October 4

The Weekly Briefing: Penguin, Possum, and Content That’s Awesome

Senior SEO Manager Hannah Scherrer shared some tips for creating linkable content…
Similar to writing content for different audiences or stages in the buy cycle, not all content is written to be linkable. You don’t write whitepapers and e-books with a sole purpose of being linked – you write them as real world examples of your success and knowledge. As Search Engine Land columnist Andrew Dennis put it, “great content attracts links, and links improve the visibility and popularity of content. However, not all types of content will attract links, and even content types that typically attract links require strategic promotion in order to secure those links.” With that in mind, not all your content is linkable, but every kind of content you create does need to be unique, insightful, and valuable. In order to make your content linkable, you need to achieve at least one of these requirements:

  • You are sharing original research/data
  • Your content is supported by expert opinions/quotes
  • You have worked in collaboration with at least one other authoritative party
  • You have created unique imagery/video

You may be thinking, “that seems like an awful lot of work,” and you’re 100% correct. However, by putting in the extra research, revision, and resources, you’ll be creating content that can go farther than you ever imagined. When Google Search Quality Senior Strategist Andrey Lipattsev revealed earlier this year that Google’s top two ranking factors were content and links, it emphasized the importance of creating a link strategy for your content, and not just writing for writing’s sake.


SEO Copywriter Jared Townsend told us about Penguin’s final official update…
After what seemed like years of worry and expectation, Penguin 4.0 – the real-time update – has been announced, and is now part of Google’s core algorithm. What does that mean? Well, it means that Google will no longer make Penguin-algorithm-update announcements. It also means that when you address a spammy backlink or perform effective link disavows, you won’t have to wait months on end to recover from said penalty. Also, a penalty will not affect your site’s overall ranking, just the page associated with the penalty. In a recent post on Google’s Webmaster Central Blog, it is sincerely hoped that this update will allow webmasters to be “free to focus on creating amazing, compelling websites.”


Senior Content Strategist Angela Sanders talked about Google’s most recent local algorithm update…
When one algorithm joins the ranks of Google’s core search algorithm, another one must rise to take its place. While Google never officially named this new local algorithm update, the local search community has affectionately named it “Possum,” due to the fact that when rolled out, many business owners thought their Google My Business listings had vanished. The listings, in fact, did not vanish – they were filtered, or, “they were playing possum.” We’re still monitoring how Possum is impacting organic search results, but the most noticeable fluctuations have indicated that physical location of the searcher is more important than it used to be and that Google is getting better at recognizing businesses’ address and affiliations.