Hotel Online
News for the Hospitality Executive


advertisement


Preparing for Google Penguin 2.0: How To Protect Your Hotel Website

By Asher Fusco
May 15, 2013


When Google rolled out its Panda algorithm update in February 2011, it upended search engine results pages (SERPs) in a major way, affecting 12 percent of all results. The algorithm adjustment essentially penalized low-quality sites and rewarded sites with engaging, high-quality content. Since the initial rollout of Panda, the search engine giant has introduced a number of updates and changes – as of late April 2013, the company has produced 25 Panda updates and a host of other updates, dubbed Penguin.
 
Because Google is always changing its algorithms in minor ways, the threat of another Penguin or Panda update might not seem like much to worry about. But Google is currently busy preparing a major Penguin update that will have a major impact on SERPs, according to SearchEngineWatch.
 
The Impending Penguin Update: What is It?
 
The second coming of Google Penguin – Penguin 2.0 – will address bad link-building and linking practices, penalizing sites that use unsavory techniques to help improve visibility within the SERPs. Google’s team will evaluate a huge amount of data to learn more about “bad” – or non-organic – links, combing through the mountains of data on the Internet to locate the spots where bad links live.
 
Once Google locates these suspicious links, it will devalue them and remove their PageRank, thus negating whatever positive impact they had on search results. The links that stand out to Google as bad either come from locations on the Internet that Google deems untrustworthy or in places with high “link velocity” – the rate at which a site acquires inbound links.
 
What Does This Mean for Hoteliers?
 
Hoteliers should exercise caution in their link acquisition strategies and adopt a policy of quality over quantity. In the pre-Penguin landscape, search engines rewarded the pursuit of large quantities of less-than-relevant links. Post-Penguin 1.0 – and especially in the lead-up to Penguin 2.0 – it behooves hoteliers and digital marketers to be more selective about the inbound links they choose to pursue.
 
The days of search engine optimization (SEO) as the Wild West are long gone. Google values websites that provide relevant information about in-demand topics and provide added value for Internet users. Conversely, search engines punish sites that chase after large numbers of links with little regard for quality or context. Given these facts, it is important that hoteliers take care in assembling a link building action plan.
 
What Should Hoteliers Do?
 
The best thing hoteliers can do to prepare for Google Penguin 2.0 is to construct a quality inbound linking strategy. Adopting link building best practices will not only safeguard the hotel website from being punished by Google’s algorithm updates, it will strengthen the site’s link portfolio and boost its SEO value.
 
The best way to attract quality inbound links is through the creation of quality content. Ideally, the hotel website is a collection of linkable assets. A linkable asset is defined as a piece of content that will generate inbound links through its uniqueness, relevance and informative nature. This doesn’t mean hoteliers must resort to gimmicks such as viral content creation to stand out online. In fact, several rather straightforward ways to attract links exist:
  • Perform a Link Audit – It’s crucial to know where your links are coming from, which of those links are beneficial, and which could be dragging your site’s SEO performance down. Enlisting a hotel digital marketing firm to perform a full link audit can give you a great idea of your site’s strengths and weaknesses in regards to its inbound link portfolio. 
  • Manage Links Through Webmaster Tools – The easiest way to ensure your link portfolio remains clear of any low-quality links is to use Google’s Webmaster Tools. Through this interface, you can view all the links pointing to your site, sorting the quality links you attained through targeted strategy and the less valuable or negative links that latched onto your site without your knowledge. Partnering with a full-service digital marketing agency is the best way to harness the power of Google Webmaster Tools. 
  • Maintain a Blog on the Hotel Website – Building and maintaining a blog on the hotel website is an efficient and easy way to provide a unique value proposition to website visitors, potential guests and prospective linking websites. The key to utilizing a hotel blog as a potent inbound marketing tool is to post regular updates on upcoming events, happenings on-property, renovation updates and anything else that might attract the interest of other blogs or online publications. 
  • Build (Relevant) Links – Executing a robust linking strategy is the best way to build a strong support system of links. Effective link-building starts small and branches outward. Engage local sites that produce quality content and are of exceptional relevance to your site first to build a solid base of trustworthy links, while at the same time ensuring the hotel website is listed by and linked to from a variety of online directories and local listings services. 
  • Create Quality Website Content – Working proactively to stock your site with quality content is the easiest way to attract links from veritable sources. Regularly publishing pages written by professional copywriters can work wonders, attracting the attention of influential sites that have the power to boost SEO through inbound linking. 
Conclusion
It is much easier to be proactive than reactive when it comes to SEO – rebuilding lost rankings can take a considerable amount of time and effort. Work with a digital marketing partner that can recommend proper preparations for important algorithm updates to keep your site from being penalized.
 
