Staff Writer: Carolyn Johnson
Google Penguin is a search engine algorithm responsible for weeding out link building methods that are not top-notch and spammy. Bad or sloppy linking methods are now no longer acceptable, as they can now decrease the value and traffic of your site greatly. A search engine optimization company will need to first identify whether their websites are at risk of being downgraded thanks to bad linking, and then prune those links in accordance to the latest Google Penguin standards.
Even if you feel pretty confident about the quality of your links, it’s always helpful to check and see if there are any faulty links.
The first step would be to check out your website statistics, particularly your number of links per page. Use Google Webmaster Tools to find data on your website. A healthy-looking website will usually have the most linked page as either the main page or the home page, followed by a smaller amount of links on pages with individual content.
A badly linked website, on the other hand, will have the most linked pages as ones that have little or no value or content. The most linked page of a badly linked website will often be very commercial without having any valuable content.
The second step of determining whether you have bad links is to take a look at the anchor text. In a healthy website, the list of most popular anchor texts makes sense: the first anchor text being your website or blog name, the second being your domain name, and the third being your company name; the further down the list you go, the less concerned you should be about anchor texts.
On a badly linked site, though, will have anchor texts of highly commercial items that have no apparent relevance to the website, such as “Chicago restaurants” or “Las Vegas Events.” The first among your anchor texts should the site URL, brand name or company name.
Once you have evaluated your website for bad links, you’ll have to get to work on pruning them. If there are thousands of bad links, you may have a lot of work ahead of you. Fortunately for a search engine optimization company, there are ways to make the formidable process of link pruning a little easier.
Use Google Webmaster Tools to pull link data in order to categorize your links. Also, Majestic SEO and Open Site Explorer are also great options for pulling data on your links. Compile all of these links into a single list, as this simplifies your daunting task.
Group your links by domain. This way, you will likely only need to examine a link on one to three pages of that website; if three links are bad, chances are all of them are. This can unburden you significantly.
There is often a ton of work that SEO companies perform on bad link scouting and link pruning. Doing the work will clean up your website to Google’s standards and will be well worth the time and energy.