This is a continuation of yesterday’s article on penguin proofing your internet tactics.
This one has hurt a lot of sites… There are three main aspects to link diversification. Blog networks, link types and anchor text.
Blog networks were groups of website owners who would like to each others blogs and articles and form a giant link ring boosting the search engine rankings of everyone involved. Most of these networks charged to get your content distributed on the network. These were extremely easy for Google to infiltrate and they devalued any links from these networks. Some website owners had built there entire SEO strategies around these networks and they lost all of their hard work, money spent and rankings in one day. You need to diversify and keep your link presence natural!
A link is a link but not all pages are created equal. A quick scan of link providers on Fiverr shows sellers offering .EDU links, .GOV links, wiki site links, article links, press releases, bookmarks, directories, blogrolls, forum profiles and more. Which of these are the smart ones to use? All of them…..in moderation.
Google isn’t perfect but they’re also not dumb. If your website has 100 links today and next week jumps to 1,000 and all 1,000 are from .EDU blogs than that might look suspicious. There are a LOT of people at this point who will point out that they’ve done this on numerous sites and are still fine, that the internet is way too big for Google to pay attention to stuff like this etc. My counter argument is “why risk it?”. If you knew that Google had a short list of websites that they manually analyzed once a month for suspicious activity and you knew that you were on it, how would you adjust your link building?
Now ask yourself if it’s worth the risk to be more aggressive than that. If you have 20 sites that are just numbers to you and you don’t mind risking them, be my guest. If however you only have a few sites (or just one) that you really care about, caution is probably the best policy.
This is not to say “stay away from automation”. You can automated smart methodology or you can automate dangerous methodology. Nobody wants to manually submit your site to 500 internet directories but instead of automating all 500 in a day, why not do 5 a day for 100 days. I know Google won’t find them all at once anyways but if we can make it look natural, let’s do it.
Now that we’ve discussed where and when to put your links, lets touch on what they should say. Google’s Penguin update looks as though it has placed a high value on anchor text diversity.
If you started a website called “Fred’s house of used boxes” and you want to rank for the term “used cardboard boxes” then you probably use “used cardboard boxes” in all of your link building efforts. STOP!! If you get 100 natural links from other real life humans the odds are 90%+ of them aren’t going to use your keywords as the link text so you shouldn’t either. Over half of the links to your site are going to be www.fredshouseofusedboxes.com . a lot are also going to be of the “click here” variety. Keep the link natural in amount and in appearance.
The final thing I want to touch on regarding Google Penguin is “above the fold” content. The phrase “above the fold” means what content is showing on a normal sized computer monitor for your site if a user didn’t scroll down. Content at the top of your page is assumed to be more important than content 20 pages below that most people won’t get to in standard web browsing.
There have been several instanced where Google penguin has appeared to punish sites with little “above the fold content”. This can be due to excessive ads, a large “call to action” form like “enter your email here” etc.
Google is assuming that sites that do this don’t care as much about providing content to the user as sites who don’t sue these tactics so adjust accordingly.
Most site owners weren’t affected by the Google Penguin update but it’s still important to keep up to date on Google’s opinions on matters to make sure that what you do today doesn’t sink your rankings after a future update.