The Google Penguin Update Impact on Link Relevancy and Anchor Text Diversity


The Google Penguin update was one of the most drastic of Google’s updates this year. Unlike the Panda update which hit websites with bad and low quality content, the Penguin went a notch higher. This update was about link anchor text diversity and link relevancy. Previously, any link to a website was a positive and one would inflate their online ranking with spam anchor texts in backlinks. After the penguin update, the more relevant and related a link is to your niche, the better it is for your website. Basically, the penguin was discrediting link manipulation and spamming anchor text.

Even before the major penguin update, Google did punish websites for excessive exact match anchor text in backlinks.  However, many webmasters still played along with this because the punishment was not drastic-somehow, it bore some results to some websites. Many SEO’s and webmasters used these to gain ranking. This also came with link manipulation. Backlinks from bad neighbors-spam websites, content farms, article marketing, comment spam and funny guest posts were a top Penguin target. The links or anchor texts from these unregulated content spots on the web are easy to manipulate.  In a successful bid to get rid of this spam and manipulation, the penguin update was unleashed.

Apart from the above simple observations for link and anchor texts that didn’t look natural, Google also punished websites for money keyword manipulation. In fact, at least 65% of all sites that related to this were affected. Those not affected seemed to have an almost perfect link profile-healthy. For many experts and SEO’s, the intention of the Penguin update was to take back the web. To get rid of all spam and content that seemed manipulated. By focusing rankings on factors and elements that cannot be manipulated, Google owned the web-in good faith.

For many of those who were hit, the impact was to undo the bad the links had been done on their websites. Ensuring the link profile gained health and progressed to the next level. If you are among these, there are a couple of things you can do to recover. The first is to check the link profile of your website. Open site explorer has a tool you can use to proof your website from the effects of the update. This is because, knowing what links are on your website, their source and linking anchor text, you can recover from the update.

There are a few options for people with a bad link profile. The first one is build better links to counter the bad ones. It’s also important to spot the bad links and ask the concerned webmasters to remove them. Even then, many webmasters charge exorbitant charges to do this. According to experts, the best approach is to list them and submit to Google. Discrediting those links can help dilute their penalties and restore your ranking and reputation on Google.

The content spamming also came by association. When your website content is scrapped by bad neighbors, the penalty also hit you. It didn’t have to be links and anchor text diversity directly. The penguin also hit websites by the undue association by bad neighbors. Making sure that the content you publish or is available is not scrapped by bad neighbors requires effort. Algorithms cannot be selective. They can hit you and thus, you need to be proactive. Look for websites that steal your content using duplicate content checker Plagspotter or Copyscape.com. After that, send a DMCA report to Google. If the page or content is removed, at least that’s one less bad link.

For the people who were hit for no apparent reason, it means your website wasn’t as good. It didn’t have anything to be hit. You need to create better content, outreach to build links and a brand focused on the user to win back rankings.

Author Bio:- David Patterson is a journalist and freelance writer for PlagSpotter, an online duplicate content checker tool that allows to find copies of your page on the web as well as automatically track webpages and receive comprehensive reports on those who plagiarizes your website text copy.


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