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Penguin Update: 5 types of links that harm websites

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by argh11, May 1, 2012.

  1. argh11

    argh11 Regular Member

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    I found this article that I thought was pretty good at showing what kind of linkbuilding can hurt you instead of help you. Although this is nothing new to the old timers, I hope the more advanced can help disect this further.

    *Disclaimer: I still consider myself a noob at this, so hopefully this can help some other noobs*

    Site: http://searchenginewatch.com/articl...of-Link-Issues-Harming-Some-Affected-Websites

    Article:
    Are you angry and looking for answers about why your rankings vanished after Google released its Penguin update? One common factor thus far appears to be the signals of links that are pointing to your website, early analysis indicates.
    The main purpose of the Penguin update is to put a deep freeze on web spam in Google's search results. By extension, a big piece of that web spam appears to be links from low-quality networks.

    Natural Links
    Before we get into the new findings, first it?s important to understand a bit about Google and links.
    Above all, Google considers links as editorial "votes". So, theoretically, the sites that receive the most votes should rank higher on Google because more people find them valuable.
    Google analyzes the quantity, quality, and relevance of websites that link to yours. When Google looks at your link profile, they?re looking at such things as what types of websites link to yours, how quickly you acquired these links, and the anchor text (the clickable words) used by the linking website. When Google's algorithm detects such things as a large number of new links or an imbalance in the anchor text, it raises a big red flag.
    As Google and many SEOs have preached for years, you?ll attract more links by creating unique, worthwhile content that others will want to link to naturally.

    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.

    Ultimately, the Penguin update didn?t really change anything that Google has deemed unacceptable. Google has just evolved its algorithm to catch up to those who try to loophole their way to higher Google rankings (and, to be fair, some who simply don't know any better or fully understand SEO). If any (or all) of the above are your sole link building tactic(s), you probably aren't doing enough to rank prominently long-term on Google anymore.
    For those unfamiliar, Google has a section devoted to link schemes and makes no secret that such practices ?can negatively impact your site's ranking in search results.?

    Penguin Recovery?
    So, fix all these link issues, eliminate any instances of keyword stuffing, spun content, cloaking, and other spammy tactics and you're guaranteed a Penguin recovery, right? Not necessarily. There are never any magical guarantees for gaining or regaining top search rankings and Google is notoriously tight-lipped about the exact signals it uses to detect web spam.

    Additionally, Google is constantly making tweaks to its search algorithm. So check your traffic in analytics and make sure your traffic indeed was impacted starting on or after April 24. If your traffic vanished before this date, another change might be to blame ? there was also a parked domain classifier issue the week prior to Penguin's launch in addition to the latest Panda refresh on April 19.

    Regardless, with the new tag team of Panda and Penguin, Google can put the smack down on websites that appear to be creating or supporting spam to increase their rankings in search engines. So even if you fix all these link signals, you still must make sure you have quality content.
    But even beyond that, there are hundreds of other factors at play that Google's algorithm looks at. Among them:

    • Does your site have too many ads?
    • Does you site have fresh content.
    • Is your business on Google+?

    Life After Penguin
    While it?s much easier to blame Google and sign a petition begging Google to kill its Penguin update, this isn't the time to give up. Now is the time to look at your website, do a proper, careful evaluation of your inbound link profile, clean up your website, and devise a smarter marketing and business strategy that doesn't rely on Google for the majority of your traffic and income so you can escape the endless loop of Google algorithm updates:
    [​IMG]

    This isn?t to say Google or any search engine results are perfect ? though now might be a good time to check out alternatives like Google's closest competitor, Bing, or upstarts Blekko and DuckDuckGo. Google has created a Penguin feedback form for those who feel websites have been hit unfairly, but this update is algorithmic as opposed to a manual penalty (i.e., reviewed by a human), so don?t expect to see whatever rankings you?ve lost miraculously restored over night.
    If you?re a small business, there are ways to Google-proof your marketing. And don't forget to look for non-Google-based link opportunities.
    But above all, sometimes when these algorithmic changes roll out, one of the wisest moves is to be patient and carefully analyze any changes before you react blindly to the latest penalty ? because by the time you do that, Google will release the latest Panda or its next iteration of Penguin, and you'll be trapped again in the endless loop of relying solely on a third party (Google) for your livelihood.



    Again, props go to the original article here: http://searchenginewatch.com/articl...of-Link-Issues-Harming-Some-Affected-Websites
     
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  2. azguru

    azguru Elite Member

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    No links are dangerous when used properly. I have used EVERY kind of link to my money site and I saw rank increases after Penguin.

    Every who keeps predicting what Penguin is looking for is taking a terrible shot in the dark.
     
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  3. raidz

    raidz Newbie

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    My site has a ton of links from Web 2.0's, blog networks, Articles, Profiles, Blog Comments, Guestbooks, Directories (some apparently malware ridden per Google) and generally really spammy stuff. I built 10's of thousands of links to this site in the past two months with most spam straight to my $$ site, some are link wheels, some are pyramids etc. Site is 3 years old, has about 10 pages of unique content. My rankings are the same (some are up)...

