Google released its latest algorithm update targeting those sites with “spammy” backlinks. This is the first Penguin update Google has issued in over a year and the 6th update overall, with the original release dating back to April 2012. No indication of the percentage of domains affected by this release has yet been offered by Google. However, some organizations have already noticed changes to their keyword positions based on this update and we recommend all gShift clients review what effect this may have had on their own positions or those of their competitors for their primary keywords. In general, gShift recommends a strategic approach to backlink research and procurement focused on domain quality and variety over quantity to avoid any potential Google Penguin penalties. Backlinks do still count as an organic ranking signal for Google as they speak to the overall authority of a domain. As such, organizations should still maintain a backlinking strategy guided by relevance and authority. Those organizations, which have already been following organic backlinking best practices, may in fact be noting a positive Penguin effect. Likewise, those who have been attempting to remove bad backlinks manually or via the disavow tool in Google Webmaster tools, will want to see if their actions have had any effect. However, others may note the negative result of a backlinking source having been deemed “spammy” or lacking relevance by Google. gShift will continue to actively monitor this and future Google algorithm updates in order to better inform our clients’ SEO and optimized content marketing strategies.