Google has let loose with a double whammy recently. Penguin 3.0 and Panda 4.1 are the latest algorithm updates designed to filter out inferior web content.
Panda has gone after content and Penguin is aimed toward backlinks pointing to your website.
Any websites which do not offer relevant and quality content to the user are being systematically culled. This is shown by immediate dropping down or total removal from organic search.
To become compliant with Panda 4.1 it is easy to identify poor quality content which has little substance or relation to a specific search term. In the same way, to become compliant with Penguin 3.0 it is easy to isolate poor quality links which are not gained by merit but by non-approved methods in an attempt to fool the search engines.
Here are the links which incur penalty:
- Links from article directories, link farms, and other manufactured aggregators
- Paid links except those from advertising
- Unrelated links in forums or conversation threads
- Links posted in non-related or non-industry specific directories
- Links embedded dubious (i.e. exact-keyword-match) anchor text.
Any or all of these types of link carry a warning flag to Google and will be penalised.
To prevent penalty and rise above the numerous sites which are being hit you should consider a simple three point strategy:
- Identify any links harming your standing. Isolate all manipulative inbound links which can cause a ranking drop. The majority of links will be from external sources and be inbound but also pay close attention to your internal site structure. Look closely for keyword stuffing, hidden or cloaked links as these again can incur penalty.
- Remove all offending links. Be ruthless and remove any questionable or downright manipulative links immediately. Delete anything harmful form within your site and request link removal from webmasters form external sites. In the event that they fail to comply, at the very least notify Google that you wish to disavow any offending incoming links that are likely to cause a problem.
- Adopt a new, compliant strategy. Rethink the way you gather links. Instead of building links, start to earn them. Feature quality, relevant content that will become make your site a magnet for links and satisfy both the Panda and Penguin algorithms. Move away from manufacturing links which appear forced or unnatural.