It will further enhance the spam fighting prowess of Google and is expected to be an updated version of Google’s second generation spam fighting algorithm. That is probably why Google is calling it Penguin 2.1
How much is affected?
As you can see, Matt is claiming 1% affected search query which makes it the third biggest Penguin update in history. See below a complete list of updates as it happened.
- Penguin 1, date April 24, 2012, effect on around 3.1% of queries
- Penguin 2, on May 26, 2012, effect on around 0.1% queries
- Penguin 3, date October 5, 2012, effect on around 0.3% queries
- Penguin 4, date May 22, 2013, effect on around 2.3% of queries
- Penguin 5, date Oct. 4, 2013, effect on around 1% of queries
Reasons you might get hurt
Penguin always penalized sites for bad quality backlinks to your site. If you were following our posts and took actions to remove low quality links to your site, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you didn’t take the warning carefully enough, you might need to check the ranking soon.
We were expecting a Penguin Update soon and that is why we were preparing our defense for a client website. Let us share what the tool had to say about the link profile of the site.
What is the Power-Trust factor of the websites from where you are getting your backlinks?
As you can see, while the average backlink from zero Power-Trust domains for all the leading competitors is next to zero, the website had most of its backlinks from zero Power-Trust domains. That is certainly not good. The more backlinks you get from higher Power-Trust domains, the safer you are against the mighty Penguin.
Deep link ratio
Ideally, you should get backlinks pointed towards all of your important pages with equal distribution. If the balance is too heavily tilted towards Home Page then Google might consider it to be spam or manipulated or even bought. None of these practices are approved by Google. See, how badly the website was initially.
Brand anchor text
If you want to be safe, rather than aggressive with your backlink strategy and later perhaps sorry, we always advice equal distribution of brand, compound, money and other keywords in back link profile. See the example above, 68% keywords are compound. Also note how all the other leading competitors are maintaining our prescription and winning the game.
Finally, I suggest using a paid tool called Link Research Tool to decide how many deadly backlinks you are having. Link Research Tool, well we are not an affiliated reseller, provides the best analysis of unwanted backlinks. In this case, the website was having 1331 links to his site which were deadly risky and could have caused a Penguin 5 penalty. Please note, we don’t stand to receive any gain from the makers of this tool.
How the website is saved from Penguin 5 (Even Before It Was Announced)
- We checked the “suspicious link” manually and identified whether they are harmful or not.
- We removed the harmful links as quickly as possible.
- We removed the toxic link after suspicious link are removed as toxic links are already de-indexed by Google . So these links are not harmful at this point but still we need to remove it as the domain owner might try to get his site indexed.
- There were a few links which we could not be remove manually, so we had to call the domain owners or the webmasters to get those links removed.
- In some cases, when the webmasters asked for money or simply didn’t respond, we used the Disavow tool and also sent a reconsideration request to Google.
- We removed many links to bring the balance back to normal, including links coming from zero power-trust domains and also links which were compound.
What we considered while creating new backlinks?
- We created links especially using content rich web 2.0 properties such as guest posts on reputed hosts. This exposed the site to greater audience as well as considered good back link.
- We shared the site on very carefully selected directories which matched the site’s own niche and also geographical location.
- Commenting on related blogs and forums that enriched the original post and also proved engaging by invoking new comments and discussions.
- Checking the backlink profile of the major competitors and create links from similar or same places after manually checking the relevance.
Now time to see how the same Indexes look for this website presently
You immediately find that we took it to removing the dubious and suspicious links to the home page. Combined with our strategy to get good quality links like we pointed above, we were able to make the ratio look far, far better now.
Deep link ratio
With various links pointing to the Home page removed and backlinks created for important inner pages such as Services pages, the ratio is very comparable to the leader of its industry.
Anchor text variations
We created backlinks on various keywords, brand, exact match, partial match and those too using different variations. As a result, the link ratio now is very comparable with any of the industry leaders.
The image speaks for itself; they were able to successfully remove a total of 85% of all the toxic links, with removing the remaining one being just a matter of time.
One might want to see how our actions reflected on the traffic of this website in discussion. Have a look at what we can decipher.
- The website came to us after Penguin 4 was there. If we can see, the traffic has just increased over time which directly translates into better ranking for its keywords.
- The visits have increased by over 40% while pages/visit, average visit duration, new visits has increased marginally and bounce rate has also come down, albeit just so.
- Even after Penguin 5, the site showed no trend of lower traffics and continued to attract heavy traffic which essentially indicates that the site was not affected by Penguin .
- You need to closely monitor your website’s back link profile as you can use Link Detox, Link research tool and SEO Open site explorer etc.
- You need to download latest back links from Google webmaster and filter it
- If you find bad links for your website then you need link remove strategy. You might have to call the domain owner or the webmaster to get the link removed. If that too doesn’t work then you have to go for Disavow and finally reconsideration request.
- Review your competitors’ back link profile, filter the data and create links on the same site. If not possible then you need to get back links for your website using the pattern your competitors’ sites are following.