What has the Penguin update taught us about link building?
The Google Penguin update has affected many site owners. The more affected were those who have targeted links that were created with the sole purpose to outrank other sites, and not to provide high quality content to its visitors, as it should.
So, if you have been putting too much emphasis on pleasing the search algorithm and discovered many of your backlinks are low quality links that are hurting your site, you may want to reconsider your link building approach. Here are 5 tips that you can use with confidence.
1. Build quality links on authority sites
Although this is linked to the recent Penguin update, this is something you should focus on all the time as it won’t change. Links from low quality sites, located in areas of the sites where links are usually sold or from irrelevant sources are all dangerous and can make your blog or site disappear.
What to do: Focus on building links on relevant, authority sites within your niche.
2. Get links from a variety of sources
It’s recommended to have a diverse link portfolio as search engines interpret this as natural link building. Also, this is a great way to ensure that if one link is removed or devalued, you will still get traffic from your other sources.
What to do: Build links that are relevant for your business, but don’t exclude sources that are related and could bring good traffic to your site.
3. Link building step by step
As you already know, link building takes time because the purpose is to bring results for the long run. This is not a process you want to rush because for search engines bringing traffic too fast usually means you are manipulating the search rankings artificially.
What to do: Be committed to building high quality links for your site. Start with 20 links each month for the first 6 months and depending on the results, increase the number of links, but don’t go crazy.
4. Use a natural anchor text
Using the same keywords for your anchor text has become a huge problem and this is a sign you’re trying to trick the results. While you can also use your anchor texts for the keywords you are targeting, you don’t want to use them excessively.
What to do: According to Google, anchor texts should be natural and diversified, so try to find a balance between the anchor texts with keywords and call-to-action or other anchor texts.
5. Point to pages other than your homepage
Your homepage is not the only page on your site that deserves some link love. You should also link to internal pages of your website, especially if you have an e-commerce site with several product pages. This way you are pointing visitors directly to the page that you promised they will find, and not make them search through your site to find it (which they probably won’t be willing to do).
What to do: Link to internal pages of your site and not just your homepage.
As a conclusion, the Penguin update is all about balance, offering a better experience to your visitors by listening to what they want and need, as well as being more careful about the sources of your links. This update is actually a lesson on SEO done right.
What have you learnt from the Penguin update?