Google, Google, Google…the search engine giant is a source of frustration for many website and blog owners worldwide. Having survived the last few updates unscathed, some SEO specialists and webmasters believed they were on target and doing all the right stuff. Think again! This last update dinged lots of unsuspecting owners, those who do seem to play by the rules. Here are a few things noted as potential problems that could be affecting page rank due to the latest algorithm change, and what you can do to pander to Google’s SEO judgment.
Google wants to see natural linking, so hundreds of links pointing to your blog with the exact same anchor text—BIG no-no. Build links naturally; use varying keywords, various phrases, even some of those “click here” for more info links, so that your links do not look spammy. The key is to use your “money keyword” only about half the time, and instead use related anchor text.
Another issue that seemed to be a problem for sites penalized was sites linking to totally unrelated sites. For instance, if you have a car blog, recipe and food posts and links do not make the most sense. This does not mean you cannot have links from unrelated sites, but a hodge-podge of unrelated links will almost certainly be a problem. Keep the majority of your incoming links from sites and domains in your niche and you will be giving Google clear evidence that your site is high quality and relevant within that niche.
3. Bad Neighborhoods
By now, it should go without saying that not linking to questionable or a spam site is in your best blogging interests. Sites that appear to be set up only for links—you have seen them; they are the ones with posts about everything, but no real theme. Another characteristic of many of these sites seems that there are just two tabs—Home, and Disclosure. When you land on one of those pages by mistake, get out of there quickly, and do not approve comments or pingbacks from them.
4. Corrective Measures
I have already mentioned some things you can do to fix the problems— be sure that your anchor links are varied, link to relevant sites in your niche, and stay away from questionable internet neighborhoods.
Here are a few more things that will help:
- Check out the links pointing to your site and try to remove those that seem questionable.
- Look for your content duplicated on the web, and if you find it has been, send a DMCA takedown notice to have it removed.
- Add fresh content regularly to keep your site relevant.
- Be sure that none of your content is stuffed with keywords, nor is spun material.
- Have a presence on Google+. You will see that blog posts and other links that you share on G+ will rank very high in searches.
- Tone down the advertising on your site. You do not want Google to see it purely as a monetary site.
Essentially, Google Penguin is an attempt by the search engine giant to further squash spam websites by targeting link spam. Of course, its search engines work on patterns, and perfectly ethical site dings noted. If you believe you received an unfair penalty, you should contact Google through the Webmaster site and appeal the ranking. Otherwise, take a good look at your site and see where you may be missing what the Penguin wants.
Author: Denise Gabbard is a prolific blogger with a passion for SEO and social media marketing.