Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Post Google Penguin Link Building Tips!

The World Wide Web is buzzing with ideas and advice to rise back again after being pecked by the Penguin. Webmasters are contemplating on ways to beat the Penguin and we have been discussing for ways of Penguin recovery too.

More than two weeks after the Penguin update (targeted at ‘unnatural links’), it is believed that the top way to stay ahead is to indulge in smart and somewhat technical link building. Nearly 70% of Webmasters have been hit by the Penguin as the links they had built over the years are now pulling them down.

PenguinBut you can move ahead after the Penguin too. Here are the Post Penguin link building practices we suggest:

1)    Check if domain is cached in Google. Google “cache:domain.com” to see the date of the last crawl and cache.

2)    Check the websites the domain is linking out to. If it is linking to an overwhelming number, then the link is not juicy enough for you. Also, it is important to see the types of site they are linking to. If they link to relevant and quality sites, then you are good to go.

3)    Check the site’s ranking in Google. What does it rank in Google for? You can use tools to check the domain’s ranking history too. The idea is to go ahead only if the site has a decent position in Google, and ranks for a high number of keywords.

4)    Check the rankings of the site linked with the domain. If you plan to link with the domain, you need to know how the websites with outgoing links rank. This is an important quality check of the link that you must see.

5)    Check the content of the domain. You have to get links from quality sites with relevant, quality content. So you must do a random check of 2 or 3 articles for duplicity and quality writing. You do not want links from poor quality- keyword stuffed content. The Penguin hates that. You can check for duplicate content by using Copyscape and Google.

6)    Check if the site falls among dropped domains. Before approaching a site, check for “domain.com + expired” and see the results if the domain is expired. There are link builders who snatch these domains and start their paid links business. Do not go ahead with such a domain.

7)    Check the location of the links. You must look for links passed from the content and not footer or sitewide links. The Penguin may penalize you for this. So, stick to domains with links from within the content.

These are some of the link building practices that can save you from showing up in the Penguin’s radar.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Google Updates PageRank!

New Google PageRank update is here. Twitter is buzzing with the updates.

This update has come after 3 months after the last one happened in February 2012. Google updates its PageRank every few months, though it doesn’t directly affect the organic search rankings. However most of us give importance to our PageRanks. Forum discussions are on at DigitalPoint Forums. Have you seen any changes happen to your PR? Do share your views..

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bing Search Result Pages Gets A New Look!

The Bing search results page has a whole new design. Bing’s new design goes for a de-cluttered clear look so that users can scan results easily without being distracted. The design is a result of Bing’s experiments on the same post user feedback. The clean new look aims for better search experience.

As Bing says, "We’ve tuned the site to make the entire page easier to scan, removing unnecessary distractions, and making the overall experience more predictable and useful. This refreshed design helps you do more with search – and gives us a canvas for bringing future innovation to you"

The new look is somewhat like this:
New Look Bing

And here is the old look:

Old Look Bing

As you can see, there is no left sidebar in the new look. This bar had related searches, search refinement options and search history settings. In the new look, you can find related searches in the right-sidebar and at the bottom of the results. Images, Videos, Finance and Maps have been placed in the top navigation along with login information. There is also a 5-pixel high fragment of the Bing home page image in the top margin.

Bing has also revealed that they plan to bring in further changes based on user feedback- “The new experience is more than skin-deep. You will also notice faster page-load times and improved relevance under the hood. After all, our goal is to help people spend less time searching and more time doing. And changing how we look is the next big step in doing just that.”

Do you like the ‘uncluttered’ look? Or do you think it reduces the relevancy of the page? Do share your comments.

Source: pagetrafficbuzz.com

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Google Penguin Update – Link Issues and Recovery Tips!

On April 24th, Google rolled out the Penguin Update and the webmasters affected have been sleeplessly trying to understand what is wrong with their site and how can they recover from it. The Penguin is targeted against ‘over-optimization’ of pages, against webspam. While we did give out some useful tips for Penguin recovery, but the solution of the problem lies in its cause: Why were you hit by the Penguin.


 The ‘Over Optimization’ Penalty for Unnatural Links

The Penguin has come down on aggressive linking, on over optimization and on exact match domains. A look at the sites worst hit by the Penguin shows that it had issues with inbound links.  So, if your site has lost its rankings, its link profile probably had unnatural, spammy links. Here are some of the major inbound links problems that have invited the Penguin’s peck-

1. Paid Text Links Using Exact Anchor Text: If you have been buying links from other websites with the exact matching anchor text, then you were a sitting duck for Google. The search engine does not like paid links at all.
2. Comment Spam: The Penguin update has marked links from blog commenting as unnatural and spammy.
3. Guest Posts on Dubious Sites: Again, if you have been supplying guest posts on questionable sites with a focus on the anchor text, you are on the Penguin’s radar. Google appreciates guest posts on authority sites with good content. And not the thin content with focus on the anchor text posted on questionable sites by those hit by the Penguin.
4. Article Marketing Sites: In case you posted articles across low quality article sites using exact match anchor text leading back to sites, then your site would have been smacked by Penguin. Poor content and exact match anchor text leading back to the site are a combination that the Penguin hates.
5. Links from Questionable Sites: If you have links from sites flagged as dangerous, malware and not just spammy, then you would have lost your Google rankings. Getting links from web spammers is a strict no-no for the Penguin and Google.

All these inbound links come under the umbrella of unnatural links. Your site indulging in such practices sends a signal to Google that you are violating their quality guidelines and are just aiming to gain traffic with these tactics.

The Road to Recovery
To recover from the Penguin, you will need to clean up the bad links but that is not an easy task is it? You can use tools like:    
1.    Majestic SEO

to see your backlink profile. The idea is to generate reports to see find bad links, site wide links and finding the over-optimized anchor text in your site. Running the links for relevance and PageRank; and then getting rid of them. Our earlier post throws more light on the same.

The other steps you can take to get back your site are:

1.    Optimize your data, not keywords and remove all exact anchor text links.
2.    Create rich, useful, unique content. Enrich your content with videos, formatting, headings, quotes, etc, and use it on your important pages. Keep updating your top performing content items every three months or less. After every update, the “last modified” field in your XML sitemap must be updated to mark the date of the change.
3.    Take care of all crawl errors.
4.    Get rid of keyword stuffing from content and page titles and descriptions. Make them unique.
5.    Get a blog, and update it regularly with high quality content.
6.    Ecommerce sites must create additional content for pages and products.
7.    Optimize long-tail keywords

Post Penguin Link Building Practices

Post the Penguin, further updates are expected, but there are some link building methods you can follow to be safe from the Penguin.

1.    Brand Anchor Text : Build links with your brand name in the anchor text. This is a good practice as can be seen from the fact that a lot of top ranking sites have their brand name in their links. The best combination is optimizing ‘brand + keyword’ in your anchor text.

2.    Domain/Page Authority Matters: Get inbound links from respected authoritative pages. Do not get links with exact match anchor text from poor sites.

3.    Go Social: Future link practice must include getting links from social platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Genuine mentions of your brand will get you a good rank.

You have to cultivate a natural blend of anchor text with brand names, image links, URLs etc.  This will keep you safe from Google’s filters and high on the search results.

The Take Away

Fix all unnatural link issues; get rid of shallow content and keyword stuffing, or other spammy tactics. If the automated Penguin algorithm makes a note of your ‘cleaner’ practices and you get a Penguin recovery, good enough! If not, then you can make an appeal to Google. Do this only if you have been really hit by the Penguin and believe that you have been wrongly put down.
Source: www.pagetrafficbuzz.com