Ever since the first release of the Penguin update last April, the folks at Google have made it clear that they're trying to make their search results more accurate.
Updates to the algorithm were inevitable—too many sites were delving into what we call Black Hat SEO— trying to game the system to improve their rankings. Essentially, these sites were paying other websites to point links at their own site, creating a paid back-linking strategy.
Google knew that improvements had to be made, and created the Penguin update in response. Now, more than a year later, Penguin 2.0 has been released and once again is going after sites that use Black Hat SEO methods.
Already, sites are being penalized for using paid links, and no doubt many more instances will surface. Overall, this new Penguin update was supposed to affect 2.3% of all searches. While that may seem like a small percentage, 2.3% is actually a vast amount of searches.
The main takeaway from all of this is: Do not try to game Google’s system. What once may have been a quick fix has turned into a quick penalty.
Here at Click Rain, we improve site ranking without having to pay for links. We realize that improving rankings within Google is a more of a marathon (even if the results are quicker than expected) than just a sprint, and have created a series of SEO best practices that are both good for your website and Google's efforts to make the internet a better place.
Because the truth is that Google will continue to make updates throughout the summer, weeding out sites with spam and paid back-links.
So when it comes to your site, don't just focus on ranking in the short term. Rather, think about the longevity of your SEO strategy, because Google will only continue to get smarter.