Do you look around for sites with high page rank to link to or from?
If so, you may already have fallen foul of the Penguin – Google’s latest algorithm change.
Wikipedia’s definition of the Penguin is:
“…a code name for a Google algorithm update that was first announced on April 24, 2012. The update is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings of websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines by using black-hat SEO techniques, such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, participating in link schemes, deliberate creation of duplicate content, and others.”
Essentially, Penguin is anti low quality links, over optimised anchor text and keyword stuffing.
Google and the other search engines use links to define the authority of a website. They are what hold the Internet together, helping us to seamlessly navigate from one site to the other.
That’s why it’s important to link for your reader.
Good copywriters have long understood that effective website copy should, first and foremost, be written for the reader and not the search engines; the same goes for your linking strategy.
Before you add a link, think about what you want to achieve.
The purpose of linking should be to improve reader experience, so it should be in a context that makes sense, using anchor text that also makes sense.
In a nutshell, the words you use for your link must explain the information the reader will be taken to when they click on it.
How to recover from the Penguin attack
Numerous website owners fell pray to the dreaded Penguin, seeing their rankings (and of course their traffic) fall through the floor almost over night.
Recovering from such a catastrophic event is no mean feat, so to help you understand what went wrong and how to right it, you might find this post on seomoz.org useful.
In it, Jimmy explains what happened to one of his sites and what he did to recover from it.
So, if you’ve been bitten by the changes, take a look at how Jimmy recovered from Google Penguin.