Penguin Approved Link Building Strategies

Posted by Dustin Williams

Google PenguinWith the launch of Google’s Penguin Algorithm, it has been made very clear that certain types of link building activities can hurt your website rankings. Google has declared war on webmasters trying to use spammy link building tactics to game the rankings and the Penguin Algorithm is all about discovering those sites that participate in such activities and dropping them out of the search results. So if there are links that can cause a website to get Penguin slapped, are there still links that are Penguin approved? The answer is yes.

Provide Useful Content that Begs to Be Shared

Google is all about rewarding websites that provide a great user experience. Such websites will get links naturally as people find the content of the site to be useful and want to share it or link to it from their site. This is more than just writing a certain number of words that is unique and relates to a targeted search term. It has to provide a unique perspective on the topic or feature some element that will make people want to tell their Facebook friends, Twitter followers or blog readers about it. Including rich media elements like videos and infographics are good ways to turn ordinary content into something that begs to be shared. Keep in mind that according to their Webmaster Guidelines, Google wants you to “create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”

Use Press Releases to Promote Everything that is News Worthy

Press Releases are a great way to spread the word about anything news worthy. You can send out a press release whenever there is news relating to your business like product or service updates, website upgrades or redesigns, new sponsorships, changes is company management or ownership and company awards or milestone achievements. Remember that the goal of the press release is to get as many readers as possible and to build brand recognition. The press release should be written with the intent of informing the readers of the company news. It should be well written and not keyword stuffed. Any links in the release should be relevant to the topic and you should never reword parts of it just to fit in a keyword targeted link.

Be a Guest Blogger

Guest blogging can help build up brand recognition and get you some good links at the same time. You should look for opportunities to post articles and guest blogs on popular blogs that are in the same industry. Finding industry related sites to write for may narrow the choices but doing so will make any links you get worth that much more. One post on a high quality, industry related blog can be worth a hundred posts on low quality sites that are not relevant to your industry.

Get Social

Get involved on Facebook, Twitter and Google +. These social media sites offer a way to share website content quickly with people who are interested in your industry. Make sure that all pages of your company website have buttons that allow for quick and easy sharing of the content. Place the buttons in a prominent location on the pages so they stand out to visitors who might want to share the content with their friends and followers. Also include links from your site to your company profile pages.

Link Strategies to Avoid

As mentioned earlier, the Penguin Algorithm is looking for certain patterns in links that would indicate that your website is involved in some shady link building practices. Certain things are what Google considers “unnatural” and when those are present, there is a good chance your website will get hit by Penguin. Some things to avoid when building links are…

  1. Getting mostly keyword targeted anchor text links: It is pretty rare that a website owner will just link to you using the exact keywords that you are trying to rank for. Having a high percentage of keyword targeted anchor text links could indicate “unnatural” linking to Google.
  2. A high percentage of low quality linking sites: If your links are coming mostly from sites which are low quality or have little to no relevance to your industry then you are at risk of getting hit by Penguin.
  3. Lots of links with very few linking domains: Site-wide footer links, blog roll links, and other run-of-site links can cause more harm than good. These links worked well in the past but now only run the risk of getting Penguin slapped.

About the Author: Dustin Williams is a Search Engine Marketing expert and the Global SEO Manager for MidPhase, a domain registration and website hosting services provider. He has been practicing SEM and optimizing websites since 2004. Follow Dustin on Twitter: @WebGazelle.

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13 Responses to “Penguin Approved Link Building Strategies”

  • Mike @ GuestBlogPoster.comJune 11th, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    +1 on becoming a guest blogger. That is nearly all we do and have seen outright amazing results. I think #2 in the link strategies to avoid section covers this, but ditch those article networks. Anything that promotes poor content, in an automated and manipulative sort of way, is not a long term strategy, period.

  • Dustin WilliamsJune 11th, 2012 at 11:41 AM

    I agree. Low quality articles are on Google’s radar. Any site that allows poorly written, spun or duplicate content should be avoided.

  • SimonJune 23rd, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    Absolutely, getting links from low quality sites and from irrelevant theme are very much dangerous. By getting links from these types of site, you are thinking that lots of website is pointing you. But now Google is treating your links as spam. So, now go only for Quality, Relevancy and Freshness.

  • RobertJuly 2nd, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    We experienced great success when we added our employee generated blog, which brought fresh, informative content to our site. Industry links have started referring to our blogs now.

  • Chris LynnJuly 5th, 2012 at 5:39 AM

    What happens for an already established Blog with Low Quality backlinks as there is low chance of correcting the things.

    Is there some way to ask google to disregard those links?

  • Dustin WilliamsJuly 9th, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Bing recently launched a feature in their Webmaster Tools to allow webmasters to disavow links. This feature makes it possible for a website owner to tell Bing to not give any credit to links that they think are harmful to their website rankings. Google is supposedly working on a similar feature.

  • flight tickets to las vegasJuly 6th, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment
    (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I wrote and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any tips for beginner blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  • GervelisJuly 11th, 2012 at 3:28 AM

    Its about time the penguin came around and smacked all of the spam SEO link building! Guest blogging is, in my opinion, the best way to promote thought leadership. At the end of the day, isn’t that what Google wants to see?

  • BRAVIDecember 22nd, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    I’m more concerned with people gaming penguin in negative ways. It was always a factor but now it seems like Google is really making it easy for people to go bowling on competitors sites. Wish they would just not count the bad links rather than penalizing them.

  • Steve PringleJanuary 27th, 2013 at 9:59 AM

    “One post on a high quality, industry related blog can be worth a hundred posts on low quality sites that are not relevant to your industry.”

    The above comment is true but those sites now want you to register to make a comment and often using the dreaded “Facebook” plugin.

Stop blending in with the rest of the crowd and start leaving your mark on the web