    I still don't think anyone really has a clue as to whats going on but I guess I can't be taken too seriously since my join date is recent and post count is low.
     
  4. Fluid

    Fluid Newbie

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    they must be hiding something... ive seen decent websites with good information (gamer sites etc) drop like a ton of bricks. they ofc get pissed of, since they use real journalists, real articles, with inhouse pictures (no stock pics) etc. and no shady marketing, im just hoping this is a dance. cuz i jsut started in the niche market, and im not doing good atm (and i have no idea if the google update made it worse, since i cant compare)
     
  5. moonlighsunligh

    moonlighsunligh Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Xrumer is allowed by them. Nice.
     
  6. amazonian raider

    amazonian raider Junior Member

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    Just looks like another generic list of things to avoid to me... I especially liked the part where they said that even if you did the things they tell you it probably won't help...
     
  7. bbpromo

    bbpromo Registered Member

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    My site disappeared from google for a few keywords since this update. I dont even know why, the only things I do is: Have anchor texts in the articles I write, linking back to my site (dont know if this is bad, as i thought it helped the user?), have a few domains which i forward to my website, have a few ad campaigns that are whitehat as far as i know. I have a good alexa rank (below 100,000) so it baffled me! I been check things like my caching etc but i think it is this update that your speaking about.

    Are any of the method i listed blackhat or something i could be penalised for?
     
  8. ryannull

    ryannull Senior Member

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    Penguin is on-page seo.
     
  9. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    false
     
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  10. whateverhappen

    whateverhappen Newbie

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    i like the loop of google algorithm update. this is so true. webmaster will work hard to rank there website then google will bring them down with an algorithm update. webmaster will look for solution and rank again then google will bring them down again. never ending story.
     
  11. ryannull

    ryannull Senior Member

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    I have proof.

    I have now 3 web sites that been hit. I only had 1 to start. The 2nd and 3rd had massive duplicate content and was very thin. Last Friday, I changed the the content on the 2nd website with a unique and original article 1000+ words and keyword density was less than 1%. A few hours later it was gone. It was there that morning, but gone by evening.

    I changed the content on the 3rd this afternoon with a different 1000+ word article, and now it is gone. It was there this morning, and now gone.

    It has nothing to do with off-page seo, because these websites don't have any.
     
  12. roswellufo

    roswellufo Newbie

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    One of my money sites dropped like a rock last week.I didnt even know this was coming.
    I thought I screwed my money site up by placing too many affiliate links on it.It was sitting at #1 for months until last week.
    I will be back
     
  13. leeboi999

    leeboi999 Junior Member

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    Do not listen to Google about what to do for SEO, they always give baaad advice.
     
  14. goinviral

    goinviral BANNED BANNED

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    Nearly everything I have read about penguin here and on the blogs of these super guru's has been quite frankly malarkey. No one here or any where else knows what is going on. In fact I think even the guys at Google didn't think it would have this affect. All we can do is sit tight and let the dust settle.
     
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  15. ryannull

    ryannull Senior Member

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    I agree.

    I think it is amusing when people go flock to Matt C for seo advice and not realizing it is not in his best interest to tell you the truth.

    Go to KFC and ask for their recipe, they'll laugh at you. Pretty much the same thing will apply with Google.
     
  16. codo3500

    codo3500 Regular Member

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    Nice proof, bro,

    But I manage a shitload more than '3 sites' and my best ranking ones are spammed to hell. Nobody knows whats going on. Fact.
     
  17. ryannull

    ryannull Senior Member

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    I have 500+ websites, and only have 3 affected as of now. Would have been only 1, but I changed the content on the other two.
     
  18. crazyb

    crazyb Junior Member

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    Neither Google has a clue what happend, but probably they like the current situation.
     
  19. Water damage

    Water damage Junior Member

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    Has anyone looked into the niches that have had the most major movement. I recall someone saying their niche hadn't been touched while others are saying some of their keywords were demolished whilest other keywords (same site) were fine. I wonder if Google did this to the niches with the highest adsense demand and cost per click to get the most bang for their buck from adsense. Most of the mom and pop business that rely on traffic will attempt to get some internet presence back through pay-per-click campaigns since they no longer rank in the organic section. If Google target the most profitable niches, they can get more money while causing the least unrest.
     
  20. ryannull

    ryannull Senior Member

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    Its funny that you mention that.

    I noticed something the last couple days I didn't put too much thought into. A lot of the searches I have done the front pages have been cleared up from a lot of that thin sites. But, when you go to page 2 and back, there's a lot more of those time of thin sites.

    I saw this in several niches.

    Do a search of "make money online", the front page is a little better, but go on to page 2 and 3, it's terrible.