Well, it’s 2013, but the 2012 update roller coaster is still going strong. 2012 was a crazy year for Google updates and all of those updates are still in full effect. Not only can we expect more updates to come, all SEO we perform moving forward is a reflection of last years updates, especially Penguin. Penguin gave many sites a run for their money and you can expect it to hit websites even harder in this year to come.
Penguin deliberately went after website with “fake” backlink profiles, websites that obtained links for SEO purposes and not because they truly deserved or earned them. So, what kind of links did Penguin identify as trickery? Well, below are 10 types of links that Penguin has deemed worthy of a beat down (from the search results), some tagged-teamed with his partner Panda;
- Directory Links – Not all directories are bad, but 75% of them are, paid or free. Only ones really worth your time are high citation flow niche directories and most local directories.
- Article Directory Links – The biggest SEO scam for several years in SEO. I have to admit I was actively using article directories to build links. But Penguin told me to move on (or to revert to classic quality SEO).
- Sitewide Links – Links in blogrolls, footers, etc – But, mainly links on website not relevant to yours.
- Blog Network Links – If the blog network isn’t intertwined with Technorati, or highly shared in social networks, chances are the only purpose of that network is to create cheating links.
- Blog Comment Links – Another SEO scam that I also admit to entertaining for a bit. NOT worth it. Commenting on blogs and linking to site is fine if you do it right and honestly (and not for SEO backlinks).
- Clusters of Same Anchor Text Links – If 90% of your backlinks say your target keywords and your brand name isn’t your keyword, you asked for it. We saw this coming way back during the Google bomb(s).
- Links from Known Spammy Sites – If you have links on any websites that anyone can spot as spammy, then its most likely hurting you.
- Int’l Links (Chinese/Indian) – There’s nothing wrong with being connected globally. But if you have an above average amount of links from other language sites or from int’l sites that aren’t related, you could be in trouble.
- Forum Signature Links – Man, another SEO scam. I never really got into this technique thought. You have to be very careful, strategic or natural when it comes to forum linking.
- Hidden Links – Duh
So those are the type of links you should avoid. Or else the next (and bigger) Penguin will brutally knock you out of the search results.