Sample Link Audit & Action Plan
To prepare for Penguin 2.0, hoteliers should request comprehensive link audit and tailored action plan for removing any potentially harmful links.
  • Full list of inbound links to the website
  • Identification of any potentially harmful links
  • Removal of any potentially harmful links through Google Webmaster Tools 
About the Author
Asher Fusco is a Senior Copy + SEO Specialist at HeBS Digital, the hospitality industry’s leading full-service digital technology and marketing firm, based in New York City.

.

Editorial Contact:

Mariana Mechoso Safer
HeBS Digital
Phone: 212-752-8186
Email: mariana@hebsdigital.com
Web: www.hebsdigital.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hebsdigital
Twitter: twitter.com/HeBS_NYC
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/hospitality-ebusiness-strategies



.
Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here


Also See: HeBS Digital's CMS Technology Named Finalist for Best Software Programming by the 2013 American Business Awards and Will Receive the Coveted Stevie® Award for this Category / May 2013

How Hoteliers Can Leverage New Pinterest Features to Enhance Their Online Marketing Strategy / Victoria Hsia / May 2013

The Next Big Hotel Online Revenue Driver Is Here: Google Hotel Price Ads (HPA) / Sue Wiker and Sara O'Brien / April 2013

A Call to Arms: How to Shift Market Share from the OTAs to the Hotel Website / Max Starkov / April 2013

HeBS Digital Continues to Raise the Bar with Four Internet Advertising Competition Awards / April 2013

A Blueprint to SEO Success: Creating Professional and Engaging Copy for the Hotel Website / Erica Garza / April 2013

How Can Hoteliers Take Full Advantage of Pinterest? / Erica Garza / May 2012

HeBS Digital to Present at EyeforTravel's Online Marketing Strategies for Travel 2012 / May 2012

HeBS Digital Announces Loews Hotels Website Re-Launch / April 2012

Hotel Website Analytics: Is There Such Thing as Free Lunch? A Comparative Analysis of Adobe SiteCatalyst and Google Analytics / Adam Hammock and Lindsay Denninger / April 2012

Will the Hospitality Industry Tango with Tingo? / Max Starkov / April 2012

HeBS Digital Wins Big with Two 'Best of Industry' Advertising Competition Awards / March 2012

Top Ten Search Engine Marketing Do's and Don'ts in 2012 / Tara Rattigan and Toby Tornay / March 2012

Converging Social & Mobile: Why 2012 is going to be 'The Year of SoLoMo' Part II / Margaret Mastrogiacomo & Ritesh Gupta / March 2012

The New Google Venice Update - Is Your Hotel Website Optimized for Hyper-Local SEO? / Sue Wiker & Eric Rattner / March 2012

Action Plan to Ensure Your Hotel Website is ADA-Compliant / Gabriel Aponte / March 2012

Can TripAdvisor Transform Itself From an Industry Foe to an Industry Friend? / Max Starkov / February 2012

HeBS Digital Launches Landmark Sixth Annual Benchmark Survey on Hotel Digital Marketing Strategies / February 2012

Jason Price of HeBS Digital to Receive 'Top 25' Most Extraordinary Minds in Travel Industry at HSMAI'S Adrian Awards; HeBS Digital Honored a Second Time in Three Years / January 2012

Smart Hotelier's 2012 Top Ten Digital Marketing Resolutions / Max Starkov and Mariana Mechoso Safer / January 2012

Hotelier’s 2011 Top Ten Internet Marketing Resolutions / Max Starkov and Mariana Mechoso Safer / January 2011

The HeBS Perspective: Members-Only, Flash Sales and Group Buying Sites – Are These New Retail Concepts a Good Idea for Hotel Distribution? / Sara O’Brien / December 2010

The HeBS Perspective: Hotel Mobile Apps vs. Hotel Mobile Websites / Max Starkov / December 2010

Focus on ROI Driven Hotel Website Design and Multichannel Marketing Results in Significant Hotel Online Revenues and … Major Awards / November 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies to Speak at EyeforTravel’s Customer Centric Strategies for Travel 2011 in Atlanta / November 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Continues its Tradition of Excellence in Website Design with Eight W³ Awards / November 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins One Gold and Two Silver Magellan Awards for Web 2.0 and Multichannel Marketing Initiatives / September 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies to Present during Mobile Technology & Travel Keynote Session at EyeforTravel s Travel Distribution Summit / August 2010

Hospitality eBusiness Strategies Wins Best in Class Interactive Media Award for the Silver Legacy Resort Casino Website / July 2010
...

To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.