Unnatural Links For companies that have been hit by the Penguin update, one common theme appears to be a severe lack of natural links, according to a blog post by Glenn Gabe at G-Squared Interactive. He noted five common issues these sites are all facing: 1. Paid text links using exact match anchor text: For companies that want to rank for a certain term (such as "red widgets") one way to accomplish this is by buying links from other websites with that exact matching anchor text. This is against Google's guidelines, as Google would consider this a paid link that exists solely to manipulate PageRank, rather than to provide any value to visitors. 2. Comment spam: Two things proved problematic for websites trying to unnaturally rank for specific keywords: signatures in comments that contained exact match anchor text; and people who used a spammy user name (e.g., Best India SEO Company) as exact match text. 3. Guest posts on questionable sites: Although guest posts are a legitimate way to earn links to your site, sites dinged by the Penguin had links pointing to their website from sites filled with low-quality articles where the focus was on the anchor text rather than the content. 4. Article marketing sites: Thin content featuring links with exact match anchor text were another common factor among affected sites. 5. Links from dangerous sites: Do you have inbound links from sites that have been flagged for malware, numerous pop-ups, or other spammy issues? This was another factor that caused websites to lose their Google rankings, so links to and from web spammers or "bad neighborhoods" are a danger. 6. Links from None Spun Content: Basically links from websites that has duplicated content. 7. Links from Content that is TOO spun: Links from sites that has spun or "unique" content, but is just un-readable and poor reading quality for human beings. 8. Links From None Related Sites: Links from Sites that have nothing to do with you keywords or LSI! - Seems legit! WHAT WORKS: 1) Links from Sites that are related to your Niche/Keywords/LSI. 2) Links from pages/sites with HIGH PR. 3) Mixture of the 2 above. 4) WEB 2.0 tier 1, Directories/wiki/social as tier 2. 5) Guest Posts from High Pr domain (niche related). And blogroll links (IMO) as long as its from the same Niche. 6) Social Links as tier 1 Tip of the year - find a way out of the Google Rat Race! Sources: www.blackhatworld.com's many users including: paddler, InternalSoul, (your name here if I forgot it). Trafficplanet WF (not warrior - the other one) Search engine watch! SEOMOZ USEFUL LINK tweeded by Matt da cunt! - I suggest you sort out your site before sending the form!