Much like Panda, the Google Penguin update has caught a lot of people by surprise. Interestingly enough it seems that it really is only the worst offenders that have been caught out, or those unfortunate enough to have been hit by a negative SEO campaign recently.

If you’re doing this sort of link building; stop NOW!

1. Automated Spam -social bookmarks, comments, directories, forums – this hasn’t really worked for a long time so stop it!

2. Reciprocal linking

3. Blogroll linking – this includes having them on your site, affiliate banners are fine, but a list of partner sites is a no go.

4. Linking from irrelevant sites – you will get a certain amount of this happening naturally, but don’t make it worse.

5. Buying links on poor quality sites or “dirty” sites, you all know what looks like too many links. Think like a user not like a webmaster!

What you need to be doing instead

6. Building your social profile, (see my article on social mentions for tips)

7. Building high quality links – be prepared to put in the work or pay for it through the teeth, link building is harder than it used to be.

8. Keep an eye on your link profile. You should hope to have around 70% brand links. Most of the sites that got hit by Penguin had around 50% plus of their anchor links pointing to money terms according to a small sample I took (about 150 websites). This seems to be in line with a study done by There are of course other factors you will need to balance to look natural such as deep link ratio; theme of sites etc. and this seems to have had an impact as well, check this now and work towards bringing your money term ratio down as quickly as possible.

9. Remove any rubbish you’ve built – if you’ve built it you should be able to get rid of it more easily, don’t rely on links you’ve paid for to drop off just because you stop paying. Actively pursue this.

10. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, it’s a good idea that if you do have the time and you’re worried that you’re domain is going to be hit soon to work on building up a clean one to a reasonable point so that you have something to fall back on should the worst happen.

Related posts: