At Search Engine Strategies 2012 Matt Cutts, Google’s Search Spam Engineer, stated that links will continue to be an important factor for SEO. However, there are certain types of links that should not be used since the Google Penguin update.
If you have noticed that your site has lost between 20-30% of organic traffim from Google search results or has decreased in ranking, then you may have problems with your links. You will need to avoid a variety of links that are problematic with Google Penguin:
If your site has any paid links, then you may have your site penalized in search results. Google does not like sites who buy or sell links to improve search engine rankings. This is clearly stated in their webmaster guidelines, and part of the Penguin algorithm includes a method of detecting, downgrading, and penalizing sites for these paid links.
The use on comment spam can be found in two forms. The first form is the use of a signature and link that is added to comments with an exact keyword phrase or anchor text. The second form of content spam is the use of a keyword phrase or anchor text instead of a real name.
Guest Blogging on Low-Quality Sites
The use of guest blogging is a perfectly legitimate way for you to build links. The only downside to the use of guest blogging is when you post to low-quality sites. These are sites that may use spun articles or focus on keyword phrases instead of providing high-quality content. One way to determine if a site is worth guest blogging on is social engagement. Are people commenting, retweeting, liking, and +1′ing the page?
Article Directory Sites
Marketing by using article directory sites is no longer a good way to improve the search engine ranking of your website. The content of the articles on these sites may lead to lower search engine rankings. Sites that provide a directory of articles were seen as spamming and have been punished by Google.
Sites with Malware
You do not want to have links to your website on any sites that contain malware. If you have a link that was added to various online sites, then check to see if Google has any of then flagged for malware. You will also need to remove any of your links that are directed to a site that has malware.
If your site is hosted on a server that has sites that engage in black hat marketing techniques or other forms of spam, your site may suffer too. Use a tool like Who Is Hosting This to find the most reputable sites that will guarantee there are no spammers on your C class.
If you engaged in these methods in the past and lost rankings, what can you do?
This amazing tool runs all of your site’s backlinks, and evaluates them to determine which ones are “toxic” or “suspicious” or “healthy”. Running the tool is supremely easy, you simply enter your URL and the tool will go to work for you. It will look at every single one of your backlinks and use special filters to classify each of the links. It will even identify the email address for the sites so if the links are toxic or suspicious you can contact the site owner and ask them to remove it.
Best of all, for now, this tool is FREE, so check it out!
Most importantly, make sure that the SEO for your website conforms to Google’s new rules to protect your site and keep it ranking for a long time to come.