Is link removal the best antidote to Penguin fever?

This tedious, time-consuming effort is that best solution many affiliates have come up with, but it may not be the best use of your time. Not only that, but there might be some serious downsides to tearing down those link networks you spent so long building.

In a recent blog post on SearchengineLand.com titled The Unintended Consequences of Link Removal, link building guru Eric Ward pointed out some of the problems link removers might run into, or just overlook.

Here are a few of them that every Penguin fighter should seriously consider before starting a link removal project.

Don’t Throw Out the Baby with the Bathwater

It’s understandable that anyone whose page rankings (and revenue) crashed with Penguin would want to remove those links as quickly as possible, but Ward says, “not-so-fast.” If you’re talking about hundreds, or even thousands, of links there’s a lot of potential traffic on the line.

Before asking fellow webmasters to remove links to your site entirely, consider asking them to make the links no-follow. This way, those links you spent so much time developing will still provide some value to you but won’t drag down your page rankings.

Is this really the answer?

This strategy should only be applied to sites that have some relevance to your niche. If you went hog wild and have casino links on every cooking blog you could find, go ahead and get rid of as many of them as possible.

But if you’ve got links that are just on the edge, go ahead and keep them as no-follows so that they’ll still generate traffic.

Looking for some long-term link-building solutions? Check out How to Execute a Future-Proof Link Building Campaign.

Scam Software

Not long after Penguin rolled out, a long tail of software packages and services designed to counter it came out, too. Ward points out that many of these packages are put together by the same folks who shilled questionable link building techniques in the first place.

It’s kind of like letting the fox guard the henhouse…and then asking him to add another fox after the hens start going missing. Using software like this also misses the point that automation is not necessarily a good thing.

We’re not saying that all of these products are terrible. What we are saying is that most of them probably don’t work as well as promised and may introduce bigger problems.

Time is Money

Removing links is a very time-consuming prospect and, as any affiliate partner will tell you, time is definitely money. Once you’ve identified and removed your most egregious links, you might want to step back and do a little cost/benefit analysis.

All that time you’re spending tracking down webmasters and finding ways to remove links could probably be better spent developing quality content and links.

Anyone who is willing to invest a lot of time removing links should have no problem investing time finding guest blogging opportunities; commenting in forums and developing social-friendly content.

Getting Past Penguin

SEOs are finding that there really no shortcuts when it comes to digging out from Penguin. Not only are there no shortcuts, but some of the time-sucking practices like link removal don’t work so great either.

Have you run into a down side to link removal? Share your experiences in the comments section below.


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