The Land of the Penguin, Everything is Black and White
Google refers to the links it punishes as “questionable”. According to the law of the Penguin, a “questionable” link is one that:
- Has anchor text that is an exact match to the anchor text in the majority of your incoming links, particularly if the content that is linking is low-quality content.
- The link comes from an auto-approve, non-moderated blog — again, particularly if the content on that blog is of lower-than-average quality.
- OR, the link comes from a web site that has a significant number of outgoing links and no real traffic to speak of. (BuildMyRank, anyone? BuildMyRank deindexed)
These things seem relatively banal and minor, but if you’re a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) wonk, you’re already wincing. You can see between the lines that most links that may have been the SEO-baseline before Penguin are now out:
- Autoblogs? Nope.
- Site directories that few people use (i.e. a lot of them)? Useless.
- Even ubiquitous SEO toolbox items like optimizing for a specific keyword on each page got hit
- now you must spread your keywords around on every page or you’re flirting with the Google sandbox.
The result of the Panda / Penguin double-punch has been profound across the field of SEO. It’s no longer about ranking as high as you can, as quickly as you can. It’s not even about deep research into your competitor’s backlink structure so that you can out-backlink them in an Olympic-style speed-back-linking event. (If you did SEO… Read the rest