Is ranking on the first page of Google for keywords related to your business important to you? Of course it is! As you may already know, Google is constantly tweaking the algorithm that determines which sites get served as results to combat those that are trying to game the system. Because of this, Google just released its latest algorithm update called Penguin 2.0. And you may have just been knocked out. …Unless you’re a TOFU Marketing client- of course.
100% increase in organic traffic for one of our clientsBragging aside- If you’ve recently noticed a dropping in your rankings, it is likely related to this most recent update.
So, why was your site penalized?The Penguin 2.0 update is focused on penalizing sites that use black hat tactics to generate inbound links to boost up their rankings. In fact, many sites that were affected by Penguin 2.0 built links through guest posting on any old low quality site, in addition to more “old school” types of techniques like directory submissions, article submissions, social bookmarking, and more. Here’s a post that provides a list of other components of Penguin 2.0.
Wait, I thought guest posting was good?If you think guest posting is a white hat SEO tactic you’re not wrong. If you think guest posting is a black hat SEO tactic, you’re also not wrong. Guest posting on high quality websites will provide you valuable inbound links that boost your search engine rankings. However, submitting guest posts to sites that accept anyone and everyone will work against you. What all of this means is guest posting is a great thing to do – as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work to create a high quality post and pitch it to a high quality website.
How do you know if a site is high quality?High Page Rank One quick way is to check whether the site has a high page rank or not. You can use a free page rank checker to gather this info. Any site with a page rank of 5 or higher is a great site to pitch a guest post to. Any site with a page rank of 4 or lower should be avoided. For example, you can see here that Mashable has a page rank of 8/10 – this means it is a very high quality site and would provide a valuable inbound link. High Page and Domain Authority You can also use the free SEOmoz Bar Chrome extension to help you determine the quality of a website. Using the extension you will be able to quickly check the Page Authority of a site. Here we see that Mashable has a page authority of 96/100: A high page authority, like a high page rank, means that Google finds the site to be credible. Therefore, any link from that site to yours will help improve your own search engine optimization efforts. High Quality Content If you sift through a lot of blogs, you’ll notice a very common theme- poor content with totally unrelated posts. In addition many of these posts include anchor texted keywords of the exact keyword that company is going for. It’s very obvious to see that these articles were not even written by someone that speaks English natively.
Relevant Content If you see a blog/news site that you don’t recognize and does not have a cohesive theme, be weary. If the blog includes posts about coupons, deals, or other spammy types of completely unrelated topics, run for the hills. (see picture below and above in the previous point). Link Neighborhood SEOmoz’s Open Site Explorer is a fantastic tool to produce lists of websites that link to the website you’re evaluating. If you notice that a majority of the links the website has are from spammy sites, do not try to get a link from them. Google’s view is- birds of a feather fly together. If spammy sites are linking to you, Google may view yours as spam!