Google, or whoever is doing it, is funny in naming its search algorithm updates after benign-looking animals like Panda and Penguin. The search giant has given such associations to these words that the mere mention of them pushes the sweat down the marketers’ spine, and rush them to undo their past mistakes.
When Google Penguin Update came along, it knocked down a myriad of websites with poor link profiles. The update forced marketers to change the color of their hats, or rather, it forced them to recolor the SEO hats they wore in the past, to be more precise. If you are among those who are caught on the wrong foot by Penguin Update because of what you or your agency did in the past then here are the things you need to do to recover your lost ranking, traffic, and good night sleep.
Penguin recovery tips
Dissect your link profile
Like any good surgeon, before you begin with treating the illness, you need to understand the gravity of the problem at hand, which begins with dissecting your link profile to understand the following:
- Quality of linking sources (page and domain authority of linking websites)
- Exact match anchor text distribution (what is the percentage of total links)
- Link types (articles, blog comments, directory, RSS, etc.,)
When you dissect your link profile to find the above information, what you are essentially doing is stripping down the link building activity adopted by your SEO agency in the past. In this stage, the idea is to understand how deep the trouble has penetrated.
Leave the bad neighborhood
The next step in the process is to drop all the bad links that you have acquired in the past so many years of your existence. This will be a time-consuming process and the amount of time it will require will be directly proportional to the age of your website and amount of bad SEO went into it. But as this step is very crucial, you need to be diligent. You would like to remove all the links from the domains that are of low-value, or which has been spammed to death by fellow marketers.
Diversify anchor texts
The next step is to analyze the anchor texts of the links that are flowing in to your website. If all of your anchor texts has exact match keyword that you wish to rank for then you are in serious trouble. It is a strict no-no to have 100% exact match keyword in the anchor texts. In fact, the current acceptable level is 60%, but I would argue in favor of going lower than that because you never know what turn Google will take. If I were you, I would keep the density of “exact match” keyword in anchor texts to somewhere around 30-40%. And will dilute rest of the anchor texts.
To give you an idea, let’s say you are targeting keyword “golf ball Baltimore” then 30% (or say 40%) of the anchor texts should have the above keyword phrase, but the rest can have the following or any other variants: golf balls in Baltimore, golf in Baltimore, Baltimore Golf, Golf ball, golf balls, golf accessories in Baltimore, golf stuffs in Baltimore, etc.
Diversify link sources
Another thing you should do is to diversify your link sources by authority and types. When thinking of authority, do not limit yourself to checking the page rank of the domain as well as of the page, but also check the number of out-bound links (OBL) going out of the website. Once you have done these preliminary check, you should visit the linking source to manually verify the website. If it looks good enough to you, it will look good enough to search bots.
The next thing that you need to do is make your link profile broader to include all kinds of links from article directories, blog comments, forum signatures, profiles, footer, sidebar, RSS directory, website directory, etc. The diversity of your link profile will establish you as an authority brand in your niche.
Google Penguin update was rolled out to weed out bad link networks, which resulted in De-listing of many websites. So your goal should be to make your link profile look as natural as possible.
In case, you want professional support to help you recover from Google Penguin update then contact us now.