When Google released the algorithm update, known as Penguin, to its search engine, webmasters and SEO experts realized they had to change some of their habits. No longer would the search engine reward people for false links, which many websites had accrued to help boost their positions in search engine ranks. Previously, link building was a cornerstone of SEO, but webmasters need to view it in a different light in the post-Penguin era. I had a lot of problems after Penguin update (like most of us), but working for one NYC real estate company, I learn how to “play by the Penguin rules”. Here are few tips I want to share with the readers:
Act Like a Human
Time and again, Google has stressed that the Penguin update will help those website owners who have valuable content but who do not have SEO expertise. Because of this, SEO experts should take a step back and consider what a real person would do to gain links and build exposure online. For example, a small business owner is unlikely to purchase thousands of back links or spam comment forms as a method to gain backlinks. Rather, this person would provide valuable content and engage consumers or associates via social media to encourage other website owners to create genuine backlinks.
According to the folks at Google, keywords just won’t cut it as anchor text. The search engine now recognizes that most people link to other websites with the actual name, URL or text such as “click here.” Those who still want to do some link building will benefit from using the actual company or website name, rather than a keyword that focuses on SEO over human usability.
Building Quality Links
In the Penguin era, not all links are worthwhile. For example, a new domain that has many outbound links offers little value to a website that is trying to optimize for search engines. Similarly, an expiring domain is less than ideal. Furthermore, a link isn’t necessarily beneficial when it doesn’t appear natural. Outbound links that seemed forced or irrelevant to the content of the originating page fall into this category. It’s better for relevant websites to link to a website and for the sites that link to have fewer outbound links, so webmasters should look for related websites that rank highly for industry keywords.
Like everything else in life, squeezing the most link juice out of a website is better if that website have more juice to offer. Thus, webmasters and SEO companies should focus on gaining backinks from more popular websites with higher Google PageRanks. A few backlinks from highly-ranked websites offer more link juice than many links from low-rated websites. This often goes hand in hand with gaining backlinks from websites that have fewer outbound links, because website owners do not want to squander their link juice and will be more frugal with their outbound links.
Finally, Google now places more value on context links in a website’s content, as opposed to sidebar or footer links. Website owners are often more likely to sell links in those unobtrusive area; however, they don’t weigh as highly with the search engine.
To Follow or Not
Before Penguin, link builders who paid for mass amounts of links on websites across the Internet typically demanded that those links wouldn’t use the “no-follow” attribute, so that the links could gain the power, or link juice, through search engine spiders that followed the links. However, the opposite is pretty much true after Google released its update. Marketers should avoid placing links on websites that don’t use the no-follow attribute, because this behavior indicates an unnatural or paid link.
Link building has scaled back since the release of Penguin as marketers focus on providing real value and social media activity, instead. However, can still succeed after the Penguin release.
(Image Source: dirtech.in)
Written by Benjamin Sawyer. Edited by Aritra Roy.
Benjamin Sawyer is SEO analyst for more than 5 years. He worked for various clients, helping them to establish their online presence. After Penguin update, few clients complained about decreasing rankings. Ben analyzed every aspect for arvernebythesea.com , one of his reputable clients, and figured out what is needed to increase rankings after Penguin update. Here are some of his tips and tricks.