Q & A Video

There are many factors that can cause a Google Penalty. Duplicate content, spammy links, and one of the most overlooked elements: over optimized anchor text. Mike Huber works hand in hand with our clients to help them regain their traffic and rankings after feeling the effects of the Penguin update. Watch on to hear a few simple actions you can make right away that will help you see the positive effects in the long run.


Hi everyone, Mike Huber here at Vertical Measures. Today we’re going to talk about Penguin recovery and over-optimized anchor text.

With the recent Penguin updates, there are a lot of webmasters out there right now trying to improve their backlink portfolios. Part of that process is to identify bad links, remove those, also to reclaim links, and look at over-optimized anchor text. And today what I really want to do is focus on one aspect of that process, and that’s over-optimized anchor text. In fact, as part of the process, it’s one of those things that a lot of people overlook, but it’s also an area where you can use limited resources to make really good gains. So with over-optimized anchor text as a focus for the Penguin updates, we really need to pay attention to this.

In this particular example, “the Grand Canyon” is the over-optimized anchor text phrase. In fact, 87% of the links that point to this site use this particular phrase. So one of the things that we look at internally, that makes it effective and efficient, is to try to reduce this over-optimization, and a quick way to do that is to find site-wide links that are pointing in this anchor text phrase.

Let’s do some really quick math to illustrate my point. So if there are 4,000 links pointing to this website, 87% of those would be 3,480 links. And if we had 4 websites with site-wide links that totaled 1,200 links total, what we could do is send 4 e-mails out to those webmasters and actually reduce that over-optimized number from 87% down to 57%, and that’s with just 4 e-mails.

So one of the things that you might consider as you update and improve your backlink portfolio is to look for site-wide links and also look for over- optimized anchor text. Attack those first, reduce that ratio, and also then go back after the bad links or the toxic links. And if you do that, that should help you lift your penalty.

If you need more information about how to recover from a Penguin update, we actually have a free guide that you can download. Just go to VerticalMeasures.com, and you’ll find the icon on the homepage. Download the kit and learn more about how to improve your rankings.