Google Penguin Update – Using the Right Strategy

In 2012, the Google Penguin Update caused a lot of excitement in the SEO scene. Google had fundamentally changed its ranking algorithm in order to ensure more quality in the search results. With the update, Google took action against widespread web spam techniques such as buying links, keyword stuffing and, above all, the use of money keywords in the link texts.

Websites that attracted attention due to an unnatural-looking link profile and a large number of keyword anchor texts were devalued with the update. Around three percent of all German websites were affected. The ranking losses were severe, and some of the affected websites lost all of their visibility in the search results.

Google itself emphasizes that the Penguin Update only devalued websites, but not punished them. But in the end, the loss of visibility for the webmaster is of course a punishment. Downgraded pages lose almost all of their traffic and therefore their revenue. In the meantime, however, numerous sites have recovered from the update. Because with the right strategy, a devaluation can also be compensated for.

Are you ready? Here’s how to beat Google’s Panda, Penguin & Hummingbird – next time they come! http://t.co/qrKPy5kO1l pic.twitter.com/eVdH0nyxim

– Link-Assistant.Com (@LinkAssistant) June 4, 2014

Do not break down links indiscriminately after the update

The reason for the devaluation or penalization of a website is always a violation of the Google Webmaster Guidelines. In the case of the Penguin algorithm, pages with an unnatural-looking link profile were particularly affected. It has been shown that a large number of keyword anchor texts in particular have had a negative effect on the respective pages. The most severely affected were websites to which many money keywords were linked.

In response to the update, some SEO experts initially recommended that you simply delete all links. In this way, of course, harmful links were safely removed. On the other hand, the tabula rasa is definitely not the most intelligent solution. After all, this also deletes valuable, good links that Google positively includes in the page rating.

Even after the Penguin Update, backlinks are important for a good ranking in the search results. It is therefore not advisable to simply remove all links at random.

 

How to properly clean up your link profile

If you take the following measures, the chances are good that your website will recover from the Penguin Update:

  • First, do a thorough analysis of your link profile. In doing so, focus primarily on the anchor texts.
  • Have all links removed from websites with little trustworthiness. This includes, for example, purchased links from foreign, non-topic websites.
  • Links from trustworthy, topic-relevant websites and internal links should not be deleted; here it is more advisable to change the anchor texts.
  • Convert keyword links into branded links or natural looking long-tail links.
  • To change the link texts and also to delete the links, it is unfortunately necessary to contact the webmasters of the pages that link to your project.
  • However, this method will not always be successful. Alternatively, links can also be canceled using Google’s disavow tool. However, you should only consider this solution as an emergency solution, because the cancellation is final.
  • When you have cleaned up your link profile, you should also revise the content of your website. Periodically write new articles that add real value to your readers. New content is voluntarily shared and linked via social networks.

You can also build links again over time. Make sure you adhere to the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

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