Link Building Following the Penguin Update

Toy PenguinThere is always a lot of guessing going on after a big Google update, and of course, the current situation is no different. I like to watch out for posts such as this Penguin analysis post, that are more scientific in nature rather than hypothetical.

If you take a look at the post linked to above, you’ll see that they analyzed two specific ranking factors to see what impact they might have on ranking and found that sites that use their exact keywords as anchor text for backlinks and get links from unrelated sites are definitely at a higher risk of being penalized by Penguin.

What this Means for Link Building After the Penguin Update

Does this mean you should panic and start sending request for sites to remove your links if they are on non-relevant sites using your keyword as anchor text? No! It means you need to get to work to get enough relevant, non-keyword-targeted links to balance out the “bad” links you’ve already got.

Let me just explain that “bad link” remark a bit. Those links aren’t really bad. It is really unclear at this point whether they help you at all once you get your backlink profile balanced, but at this point, your time can be better spent building good, strong, solid links than trying to get borderline links removed. The reason is that it’s a percentage thing. If 20% of your backlinks are bad, you’re not nearly as likely to get penalized as you are if 60% of your links are bad. In fact, if the research done by Microsite Masters is indicative of all sites that were penalized, it’s unlikely that you were penalized unless more than 60% of your backlinks used your main keyword as the anchor text.

So What Do You Do if Your Site Was Penalized?

Build better links! You need links on strong sites that are relevant to your niche, and you need to use non-optimized anchor text in those links. You need enough links to tip the balance and remove the penalty. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results right away. If this update works the same way as Panda, the sites that are penalized may only be updated every few weeks. Here are some tips to help you get your backlink profile back in balance as quickly as possible:

  1. Aim High: Which sites are most well-known and trusted in your niche? Write quality guest posts for those sites. A few high-PR links from strong, relevant sites will counterbalance a whole lot of crappy links from non-relevant sites.
  2. Use the Right Anchor Text: Since your backlink profile is too heavily weighted with anchor text, we want to avoid any use of keywords at all. Use a mixture of your site name (unless it is your keyword) and your site URL. Throw in a “click here” or “check out this article” here and there for variety.
  3. Get Enough Relevant Links to Tip the Balance: Your first goal should be to get the percentage of links that use keywords as anchor text below 60% as quickly as possible. After that, you can slow down the pace a little, but you should strive for a backlink profile with no more than 20-25% keyword-rich anchor text eventually.

Does the idea of writing a bunch of high-quality guest posts to get your site back in Google’s good graces sound like too much work for you? I can not only write the the posts for you, but get them published as well. Call 231-282-7059 or send an e-mail to

Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

About Bethanny Parker

Bethanny Parker writes web content that is both search engine-friendly and people-friendly. She enjoys helping small business owners sell their products online using search engine optimization, content marketing, and social media services.
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3 Responses to Link Building Following the Penguin Update

  1. Ronak says:

    Building links is necessary but building relevant link is more important as it improves your site’s rank and page rank.

  2. Freeda Capulong says:

    Links aren’t everything in SEO, but search professionals attribute a large portion of the engines’ algorithms to link-based factors (see Search Engine Ranking Factors). Through links, engines can not only analyze the popularity of a website & page based on the number and popularity of pages linking to them, but also metrics like trust, spam, and authority. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trusted sites, while spammy sites receive very few links from trusted sources.

  3. Cal Blake says:

    I like your step by step suggestions for getting back in Google’s good graces. Thanks!

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