Bounce Back from Google Penguin: Change Your Link Building Strategy

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What’s the secret to building links in a post-Google Penguin landscape – especially if you have already been penalized? After getting rid of any onsite keyword spam (one common cause of the penalty), the best thing you can do to help your site recover from Google Penguin is to try to beat the algorithm. You can get started by 1.) auditing your link building profile (good SEO firms can do this for you) and 2.) changing your link building strategy (of course, good SEO agencies can help you do that too).

Here’s a rundown of why changing the way you build inbound links is important when saving a website that was hit by Google Penguin. Your inbound link profile metrics are another place where Google Penguin looks for any “unnatural” activity. The number one red flag for said activity is your anchor text. So if your site was bitten by the Penguin, an over-optimized inbound link profile was another likely cause. To fix this, start diversifying your inbound links. Mix it up with a combination of these types of anchor text:

  • Naked URLs – Naked URLs are comprised of some variation of the actual URL of the link destination. This can be an internal page, but it is often the home page. Naked URLs are the top way to signal to Google that your inbound link profile is “natural.” In high quality websites, they receive the largest portion of anchor text distribution – but not all of it. Remember, we are diversifying links to help your site recover from Google Penguin. This is what good SEO firms should be doing for their clients now.

  • Brand Anchors – While Naked URLs contain a variation of the actual URL of the destination site, brand anchors contain a variation of the brand name of the destination website. See the difference? You would do this by varying the way the brand name is written in the anchor text; for example, CrestMediaInc in addition to instances of “Crest Media Inc.”

  • Brand-keyword hybrid anchors – Brand-keyword hybrid anchors consist of some variation of the brand name of the destination website and a relevant, exact-match or related keyword. So for a blog on a plastic surgery website called (for example) Advanced Cosmetic Surgery, examples could include Advanced Cosmetic Surgery Blog, blog for advanced cosmetic surgery, or an advanced cosmetic surgery blog.

  • Universal/junk anchors – As far as types of anchor text go, universal and junk anchors may seem like the least valuable. After all, hasn’t everyone heard SEO agencies say that “Click here” is no longer acceptable anchor text for a call to action link? Surprisingly though, universal and junk anchors are now a-okay again according to some reputable SEO blogs and firms. One of the reasons is that they diversify your links to help your site recover from Google Penguin.

Now it’s time to start implementing this new, diversified inbound link building strategy. Rather than focusing on keyword-rich links (yes, this was the best way to do it before Google Penguin), mix up your link building with the four types of anchor text described here. Your site should start bouncing back from Google Penguin soon!


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