a decrease in your bounce rate (visitors to your website who land on a webpage and leave without clicking deeper into your website) and an increase in the amount of time visitors spend on your website, the amount of content that they will read and ultimately the number of leads will you receive from your website.

Learn more about refining your Franchise Online Marketing by attending our Franchise Online Marketing Webinar on January 18th at 12:00 p.m. CST.  For more information visit : ElementsLocal Webinar – Franchise Online Marketing Tactics

Google’s New Analytics

While it’s still in Beta, the Google Analytics dashboard is getting a facelift and it’s not all just cosmetic. There are two changes that really interest me, the addition of widgets and the ability to have multiple dashboards.

I have signed up for the beta, but it could take a while until I get access so for now I’m going off of the screenshots I found over at BlogSpot.

google analytics add widget google analytics delete dashboard

From my understanding the widgets will allow you to customize the look and feel of the dashboard.  So you could put in a timeline of views right near the top of the dashboard for those clients most interested in brand awareness or a pie chart of goal success for those clients most interested in goal conversion.  Then with the ability to create custom dashboards you could create both dashboards mentioned above for a single customer in different tabs.

I’m eager to test out the widget options and I’m curious to see if Google will add any new functionality beyond standard charts & graphs and how they work with advanced segments.  For now I’ll watch my inbox for acceptance into the beta program of the new Google Analytics and I’ll report what I find when I get approved.