Gary Illyes of Google confirmed there will be a Penguin algorithm update at Google before the end of 2015. To refresh your memories, Penguin is the algorithm update that penalized spammy link building practices. The last one was in 2014 and if you were hit by it, you definitely know what it is. If you weren’t, and aren’t sure, you should make sure your link building practices have been legit. Google has getting smarter and smarter with algorithmically figuring out if you are cheating.
Easy Things to Look For In Your Link Profile:
For small businesses that have had companies do SEO for them in the past and disappeared or are just worried that what they did themselves may not have followed the rules, you should check a few things about your link profile. Things that we know that Google looks for.
Anchor Text: You should not have a large percentage of the links to your site with the same anchor text that is keyword related. It is understood that many links may be your brand name, but if 50% of your links are “Keyword 1” as the text, you are definitely a red flag. This looks unnatural to Google.
Too Many Links from One Domain: You should check and see if you are receiving a link on every page of a referring domain. This is a red flag to Google as not a natural link relationship.
Too Many Links from the Same IP, etc: There are sure fire signs of a link network or link farm and are not natural.
Disavowing Links: If you have broken the rules in the past or find yourself in trouble this time, you should look up detailed information on disavowing links. Initially though, it is always better in Google’s eyes, and a cleaner fix to reach out to these sites manually and ask that they remove these links. If they do remove them, then that particular issue is gone, but if they don’t, you can document that you did try to get rid of the links and documented it before pleading your case to Google. Always start with manual communication to remove the links.
There are tools like Majestic that you can sign up for fairly inexpensively for three months and just do a deep dive on your own site for this information. This is a tool I use, but others like AHREFS may also provide similar information.
If you get penalized and need help or just want to have someone look at your profile and point out red flags, feel free to give us a call at 732 462 6019.