After Google’s Panda algorithm, it’s the Penguin update that has taken the entire SEO industry by storm. First released in April 2012, Google’s Penguin algorithm functions to catch those websites that spam its search results. But unlike Google’s Panda algorithm which penalizes sites with duplicate or low quality content, the Penguin algorithm brings its axe down on link spam.
While you should always ensure your website doesn’t land in the clutches of Google’s Penguin by abiding by Google’s quality guidelines, it’s also important to take immediate action if you were already hit.
If your website or blog was hit by Google’s Penguin update, given below are the tips or guidelines that you should follow for recovery.
#1. Make Sure It’s Penguin
Since there are different types of Google penalties, the first thing you need to do is find out whether the changes in your site’s search rankings were caused due to Penguin update. A Penguin penalty occurs when a website has a suspicious or unnatural inbound link profile.
Therefore, you need to analyze the inbound backlinks profile of your website and determine those links that might have caused Google’s Penguin to impose a penalty. Manipulative or unnatural inbound linking is the main reason for getting penalized by the Penguin update. Anchor text abuse is continuously under Google’s radar.
If it was a Penguin penalty for unnatural linking, you might have received a notification via the Google webmaster tools as well.
#2. Detect the Bad Links
Once you are sure it’s a Penguin penalty for link spam, the next step is to evaluate your website’s inbound links profile and detect those links that are causing the real harm. In order to conduct a backlinks analysis of your website, you may need to use such tools as Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer.
With the aforementioned tools, you can easily measure the quality of links pointing back to your domain, total number of inbound links and the ratio of the exact-match anchor text. You can also find out whether your site’s inbound link profile is over-optimized or manipulated. Finally, you need to divide all the external backlinks into two categories – good ones and bad ones.
#3. Get Rid of Bad or Spammy Links
Finally, the bad links must be removed. Once you have identified the inbound links that have caused trouble, you need to start working on a link removal campaign. In many cases, you’ll be able to remove the bad links by getting in touch with the webmasters of the third-party websites directly.
Otherwise, you can simply utilize Google’s Disavow links tool. The links that you want removed can be submitted to Google in the form of document so that those links are ignored.
#4. Start Building Top Quality Links, Naturally!
It doesn’t stop there. After you have got rid of the bad or spammy links pointing back to your domain, it’s time to come up with a new link building strategy in order to generate more top quality backlinks. Building new relevant and authoritative inbound links for your website will help your website’s backlinks profile improve even further.
In any case, make sure your new link building campaign doesn’t utilize any underhand techniques. Or else, you’ll end up getting yourself into the same situation you wanted to recover from.