Link building Post Panda and Penguin

I have been hearing a lot of this going on lately, and it was a dedicated topic at SMX East a few weeks ago, too. So, who of you are confused as to what to do, and who of you are wondering where in the heck to start?

I think that is a lot of us. So let’s do some digging and deep diving to so that we can all get the quality links we need, but without the hassles of getting dinged by Panda (low quality sites) or Penguin (dubious manipulations and link schemes).

Here are some of the suggestions that I learned along the way, and my thoughts on how to use them or not use them at all:


  • Blog Comments – personally, I think that this is a waste of time unless there are some blogs that you are heavily involved in conversing with the bloggers as well as their followers. If you find that there are some blogs that you just love, go for and create your identity as someone who is fully involved, not just someone to gain a little notoriety so they can ask for links or to be a guest bloggers. If you intend to do this, show your capabilities as someone who is an expert in that particular subject, help other followers and when you feel that you have created respect by the community, ask (PRIVATELY) if you can come up with a blog post for them, ask if it is OK to link back to your site regarding that particular content, and offer the same to them. Otherwise, blog comments are generally NOFOLLOW anyhow.
  • Blog Posts – This is a slippery slope that can easily turn into an avalanche that you don’t want to have to fix. You want quality content and sites to link to you, and the same goes for the people that you are linking to as well. So, finding just any ol’ blog, begging to have your content put up, and then turning around and creating dubiously duplicate content, spinning it, and offering it to multiple outlets makes your content seem more like it came from a content farm and offers only low-quality links. Also, be the expert, don’t find one and then unnaturally insert the links that you want into that blog post.
  • When you are trying to turn the crank and gain a lot of links quickly, your links are going to be demoted and be looked at as less quality links. Link building takes a lot of time and patience, but it can also be taken to the extreme and will ultimately come back to bite you in the end.
  • Thin content (Think eHow sites) – Considering that the eHow sites have been dinged for junky content, I would think very hard and very carefully about putting your content on content farms such as this, as well as linking your authorship to it. If you are going to create high quality content and how-to’s and work on becoming one of their trusted authors on a specific topic, I would try it, but if you are going to churn out the bare minimum, unnaturally link your content, and spin it, my suggestion is to rethink your course of action – seriously.
  • Anchor Text – Have you checked the anchor text to your site lately? If not, you might want to do that. The text linking back to your site should look natural, not like an SEO did it. Not everyone is going to say the same thing about you, and not everyone is going to link to your home page, or specific pieces of content. If your anchor text looks all the same, or VERY similar, you may want to reach out to them and figure out a way to get a more natural melting pot of anchor text. Make sure that you have your brand name, exact match, partial match, and non-matched keywords that are clicking to your content. Yes, “Click Here” is seemingly OK, but please make it natural. An example would be “If you are new to learning about SEO, I would suggest clicking here to learn more.” I would link “clicking here” rather than SEO because it is more natural sounding and certainly more helpful as it is an actionable request. So, take a look at your link profile and figure out what you can do to manage it or make it better.
  • Social Media – If you’re looking to link build for your brand, using social media is a great way to get relevant links, as well as engage your users in creating content about you. Keeping people engaged is what keeps your name, brand, and content fresh.


On Anchor Text, a suggestion by Eric Enge said that 75% of your link profile should be your brand name, while the other 25% should come from more natural sounding resources that combines exact match, partial match, and non-matched link profiles. I have also seen 60%, too. Regardless, make sure that your link profile looks normal, not like it’s been SEO’d to death.

This all sounds like a lot, but these suggestions will help you gain a better perspective of where your site is and how possible it could be that it has or will be dinged by one of Google’s Zoo animals.

Think high quality content, building relationships with bloggers and their followers, become an “expert” in your content, and continue to build out top quality, but NATURAL links.


The next chapter coming up…

What Do I Do If Google Unleashed its Zoo On Me? – Link Building and Content Generation AFTER You Got Hit





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