Google Penguin Had Zero Impact on My Sites
April 24, 2012 and Google hits out against over-optimised sites with its Penguin algorithm. Penguin penalised websites with over optimised anchor text in incoming links – backlinks in other words.
The Penguin algorithm slipped past my attention until I read a tweet from Matt Cutts. I’m nearly obsessive about watching traffic stats for the sites in my portfolio; they get checked daily for activity of all types – traffic, attacks, broken links and so on, and I hadn’t seen any unusual traffic dips on April 24 or shortly after. If anything traffic has increased to these websites since that time.
Penguin No Real Surprise
It comes as no real surprise Google introduced a link spam algorithm. A year ago, during Panda, I wrote in “Panda 2.5 the SEO Algorithm” that Google was on a path to weed out over-optimised sites:
Google does not want “SEO’d” sites in the results! We can expect further refinements of the search engine spider to have even more impact on sites basing their results on SEO techniques instead of delivering valuable, original, quality content to internet searchers. Read More
Around the same time I wrote about Backlinks can harm your Website. Now it seems Google is getting more serious about low grade backlinks, or rather backlink spamming.
So What can be Done
Much has already been written about asking webmasters to remove links from sites, and keeping a record of your requests to submit to Google when requesting a site re-evaluation so I won’t repeat this process.
We can rather take pro-active steps to avoid falling into the trap. Be careful when creating anchor text links, including the titles used in the link. There’s no harm in describing what the reader will find on the linked website page – the algorithm looks for duplicate anchor text, not relevant descriptions.
Avoid “followed” site-wide links as well: We often use site-wide links to let readers know about our other sites and blogs. This practice is nice for visitors, but these links must be “nofollowed” so Google can see we are not deliberately trying to SEO our websites. We also give friends and other sites we like these site-wide links – but “nofollow” these as well – or we are not doing our friends any favours.
Google May Help with Disavow Button
Google may help us deal with link spam by introducing a “Disavow” button in Webmaster Tools or Google Analytics. This will be an excellent development voiding the task of sending e-mails to webmasters asking them to remove links or modify anchor text – link spamming webmasters are unlikely to comply anyway…
The Disavow button will tell Google we don’t want links from low grade and spamming sites considered for our search optimisation.