The landscape of link building has dramatically changed post Penguin. The shortcuts have been erased, and while Penguin provides a better environment for searching, it’s important to identify if you’re still making these mistakes.
If you are watching your site ranking dwindle after the Penguin update, you know that you need to re-evaluate your link building approach and the current link profile of your site. One feature that is evident in all the sites that are being subjected to penalties is their back-links to poor quality sites. The objective of Penguin is to eliminate useless back-links and promote sites that are linked to you, not sites that have greater quantity. This means that links from sites with too much spam are worthless, which should have been the case from day one.
Being linked to too many spammy sites will in fact damage your ranking. Damage is caused by links that are unrelated to your niche, guest blog posts on low quality content sites, link building that uses precisely matching anchor text with poor article marketing sites and over optimization. This also includes back-links from offensive sites that have been singled out for harmful software and spam that insert another anchor text or that have boldly been used with similar keywords to other sites.
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Over optimized links have very little relevance to Google’s problem solving procedure (algorithms). These sites are efforts to play around with search rankings which are bad for your previously top ranked sites. Before the Penguin update, keyword targeting was the surest and fastest way to get rankings for your site. If anyone does this now, Google will penalize that site immediately and without mercy. So be extremely careful of any back-links that you are building for your sites.
Although Google has made no announcement on the exact number of sites that are considered to be “too much”, it has been noticed that the sites taken out by Google were sites that had target keywords as the anchor for over 60% of its inward bound links. While many over optimized sites were not taken down, keep in mind that Penguin reviews sites after 5 weeks. Sites that have been optimized less than 50% have currently not been affected or taken down by Google.
Assessment of Sites
Since the appraisal agreed for anchor text is being cutback, links that come from appropriate sites are considered more important than ever. Google’s Latent Semantic indexing which decides the niche of the domain is a much larger part of the most recent Penguin update. This means that text and relevancy will be accorded a greater precedence than before. Although text and relevancy have always been important, people have not focused on basic SEO standards for link building.
Now that the working procedures of Google have been developed to eliminate ranking shortcuts, you must create an approach that will not be affected by Penguin. This would be to evaluate your existing link profile, scrutinize other sites in your niche that have kept their ranking and keeping track of your SEO quality link building ranking on a regular basis. This will keep the ranking of your site from being steamrolled by Penguin.
Was your site affected by Penguin? Have your Link Building methods changed?