If Penguin 2.1, the latest update from Google, has had a huge impact on your website, chances are that you have given up on link building campaigns. While you may not be entirely wrong, especially because you might have had to bear the brunt because of some of these links, there is a downside to what you have done. You may have unknowingly, given Google yet another reason to take note of your website, of course in a not-so-positive way. So, unless you have already taken the extreme step of removing a large number of links, it is highly recommended that you refrain from doing so, lest you want to rub the search engine major the wrong way.
Don’t make the matters worse
First things first; you just cannot do without link building. So, don’t even think along those lines. Rather, understand that you need inbound links to make peace with the ranking algorithm or to take advantage of it. Play smart and instead of giving up on links, look for suitable replacements. High-quality authoritative links should suffice. More importantly, get your inbound link profile audited by a professional to ensure that you don’t face any problem in the future. Try not to identify the links all by yourself unless you are an experienced webmaster.
Some of the links can be easily removed as all you need to do is to log in and get rid of them one by one. However, chances are that most of the identified links are on sites that you don’t have access to. You may not want to get in touch with the website owners and place a request for removal, but not doing so can cost you dearly. Yes, they may not agree and as a matter of fact, only 5 to 20% of such requests are accepted, but you need to try. The idea here is to make Google see that you are indeed putting in some effort and are not okay with bad inbound links.
Do disavow, if needed
You identify the bad links and then you even remove as many of them as possible. That should be enough, right? It’s not. The remaining links can create trouble, if not now, may be later. It’s better if you disavow them right away. And when you have Google’s tool at your disposal, why not?
Do not give up just like that
If Penguin 2.1 has hit you hard in the form of a manual penalty, all’s not lost. You can place a reconsideration request. Check your webmaster tools account to find out if you can contemplate placing any such request. Unfortunately, not everyone’s that lucky. Reconsideration may not be an option if only an algorithmic penalty has been imposed on you.
Do take the things further
If your links did not work and you did come under fire, your age-old ways of building them might not also come in handy anymore. Try guest blogging for a change. However, don’t just stop there and also come up with a quality on-site strategy. In addition, even social media may also help you with damage control, in case Penguin 2.1 has taken a toll on your site and now you are trying hard to show Google that your business is indeed a legitimate one.
Ever since the update has been released, there is chaos everywhere. Some of the site owners are simply assuming that the update has affected them in the one way or the other. Find out where you stand before you start removing the links left right and centre. For this, do some monitoring and keep tabs on your organic search engine traffic. However, if the first few days seem bad, don’t fret. You must continue with the monitoring for at least a couple of weeks to reach any conclusion. After 2 weeks, if you notice a drastic decrease in the traffic, it’s time for you to take some action. The million dollar question – how do you monitor the traffic? Well, Google Analytics is your answer.
Don’t mistake it for Hummingbird
As already mentioned, there is chaos everywhere. Site owners have gone to the extent of confusing Penguin 2.1 for Hummingbird. They are not the same. So, before taking any measures ensure that you know the difference between the two.
It’s completely understandable if you are wary of links at the moment, but with time, you need to realise that only link building can help you get those rankings that you have always longed for. Just make sure you build them the right way and do not resort to desperate measures.
A Website Designer is a blog by Dan Norris a passionate small business Web design expert from the Gold Coast, Australia. Read this full post here Penguin 2.1 – Once Bitten, Twice Shy!
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