This is a guest post by Jag on Google penguin update.You can read the guidelines for guest posting at our guest posting guidelines page.
The latest Google algorithm update has left a great number of webmasters wondering what on earth they’ve done wrong. Since this was an automatic update of its search algorithm, Google has made no effort to make exceptions even though they published a “Google Penguin Feedback” form which many webmasters thought would help. However six weeks have passed since the update, and many punished websites are not coming back. Google was serious about its intention to penalize spammers, even if some websites went away as collateral damage.
If your website has gone away and you’re scratching your head wondering “what did I do to be considered a spammer?” you must be even more confused about what to do next. How to avoid triggering the spam bots, and how to do the whitest white hat SEO on the planet.
Here are some thoughts about the post Penguin link building techniques that will make your efforts worthwhile and be as natural as possible:
What You Can Do Onsite
Spruce up your website content and make your site worth visiting and spending time on. That way your bounce rate will go low and your “time on site” will go up. A real indication, you are targeting the right people and you are offering the right content – useful information. That way you are helping Google become an even better search engine and Google will help you rank higher – it’s a win-win situation for both.
Offsite Post Penguin Efforts
Making link building more natural has never been more important after this Google update, so how can you be more natural than ever? Here are some tips:
- Imagine how other (not SEO) people would link back to you and do the same.
- Use long tail keywords variations – you may already know this. What you can do differently is to make these long tail links on a lot more natural and meaningful phrases within your content.
- Use anchor text not containing your main keywords from time to time. For example link back to your site using anchor text like “this website”. I know this is not “by the good SEO book” but it is definitely how other (not SEO motivated) people would link back to you and i believe this is what Google is after this time.
- Use your brand name as anchor text. This way you will relate your brand to the main keyword in question and again make the SEO link building more natural.
- Go steady; do not make 1000 links in week. Many small business owners wanting to get on top of Google in five days are hiring companies or individuals promising the impossible. I expect it’s not the first time you’ve heard this, but go steady and give your SEO some time to be done correctly. That way it will be long lasting and more efficient.
- Do a variety of backlinks – so keep good relevant directories, go for social media share, do guest posting, themed article submission, wiki links (not spamming private wikis), meaningful and valuable blog comments.
When Guest Posting
I love guest posting, but guest posts mean you have to deal with real people/bloggers/webmasters that can be quite possessive about their websites. So treat them with respect and fulfill all of their requirements to get a good backlink. Rand Fishkin from SEOMoz made a great “whiteboard Friday” presentation on how to do guest posting in the right way. You can take a look at it here.
So to do it successfully and gain SEO benefit from it, I suggest you follow these tips, based on experience:
First of all, provide unique quality content, not just another re-written article. Provide content that actually benefits the blog’s audience. The blogging industry is so developed these days that you can hardly find a subject that hasn’t been already discussed or written about. But you CAN find a topic or a subject that hasn’t been written about on THAT specific blog. And make sure your blog is themed and relevant.
- When writing your post for a specific blog, link to some of its existing posts from meaningful anchor texts, the webmaster will surely appreciate it.
- Link back to your own website, but link back to other relevant and useful sites as well. They may discover what you did and will return the favour- which is nice. You may even contact the webmaster of this other relevant site, and make sure they know they owe you a favour!
- When guest posting, use images, info-graphics and put the link on the image. Use appropriate long tail keyword phrase as image alt text and that makes you a totally legitimate and white hat backlink. Always remember to use images you own the copyrights to, to avoid legal issues.
- If you have to link back from your author bio, make sure the surrounding words on your link are relevant to the keyword in question and to subject you are writing about.
- People reading blogs, like to know the writer is a real person. So link back to your social media profiles and show them who you are. Blog webmaster’s like this approach as well. At the same time you’ll promote yourself as an expert on the subject. Isn’t that great!
I expect SEO experts will come up with additional creative ways to do natural white hat link building. Search Engines are popular if they deliver good search results. And every once in a while they go after those who try to fool them. But that makes our (SEOs) job even more interesting, right!
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