Google has launched its Penguin algorithm to fight against webspam on April 24, 2012. This caused a decrease on organic search traffic of thousands of sites that are not in compliance with the quality guidelines imposed by Google Webmaster. While Google Panda intends for a holistic site quality update, Penguin is only a webspam update. Penguin will devalue sites that attempt to spam Google search results.
Google Penguin ranks sites based on link value. It downgrades sites with low quality of inbound links. A good number of links to a site increases its relevance and improves its rank on search engine result pages. Some website owners, however, used tactics that increased inbound link counts. The Penguin Update aims to rule out such activity and to penalize sites that manipulate ranking algorithm.
To recover from the impact of Penguin Update, you must know what violations you have committed and be able to rectify them. After identifying and resolving such violations, Google will process the changes you made on your site and in the next update, expect that it will recover from Penguin.
Here are some suggestions for removing damaging links on your site:
Make Backlinks Inventory
Evaluate the condition of your backlink profile. Prepare an extensive backlink inventory using a tool that can detect all inbound links on your site. If you chose Google Webmaster Tool, however, be cautious on the possible inaccuracies on its backlink report. This tool includes on its report the links that are already removed.
Classify Your Backlinks by Quality
Removing low quality links requires you to assign value to every link entry in your inventory. In this process, you need to navigate on the linking pages to evaluate each link based on its relevancy and appropriateness on your site.
The linking URL may provide clue on the link’s value. You can start your analysis by identifying links that are irrelevant or unnatural with regard to domain name or anchor text.
You may also use backlink analysis tools like ACRank from Majestic SEO and MozRank from SEOmoz. These tools measure link popularity by scoring the importance of a given web page on the Internet.
Compile Your Link Pruning Records
Make a compilation of your inbound links using a spreadsheet. Your records should include the:
- page on your site where the link points to
- link origin point
- assessment of the quality of the link
- date when information about the link was gathered
- link’s anchor text
- descriptive text for an image link
- nofollow/dofollow attribute
Request for Link Removal
Contact the site owner or webmaster to request for the removal of your link. Prepare a template e-mail explaining the purpose of your request. Specify the details of the link that you want to be removed such as its URL and anchor text.
If you haven’t received any response from the owner or webmaster for a couple of days after sending your request, you may check the link and send another request if the link is still active.
Failure to recover after cleaning your site from low quality links could mean that you need a new site to start all over again. But before making a new site, make sure that the site is clean by having a third party site audit.
Written by Joel of Agentsofvalue.com. When you hire a link builder from AOV, you get agents like Joel, who is knowledgeable on the recent trends in SEO and online marketing.