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eGrow consultancy - specialists in web content and design Backlinks and SEO
Check your backlinks
Check your links following Google's Penguin update!
If you’re a webmaster, you will no doubt already know that thousands of websites on the web have been negatively affected by Google's recent Penguin algorithm update. Not only have these businesses lost high rankings, this has in turn resulted in a major decline in visitors to their sites (and therefore profit) in many cases! The Penguin update targeted websites with so-called “unnatural backlink profiles”. In other words, websites that employed paid links or other unnatural backlinks as part of their SEO strategy. The result - these site were removed (de-listed) from Google's index! This can obviously be devastating to a business, even if it is just on a temporary basis. Make sure that your website won't be penalised. 1. Check your anchor text for repetition Google dislikes a high volume of backlinks with exactly the same anchor text (i.e. the text that is used to link back to your site). Try to diversify your anchor text (both in terms of the keywords and the number of words used) in any backlinks. This will help to ensure that your backlink profile appears genuine, rather than “spammy”, and it will also give Google a more accurate picture of what your business is about through the greater level of detail. 2. Check the level of domain diversity Common sense dictates that a natural backlink profile includes backlinks from a wide range of website types. Contrast this with thousands of links coming from a single domain, which would of course look strange to any search engine. Do a bit of digging and try to find as much information as you can about the sites that link to your site, including: their IP addresses the number of outbound links on the page the total number of links on the page the Google PageRank the Alexa TrafficRank. It is also worth noting that certain sites may be viewed by Google as trusted “high authority domains”, so it can be helpful to have both outgoing and incoming links from those sites. If your site is a valued member of the internet community, it is only natural that this will happen - your site is not a "dead end". This is the type of “natural” profile that Google and other search engines will be looking for. Examples of some current high authority domains are thought to be social media platforms like Tumblr, Squidoo, Pinterest etc. Once you have analysed your backlinks, and subject to what you find, you may want to: remove some backlinks create new, high quality backlinks diversify the anchor text diversify the sources of the backlinks. Summary Although Penguin has been an unwelcome change (even a nightmare) for many webmasters and website owners, it needn’t be a cause for concern going forward. Ultimately, Google (just like other search engines) is simply trying to ensure that it lists sites with high quality relevant content - not spam! If you are a genuine business that provides a valuable service or product(s), the appearance of an unnatural backlinks profile will probably not be an issue. Your natural interaction on the web (with other businesses, social media and your customers etc) will ensure that this is the case. However, what you may need to do is “tweak” your backlinks as described above as part of your “white hat” SEO strategy and, of course, regularly add unique content and articles that are relevant to your business. Avoid “black hat” SEO and you should be fine!
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