A Sudden Drop in Rankings Due to Penguin Unfriendly Techniques
Hi guys, here come our new series of Friday articles that we’ll dedicate to your specific questions. You need a quick tip or advice on your local listing, your backlink profile or an onsite malfunction that you cannot handle? Drop us a line and let us know about it.
We will select the most curious questions and will publish them along with a quick explanation and advice on how you should proceed. It’s that simple: you ask, we answer! So let the Q&A begin:
Our first question was sent by James Guiver in regard to his website www.surefirecircus.com and it goes like this:
Q: “I used to enjoy good search engine rankings for my business – unfortunately these were due to me using some short cuts prior to the latest penguin update, and having quite a few cheap, anchor heavy links. I do not have a manual penalty against my site however. I was wondering what the best steps are moving forward to recover from this, as well as how to ensure I do not suffer from such a hit again.”
A: Thanks for your question James,
Let’s first consider what worries you the most and take a look at your backlink profile.
You are right about the nature of your anchor texts – the majority of your backlinks have exact match anchor texts like: professional acrobats, corporate entertainment agency, some variations of wedding entertainment and so on. In deed you should be careful in the future and link mainly with branded anchor text (sometimes you could diversify by using your name or the URL of the website). Of course you can take certain preventive measures and ask some of the webmasters that link to your site to change the anchor text of the given inbound link with branded one. Be polite and considered in your outreach – otherwise your efforts will be in vain.
Let’s focus on the quality of your backlinks. While your website is referred to by only about 24 unique domains (you should strive to improve your link diversity by trying to attract more webmasters site/blog owners to spread the word for your site) you currently have a total of 290 backlinks. The authority of most of your backlinks is far from being impressive. You should avoid building links through low quality directories and websites like for instance boukmarks.com, http://easyescortsheathrow.co.uk/, http://www.hotdirectory.net, http://www.mothering-mother.com, as well as article directories like in your case http://www.hoparticles.com. Keep in mind that most of the article directories were wiped out from the SERPs by Google and the remaining ones simply won’t bring value to your rankings for the search engine does not consider them to be a valuable reference source.
As previously mentioned your website has 290 backlinks from a total of 24 domains only. As you can imagine, among those few domains there are some websites that link massively to your site (like http://adbritedirectory.com/) which is not a good signal at all.
So to sum it up you should:
- Strive to acquire new quality backlinks to your site – your link profile is rather poor at the moment.
- Do not use article directories.
- Do not use low quality web directories to list your website in.
- Beware of site-wide inbound links – a website that creates a huge amount of backlinks to your site is an alarming factor that Google will not ignore.
- Try to attract high quality inbound links as to balance the significant number of lower quality inbound links that you currently have.
- Focus on websites that are relevant to the content of your website – family blogs, local news sites, even the niche that you have so well chosen – wedding planners, organizers, etc. The wedding and corporate entertainment categories open a huge number of opportunities before you, do not miss out on them by focusing on the low-hanging fruit – the web directories.
Do not “linkbuild” at all costs, i.e. do not embrace all opportunities hastily – weight in the pros and cons first, ask yourself whether you really wish your business to be associated with a given website, is that site relevant to your services, location, does it target the same audience as you, is it respected and is it popular, does it bring value to its readers, etc.