I was left trying to figure out what exactly Google’s penguin update means for future SEO best practise
Then I came across a good article from TheSemBlog with some solid chart data from MicroSiteMasters
The summary is below
Penguin seems to have a fairly narrow target – keyword-over-optimized text anchors and disproportionate inbound links from irrelevant websites:
1. Keyword-Stuffing in Anchor Text: Only sites with over 60% of anchor texts containing “money” keywords matching incoming links were negatively affected by Penguin.
Action Item: Unless your incoming link anchor texts were totally dominated by high-volume search keywords, this component of the Penguin Algorithm is not hurting your site.
2. URLs in Anchor Text: Penguin is going to hit you for stuffing URLs in your anchor texts, but not near as much as money-keyword stuffing
Action Item: Reduce your URL-stuffing, but take care of the keyword-stuffing First.
3. Relevant (Niche) Inbound Links: Having links from websites outside of your niche is okay, as long as you have some from relevant websites, too. Once you have even 10% of your links coming from quality, relevant sites though, Penguin is not penalizing you for having non-niche links too.
Action Item: Make sure you have some inbound links from quality, relevant websites.
Google is trying to replace or devalue “anchor text” use with “niche or content relevancy of the linking sites” as the primary quality link signal.
To find out how to best react to this read this article link by MicroSiteMasters … In summary they suggest…
- Create small topic-focused sites that provide useful content relative to your niche, and make sure to cite your main site as a primary source. By creating smaller sites of “higher quality”, you get to expand your presence in your niche, and use that expanded visibility and send relevant and authoritative positive ranking signals towards your main site.
- High Quality Blog Networks - A completely internalized niche blog network is as effective as it ever was and generally more selective than large public blog networks to ensure proper quality control and avoid footprints.
- Diversify Anchor Text - Make sure that over 50% of your links contain anchor text that isn’t a keyword you are trying to rank for.What anchor text should you be using? From the data we’ve evaluated, “MySiteDomain.com”, “MySiteDomain”, “http://mysitedomain.com”, “http://www.mysitedomain.com”, “The Title of My Website”, “here”, and “the title of one of my H1′s (that isn’t a keyword I’m trying to rank for)”, were generally used as anchors on sites that were not affected by the most recent Google update and are probably a good starting point to consider using moving forward.
- Play Google’s Game - Get completely legitimate whitehat links. All of the previous points are ways to emulate a “natural” backlink profile. Write legitimate guest posts on niche sites, find ways to get media coverage
- Run Your SEO Sites Like a Real Business - A lot of things, but one of them is to look at other traffic sources besides Google. That can mean leveraging more social media traffic from Facebook & Twitter