Google’s Penguin updates changed the way SEO professionals build/create links. Gone are the days of creating hundreds of low quality links and gone are the days of publishing links willy-nilly.
The search engine marketer’s role has definitely been refined over the past months, but here are 5 post penguin tactics that will help you with your search engine optimisation efforts.
Quality Not Quantity
Whilst this has always been the case, not a lot of search engine optimisation agencies necessary hold themselves to this rule, mainly due to their lack of education.
The Penguin updates were introduced by Google and are aimed at catching sites that are spamming its search results. Google are mainly focusing on sites that are doing so through buying links or obtaining them through unnatural methods (excessive blog commenting, bad quality content, etc.)
If you’re doing any link building for your business, before you build your next link, ask yourself “If I were on the Google web spam team, would I approve of this link?” If your answer is “no” don’t bother and move on!
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Create Linkable Assets
It has been said thousands of times, but content really is king in the online world! Therefore, the best way to earn links is to create outstanding content (or Linkable Assets).
Linkable assets are simply aspects of your site that generate their own links. This can be achieved through a variety of different ways. Some of the popular tactics include creating interesting videos (with the aim of going viral), user generated content (opinions & polls) and info graphics.
Info graphics are a great linkable asset; by merging key textual information about your business with humorous graphics, you are bound to capture the attention of your target audience and get them sharing and link building for you!
Content contributions, also referred to as guest posting, can be a great way to reach out to a new market, build relationships with related sites and establish a name for yourself and your business.
However, this technique does come with challenges, as the search engine optimisation industry is flooded with people creating (bad quality) content and publishing it on any site that is willing to publish the content.
This could not only trigger red flags for the Penguin update (links from irrelevant content) but could also cause Google to penalise the site based on the nature of the site (Google can detect where a site exists for the sole purpose of linking to other sites).
However, if you publish a great article and publish it on a relevant site, not only will you earn some great links, but potentially the site will be shared through social media networks and earn you traffic!
Social Media is an incredibly powerful tool in marketing a business online. From a Facebook post, to a Tweet; a social media mention can generate a lot of traffic in a relatively short span of time, if you have a decent following, and can be even more potent than conventional link building.
The strength of social media, when it comes to link building, isn’t necessarily the links that you publish on your profiles, but rather the social media signals that are generated when your content is shared.
You can imagine an article that has been tweeted / Re-shared thousands of times vs. an article that gets posted to a Facebook page with no interaction will have more of an impact!
It is important to keep an eye on the “anchor text distribution” of your link profile. If the majority of links pointing to your website contain commercial keywords you’re trying to rank for, you can bet that Google will find out and either penalise or discount the links.
Ideally, your anchor text profile needs to have a good balance between commercial (keywords you want to rank for) vs. navigational keywords (www.yourbusiness.com.au, Your Brand, variations of your commercial keywords etc.).
Ultimately, search engine marketers need to start thinking more about traditional marketing techniques and apply these online. Gaming the search engine never has been a smart business decision which can now actually damage your business!