It is expected that Google Penguin 4.0 update will be released in the coming months and SEO community all over the world believes that it will be another major algorithm update like the first version of Penguin. The last time Google unleashed Penguin update aka Penguin 3.0 was way back in 2014. It’s 2016 now and since they are taking so much time to release the Penguin 4.0, it is not unwise to guess that it will leave a major impact on search rankings in the USA and beyond. According to Google, Penguin 3.0 affected less than 1% of search queries in UK and USA. While 1% seems very insignificant, calculations based on total numbers of yearly searches reveal that 12 billion searches were affected due to Penguin 3.0.
What makes Penguin algorithm update so crucial?
Penguin was first released in 2012 and targeted spam links to dismantle the unethical link building practices followed by many webmasters and SEO experts. This algorithm update targets links that come from low-quality sites or have no relevance to the backlinked site or features over optimized/paid anchor text. In short, if you didn’t get a backlink organically, Penguin may come after your site.
The most time tested and Google approved method of earning backlinks from top class websites is writing guest blog posts. However, since guest blogging is a time-consuming affair, many SEO experts opt for link exchange and paid link building for quick results. Unfortunately for them, Penguin punishes such unethical practices.
How can you avoid the wrath of Penguin update?
You must check your site thoroughly to ensure that the backlink profile of your website is perfectly alright. Keep any eye on the total number of links, anchor text, the performance of the page it is linked to, the total number of unique domains and number of links acquired per domain. In case you find the task too daunting, you can automate the process using tools such as Majestic SEO, Link Detox, and HubShout etc.
Make a list of the links that come from spammy sites, unrelated domains, link networks, and sites with malware warnings. The next step is to contact the owner of those websites and request them to remove those toxic links. If they don’t pay attention to your request, then you can utilize Google’s link disavow method to get rid of poor quality backlinks.
What If your site is already targeted by Penguin?
Once you find out that your site has been attacked by Penguin, analyze the backlink profile and remove the bad quality links as discussed above. However, when you remove backlinks and the numbers drop, you must start building backlinks again. Although guest blogging is considered as the most effective form of backlink earning process, it is not the only option. Here are some other ways to get lots of backlinks from trusted websites.
- Broken link building: Check reputed websites such as Wikipedia and others to find out if there are some broken links in those websites. Make a list and contact the website owners to offer them broken link fixing opportunity. Tell them that your site has fresh content about a topic that once existed in the website they are still linking with. Since the link is broken and that site does not exist anymore, the webmasters will happily link their web pages to your website.
- Create infographics: It is a great idea to invest your time and money in infographics. People love visual content and hence when you post an infographic in your blog, there is a high chance of it getting shared and linked by readers as well as other blog owners. The more your infographic gets shared, the more links you can earn.
- Take advantage of roundups: Reach out to bloggers who post weekly or monthly roundups. You can find relevant roundups by searching “roundup+ your primary keyword”. Once you find some blogs that post roundups, mail the webmasters links of your tutorial, guides or other informative content, and request them to include those links in their next roundup.
As long as you follow ethical link building practices and take the precautionary steps I have mentioned here, the upcoming Penguin 4.0 algorithm update will not harm your website ranking on SERP.