How to Get Your Linking Profiles Right for Google Penguin in 2013
When Google released it’s Penguin algorithm on an unsuspecting SEO industry, they caused chaos and mayhem. Many of the attributes that pushed your site to the top of search on a Monday counted against you when you woke up on the Tuesday. All of a sudden, the linking profiles required for top rankings changed and as a result, many high quality businesses lost their rankings.
Overnight the landscape changed, and the sites that had dominated Google SERPs dropped out of sight, being replaced by websites whose owners had little idea of how they had suddenly become so popular!
The problem with SEO is that Google want everyone to behave in a ‘reasonable’ manner, to conform to their standard, and to build and manage their sites in a casual and relaxed fashion.
Unfortunately, there is a significant prize at stake. Every website that has ever ranked first for a competitive search term knows the financial rewards involved and so in an effort to maintain, or achieve a competitive top ranking, website owners and SEO consultants are prepared to push every minute advantage that they can.
These small advantages all add up to give No.1 rankings. Behaving in the relaxed and casual manner that google would like us all to behave in does not…. plain and simple.
The problem for SEO’s is that every once in a while, Google changes the rules. The criteria for top rankings can be switched literally overnight and as in the case of the ‘Penguin’ algorithm update, those changes can make it difficult to turn around a site that has been optimized to work for an older algorithm.
We all know that it’s Google’s game, Google have 90%+ of the UK traffic, and 65%+ of worldwide traffic, so they can to a certain extent use whatever criteria they want to rank websites, and the majority of the public using their engine will gladly take what they are given. It is going to take a monumental shift in public perception for people to move away from Google. Once a company has become a verb, it’s future is going to look fairly secure for a generation or two.
There is even a valid argument that it is in Googles best interests to swap the SERP’s results every so often. Look what happened between March 2012 and May 2012. In March Google launched their Panda algorithm and by the May their profits had jumped 40%. Why should this occur? Well, many the businesses that had been receiving organic traffic, switched to Google Adwords when their rankings fell. It is no different to the age old business philosophy of giving a wolf a taste and then taking it away again.
Every business that has experienced the sales volumes delivered by top organic rankings will do what they have to in order to protect their business interests. Even if that eats into their profit margins significantly.
Linking Profile Changes Between 2012 and 2013?
The linking profiles that used to get you top rankings stopped working with the launch of Penguin. Where you used to be able to use targeted link anchor text to a density of 70% for your primary keywords, overnight this was reduced to 10%. (in some cases less).
The effect was that sites with very targeted linking profiles, that had linked heavily using the keywords that they wanted to rank for disappeared.
The second major overnight difference was in the value given to the sites that link to you. Google introduces pseudo ‘negative linking’ with their Penguin update. Instead of just getting links to your site which either helped your rankings a lot or a little, all of a sudden, links from sites Google doesn’t like can harm your rankings.
Google, quite rightly has been waging war on the link networks that exist just to manipulate their results. If you have links from these networks then your website would have seen a sudden drop.
Google also looks a lot more closely at the IP addresses your links come from. You need to aim to build links on as many different Class C IP addresses as possible. Links from the same Class C IP’s no longer carry the same weight and authority, so sitewide links are now far less important than they used to be.
Linking isn’t about quantity any longer, but quality. You need to build themed links on many different Class C IP addressed websites, which themselves have good quality metrics.
Google not only looks at who links to you, but who links to them, so you need to watch the ‘neighbourhoods’ that you link with.
Google is creating a giant ‘class’ system for websites. Basically, the better the school that your websites’ friends went to, the more likely you are to succeed!
Linking Profiles Anchor Density
It is very important to aim for a ‘natural’ keyword anchor text density. This means that your brand, company name and website URL should dominate your link text.
It is also important to vary your ‘brand’ links as much as possible. Don’t just use ‘ABC Limited’ as your anchor text on all your links, because again, this doesn’t look natural. You should use different variations of your URL in your linking profiles, so www.abclimited.com, http://www.abclimited.com, abclimited.com, http://abclimited.com, http://www.abclimited.com/ will all count as different keywords, and will help to make your linking profiles look as natural as possible.
When you analyse your backlinks using www.majesticseo.com you should see that your most popular backlink anchors are junk links, URL links and Brand links. Sites with a target keyword as their most popular link anchor are being hit hard for ‘over optimization’.
You need far less keyword anchors than you used to need, so instead of keyword rich anchors dominating your backlinks, they should now form the minority. You should also use many variations of the keyword you want to rank for, rather than hitting one version of it hard.
The structure of your linking profiles is vital to your websites ranking success. You are aiming to achieve a back-link profile with let’s say 100 Class C IP’s using different anchor text that is dominated by Brand and URL link text. Your first keyword should not be above 4th or 5th in the MajesticSEO back-links list. In addition, you want the sites that link to you to have good ‘trustflow’. This is an indication of the quality of the site that is linking to you.
For a full website analysis, contact us today. We offer a free 165 website audit which will show you what needs to be done in order to structure your linking profiles correctly…. contact us today.