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Digital Content Manager at ACTIVE Network

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You may not be in danger of being chased by a waddle of cute and cuddly penguins, but Google’s Penguin may be after your event website’s SEO! This penguin is a far more advanced predator, seeking out and eliminating websites that violate Google’s Webmaster guidelines by decreasing their search engine rankings. Google’s Penguin 2.1 is an algorithm that diminishes the value of manipulative links (any links that are intended to influence PageRank), for example:

  • Buying links that pass PageRank
  • Excessive Cross-linking
  • Posting irrelevant links of webpages
  • Posting on and creating bogus directories and link farms
  • Excessive use of keyword rich anchor text links
  • Blog and forum comments that include optimised links

Here are our top 5 tips to help prevent your event site being affected by Penguin 2.1 and avoid a decrease in your event registrations.

1. Make it relevant! Ensure that you post links to your event site or registration page on reputable event directories such as event listings. It’s important that your listing is on a site that’s relevant to your event; for example, if you’re organising a 10k, do not list your site on a directory specifically for medical conferences. It may sound like an extreme example, but in terms of SEO the concept of “any publicity is better than no publicity” is redundant.

2. Monitor your site traffic Use Google Analytics to monitor your event site’s organic traffic. If you see a dramatic decrease, it may be due to a Penguin update! If this is the case you will need to perform an audit of your backlinks (inbound links to your site) to find the culprit links.

3. Audit your backlinks In order to perform your audit you need to compile a list of all your inbound links (backlinks) in Excel. You can download a list of your website’s backlinks from Google’s Webmaster Tools following the process below:

Webmaster Tools Home Page > Select your Website > Search Traffic > Links To Your Site > Who Links The Most > More > Download This Table

Check through your list of links and make sure that there is no spam or foreign links back to your site that you do not recognise. You should also check your backlinks to make sure that there are none with “Not Found” or “Error 404” status as these can also damage your search engine rankings.

Once you have identified the culprit backlinks causing havoc to you event site or registration page’s SEO you should create a text file (.txt) containing all the domain names of the links that you want to disavow. You can upload your list to Google’s Disavow Links Tool Page in order to improve your PageRank in a few simple steps:

Disavow Links Tool Page > Select your Event Site > Click Disavow Links > Upload your .txt File

You should do this as soon as possible as it can take a few weeks for Google to update the information and leaving it to the last minute can have a negative impact on your registrations.

4. Don’t over-use keywords Limit excessive keyword rich anchor text links. Anchor links are used to provide a description of the link’s destination page. Although anchor links that contain specific keywords relating to your event are beneficial, encumbering your links with too many of these keywords can have a negative impact on your SEO.

5. Quantity or Quality? As far as Google is concerned, content is key! Avoid link schemes and cross linking offers. Creating relevant and unique content for your event site is the best way of ensuring SEO success. Make sure you promote your content on social media channels, your blog, and relevant LinkedIn groups for increased exposure. Remember, if you don’t want to be penalised by the penguin police, when it comes to content and links, it’s definitely quality over quantity!

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What is Active Network?
Active Network is a technology and media
company that helps millions of people find
and register for things to do and helps
organisations increase participation in their
events and activities. Learn more >

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