Keeping up with Google’s algorithm changes can be hard. Just when you feel like you’ve got an algorithm figured out, a new update is rolled out, and you need to rethink your entire strategy.
For those unfamiliar with the way of SEO, Google has two major algorithms that can penalize your website – Penguin and Panda. The Penguin algorithm looks at links pointing to a site from other websites. If the links are over optimized, come from untrusted sites or simply look weird, then you can get a penalty.
The bad news is that a Google Penguin penalty will harm your position in search rank and that it can take up to six months until the next update when you can see if the penalty has been lifted.
The good news is that there are ways you can avoid a Google Penguin penalty in the first place.
Here are five of them.
Get Rid of the “Money” Keyword Anchor Text Links
The ratio of “brand name and non-money” anchor text to “money” keyword anchor text links to your domain can seriously affect your website. It is a risk if the “money” keyword text links are more than 10% of your backlinks.
You must start diluting them by building some more natural backlinks. For instance, you must focus on diversity as well as quality to remove the impression made in the first place. To know what is an acceptable anchor text link ratio you must run a competitor link analysis on sites that rank the highest for the search phrase that you want. This is a good starting point for re-evaluating your strategy. Also, don’t forget to make it ethical – you don’t want some more controversy because of this.
This means getting ahead of Google in removing the bad seeds from your crops. If you have identified some links that even you don’t like, then get rid of them. This can be easily done by evaluating your link profile with a link analysis tool. The most important things that you should look after are the excessive links that come from a single link type – like press releases and guest posts, the anchor text distribution, metrics and link domain relevancy.
Be Careful about the Site-wide Links and the Internal Ones
When you use them, they usually match exactly the anchor text, and this is what attracts the penalty. It seems that the SEO sites that are too optimized are among the most targeted by Google Penguin. So from now on, try to avoid doing this and update your blog according to the latest algorithm update.
Now, regarding internal links, you should not link all the SEO words to a single article that targets those specific keywords. It is in your best interest to make it natural. A good tip is to use plugins like WordPress Insights that lets you add links manually.
Have You Checked Your Site Wide Link Ratio Lately?
Checking and being able to distinguish between total backlinks and domain links is imperative for the investigation of anchor text ratios. To reveal the linking domains and the number of links from each of it, you must simply go to Google Webmaster Tool “Link to your site” report tab.
The Linking Domain Relevancy
Also known as LDR, this is something that Google is stressing about more and more. To be more precise, Google wants to know how similar the niche of the site that links to you is. If they are too “unrelated to your business”, then, from Google Penguin’s point of view, your website may be spammy. There are even studies that show how sites that have no or little relevant links are 50% more likely to get a penalty than the one that obviously have the right kind of backlinks.
So, to make sure that this is not your problem as well, you should make sure that you have a valuable percent of niche-relevant links – so not necessarily from the exact niche, but somehow related.
Obviously, there is always room for improving your website, but Penguin is one of the most important concerns for website owners, so it is not bad to develop a plan that includes these steps to prevent penalties.
What other measures are you taking to avoid a Penguin penalty? Have you been “hit” by it?