Writing by Nick Stamoulis in Link Building
Links are the currency of the online world; the more links your site has the more valuable it becomes in the eyes of the search engines. But the search engines know that site owners understand the importance of inbound links, and they also know that there are spammers out there that are looking to manipulate the search algorithm by building as many links as possible as quickly as possible, with little regard for where they come from or how they get them. The recent Penguin update is Google’s latest attack on webspam, and many site owners are struggling to recover from the fallout.
It’s important to mention that just because your site was impacted by the Penguin update, that doesn’t mean your site was actually penalized. It’s possible that all those manipulative links in your link portfolio were devalued (your currency became worthless) and your link portfolio is no longer as meaningful as it was before Penguin. In order to recover from Penguin (or any future Google update), here are a few of the link building tactics you’ll need to overcome and replace with quality links:
1. Links on sites that are unrelated.
If you own a B&B in Savannah, why are there links pointing to your site from car dealers in Washington D.C? When Google is crawling the web (and they can crawl ALL of it) they see where all of your inbound links are coming from. Focus on building links on related sites, not just any site that will give you the link.
2. Building links too quickly.
The search engines like to see a slow, diversified approach to link building because it demonstrates your commitment to white hat SEO. If your site goes from 100 to 1000 links overnight, this looks suspicious to Google. They know that there is no way your site could have naturally earned that many links that quickly.
3. Anchor text is over optimized.
There has been a lot of talk about anchor text since the Penguin update. Over optimized anchor text would be when the majority of your anchor text is keyword specific and not your brand/company name. Google knows that is someone were to naturally link to your content, they probably aren’t going to use a keyword to do it—more likely they’ll use the full http link, your company name, the title of the content or even something generic like “Click Here” as the anchor text. If your link portfolio is full of keyword specific anchor text the search engines know you’re trying to target that keyword and rank for it.
4. No diversity of link sources.
Like I said before, the search engines like to see a slow and diversified approach to link building. This means that your site should have inbound links coming from a variety of sources like online press releases, directories, blog comments, social and business profiles, article site, video sharing sites and more. If you rely too heavily on one type of link it looks suspicious to the search engines because it’s not natural.
5. Do follow/no follow ratio is off balance.
Officially, no follow links don’t help your SEO. But since Google can track every single link that is pointing to your site they know how many do follow and no follow links your site has. If the vast majority of your links are do follow then this raises a red flag. If those links had occurred naturally then you would have a balance between the two.