How the Penguin Update Affects Your Link Building Strategy

Penguin 3.0, Google’s long-awaited update to their Penguin algorithm, was finally released late last month after a wait of more than a year. Google first introduced the Penguin algorithm in 2012 to discourage webmasters from engaging in link building schemes to spam its search results. Offending websites have their search rankings dropped; sites can review their links, disavowing questionable connections and rebuilding with quality links to raise their ranking, but changes will not take effect until the next revision of Penguin is in place. While Google predicts that less than one percent of English searches should be affected by this latest revision, if your site is one of the ones penalized by Penguin it could have devastating consequences for your business.

The latest Penguin update should have a marked effect on your link building strategy, prompting you to shift your focus from a link building strategy to a link earning strategy. Focusing on earning high quality links through a content marketing strategy is the safest strategy for sites to boost their links in the post-Penguin 3.0 environment. Use the following link building strategies to build new links in a safe, effective way:

High Quality, Relevant ContentThe best, most organic way to earn links is by posting high-quality content that is relevant to your readers. You should regularly publish content on your site that provides unique and useful information to engage readers and build your site authority. When you have achieved high quality, high value content, visitors and other sites with authority in your field will want to link to your site. This strategy remains the best, safest way to build links: earning them with the high quality of your content.

Anchor Text DiversityIt is important to vary the types of links on your site, as relying too heavily on any single link category will raise red flags with Penguin. Penguin checks the ratio of ‘money’ keyword anchor text links – the key phrases you are trying to get rankings for, such as ‘local SEO marketing’– as opposed to ‘brand name and non-money’ blend anchor text links. While there is no exact ratio or formula that shows the exact mix of link types you should aim for, try to reach a natural balance among the following types:

  • Brand LinksThese are links that use your exact business or agency name, website name, or personal name.
  • Exact-Match Keyword LinksThese links include specific key phrases such as ‘search engine marketing services.’ Penguin penalizes excessive use of exact-match keywords in your content and links, so remember to use these judiciously.
  • Partial-Match Keyword LinksLonger search phrases fall into this category such as, ‘interactive marketing firms in Miami’. You should also include contextual phrases that answer users’ queries.
  • Non-Descriptive LinksLinks such as ‘Click here,’ fall into this category.

Quality Guest BloggingIf the majority of your links are from guest blogging on low quality sites, Penguin will penalize you. However, engaging in high quality guest blogging as part of a content marketing strategy will earn links the right way. An occasional guest blog post written for a socially active site that is widely recognized as an authority in your specific field can help earn the right kind of links. Remember that any links that are in your post should be located in the body of your post, not in your biography, and must point to relative, informative content.

Active Social Media PresenceWhile Google maintains that social media is not included in their ranking algorithms, an active social media presence will increase your exposure, leading to organic inbound links that will benefit your site. You are not trying to gain direct links from social networks, forums, and comments, as the majority of these are no-followed, and are not going to raise your ranking. Instead, incorporate social media into your interactive marketing strategy with the goal of connecting with influential people whose sites hold authority in your field. If your site’s content is of sufficient quality, introducing these peers to your site will result in the quality links you need.

Now that you have a better understanding of how the Penguin update affects your link building strategy, it is time to get out and get building! You can always turn to Blue Interactive Agency for help; we specialize in complete SEO services with interactive marketing strategies to help your business grow.

Contact Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for complete SEO services and information on interactive marketing strategies that can help you raise your site’s ranking