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Penguin 2.0, What Changed and How to Recover?

The Penguin 2.0 has been live for sometime and I was thinking about how it would have impacted people worldwide. One reason why algo updates give attacks to webmasters is because their livelihood depends on the algo updates. No one likes to see their rankings plummeting for no apparent reason and on Google’s whims and fancies. Over the years I have been developing sites and web businesses and I have seen what works and what lands you in trouble.

A month ago I started a test site and gave them a sitewide link from over thousand pages from one of my old blogs. Truth be spoken with the Google Penguin 2.0 the site was not even on the 13th page for the main keyword and organic traffic dropped from 100 to 0. This was expected since the main keyword was a sitewide link and consisted of 95% of the links.

Now this was expected because I wanted to see whether what I thought about rankings and Penguins was right. I at once removed the site wide links, did no back linking in particular and in one week the site was back.

Simple huh!

Why this is not simple for website owners is because some of them hire SEO agencies that build thousands of links at one go and when the update comes calling there are no where to be seen. This is why the removal of those links is difficult. In my case I gave the test site links from a site that was fully under my control.

For that reason it was pretty easy for me to remove those links.

But what if you have built links over some diverse platforms, how to get back into Google good books?

Penguin Recovery steps:

1. The first thing that you need to do is get a sample of your backlinks. You can do that by going to your google analytics dashboard, but it gives you only a small sample of those links. You need links from a wide variety of sources. I suggest going for ahrefs or SEO spyglass that allows you to download all of your backlinks, well not all you get approximately 10% but that’s a good estimate.

2. The next thing that you need to do is analyse the anchor texts of those links. If most of them say more than 50% are the main keyword then you will lose your rankings and I am pretty sure of that. If it’s more than 50% then you need to see if you can somehow remove those links. In many cases SEOs build mass links from wikis and since they are editable you can edit them to either stop linking to your site or changing the anchor text to generic keywords like “ click here”, “read more”, “see” or even the naked urls. Try to stay away from the Disavow tool as much as possible for now, because if you use that then you would not be able to use the links that you have created in some other way like strengthening your backlinks.

3. If you are not able to do anything about the links then you need to use the Disavow tool as the last measure and submit your site for reconsideration.

4. Create social proof: I feel that SEO is going to be social in the coming years. I mean, if your content is being loved by people then it sure is going to be ranked higher. One way you can do that is by making use of social payments on your blog. If you have got something that people would like to download and that is related to the post then integrate a form of social currency where the download link becomes available only after the sharing. Once you can mimic the shares and stuff, you can go about building links because if a thing is going viral then Google does not care how many links it gets.

5. In building links you should take care of the fact that even if you are working hard doing guest posting or commenting do not think that Google will not penalize you if the anchor texts cross the limit. An update is not about some algorithm, they are only creating filters. And one of the strong filters is anchor text variation, spammers build lot of links with the same anchor text and so any site which has a lot of similar anchor text pointing to is considered spam (Period) Just because you have spent countless nights reading posts and commenting on them or written a thousand guest posts does not mean that you are immune to Google.

6. PR and relevancy: When trying to get a link, take care that you get links from high PR domains that are RELEVANT to your site. Getting your blogging blog mentioned on a Golf blog does not make sense either to the golfers or to Google. And getting links from sites that have only started existing won’t help you much either. This is the reason why people go for private blog networks but stay away from them because they also can be caught easily.

All these tips have been tested by me and they work because I have been creating web based businesses for a while now. Trust me, you can beat the hell out of Penguin!

Susan works for at tech start up that really listens to the needs of people and makes underwater i phones

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