Google Penguin Update and Linking Issues

May 1, 2012

With Google constantly changing their algorithms, there has been a lot of talk about what would happen next. The Google Penguin Update has caused websites to take a hit in the rankings, but why is that? So far, one of the reasons is partly due to unnatural linking. The Penguin Update is supposed to stop Google search results spam.

Natural Linking

In order to gain more links, you have to post content that others will want to share and link to more naturally and the links won’t appear to come off unnatural due to there being too many links to your website too soon. If there are too many links too soon though, Google will be suspicious of what’s going on.

Unnatural Linking

If you have been affected by the Penguin Update, it’s probably due to unnatural links. There are five issues that many websites are seeing:

Paid text links having exact anchor text: Some companies will buy links from websites that have matching anchor text in order to rank for the term they want to, but this is against Google guidelines. Google will see this as a paid link and won’t consider it to offer any sort of value to site visitors.
Spam in comments: If you use keywords in your signatures with exact anchor text and a username that seems to match exact text, then this will cause a problem for you.
Guest posting on questionable sites: Guest posts on websites that have proven to be a great resource can be helpful, but if you are guest posting on sites that focus more on anchor text instead of providing visitors with useful content, you will be affected.
Article marketing sites: If you are using exact match anchor text to link from sites that have poor content, your site was pretty sure to be affected.
Links on sites considered dangerous: Few things are worse than having links on websites that seem dangerous by having malware or lots of popups. Google won’t direct users to sites that do this since they’re considered to be spammy.

Google hasn’t changed what they consider to be unacceptable with the Penguin Update. They simply made it so that sites that use unnatural links will be caught easier than before.

Recovery from Penguin?

If you fix all link issues and keyword stuffing among other spam schemes you have used that doesn’t mean you’ll go back up in rankings. Google won’t reveal how it spots spam and with constant algorithm changes, it’s hard to say what will be next. You should use this as an opportunity to take a look at your website and make the necessary changes so that you’re not falling into the categories that Google doesn’t stand for.

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