By: Bayshore Solutions Digital Marketing Team
Getting hit by one of Google’s Algorithm Updates or Manual Actions for using unnatural link building tactics can be a costly error to resolve. Pivot your strategy now, before it is too late. The Bayshore Solutions Approach avoids the pitfalls by cultivating a “Modern Google” friendly link profile and avoiding the link types that search engines have deemed unnatural.
Inbound links, also known as backlinks, are links from an external source that point in to your website. Inbound links were originally important (prior to the emergence of search engines) as a primary means of web navigation; today, their significance lies in search engine optimization. The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (this is used by Google to determine the PageRank of a webpage). Google’s description of their PageRank system, notes that Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a “vote,” by page A, for page B.
After much abuse to the search engine algorithms from tactics like keyword stuffing and content farming, Google has shifted their stance and are placing the focus on quality links in an attempt to foster original and higher quality content. Links from sites with a higher PageRank are more valuable than links from a site with low PageRank.
Google has released several algorithmic updates and penalties targeting questionable link profiles, suspicious linking schemes, low quality backlinks, and anchor text that is too keyword rich or overly optimized.
Major Google updates:
+ Penguin updates were a series of algorithm updates with the goal of fighting web spam and link schemes.
+ Unnatural Link Penalties are manual penalties that Google can place on sites when they determine that a site is widely attempting to manipulate the search engine results by creating links.
+ Panda updates were created by Google in an attempt to cause low quality sites to be displayed much lower in search results, this update also targets content farm sites (sites that strip and duplicate content from other sites in order to gain traffic).
+ Hummingbird is the most recent change to the Google Algorithm. Hummingbird combined search capabilities with the information provided by Knowledge Graph and concentrates on whole queries rather than individual words. The updates made to the Hummingbird algorithm also changed the impact of links posted to content on social media sites.
The Bayshore Solutions Approach
Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Although many of the following techniques were previously industry standard practice; at Bayshore Solutions we do not use the following methods for Linkbuilding to avoid any unnatural link related penalties.
+ Paid text links using exact match anchor text: Companies that want to rank for a certain term (such as “red widgets”) may try buying links from other websites with that exact matching anchor text. This is against Google’s guidelines, as Google would consider this a paid link that exists solely to manipulate PageRank, rather than to provide any value to visitors.
+ Comment spam: Signatures in comments that contained exact match anchor text and spammy user names that post links into forum’s comments are against Google’s Guidelines.
+ Guest posts on questionable sites: Although guest posts are a legitimate way to earn links to your site, sites dinged by the Penguin update had links pointing to their website from sites filled with low-quality articles where the focus was on the anchor text rather than the content.
+ Article marketing sites: Thin content featuring links with exact match anchor text were another common factor among affected sites.
+ Links from dangerous sites: Links from sites that have been flagged for malware, numerous pop-ups, or other spammy issues are another factor that caused websites to lose their Google rankings, so links to and from web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” is a danger.
The digital marketing experts at Bayshore Solutions can provide a full link audit of your website, contact us today to get started!