Penguin. Sounds cute, right?
Penguin is actually the name of Google’s enforcer algorithm. To reduce public fear of this bloodthirsty link building cyber beast, they gave it a cute and cuddly name. But, make no mistake- Penguin hunts those who practice bad link building and black hat SEO with no mercy.
Okay, maybe we’re being a little dramatic but the fact of the matter is that Google rewards GOOD link building behavior, and we want you to be aware of a few black hat SEO practices that can ensure you’ll be penalized by the algorithm.
Never Buy Links
If you buy links, how is Google going to know?
The answer to that is simple. Google knows everything.
Google’s the company that who knows who you are, where you work, and what your favorite meal is for lunch. In fact, Google’s Penguin update will penalize you for a number of reasons, including:
- Your website has gained too many backlinks in a small window of time
- Your website has links from a known link farm
- Have off-topic links from websites unrelated to your industry
- You have more unrelated links to your brand name than related links
- Your website has links from forum comments, or
- Your website has links from places you couldn’t possibly have done business with
Remember, each time Google crawls a site, their spiders are also crawling its code. You’re simply more likely to receive great traffic if you abide by Google’s SEO best practice guidelines.
Your Links Will Grow Organically
The only way to “trick Google” (and never have to worry about Penguin) is to gain the links from a multitude of different sites in your industry or related industries at a consistent rate, organically. It’s important that these websites are authority sites, trustworthy, and websites that do not sell links.
You can grow your organic links quite simply by creating and consistently writing quality content. The better your content, the more people will want to read it, share it, and ultimately link to it! Just be sure you are creating content with a purpose- not just creating content simply to create content.
This is a practice that Google wants you to do and will and reward you for doing so! How? With qualified website traffic and no penalties!
Link Building With Forums & Article Submissions
Imagine you just wrote an article titled, Three Types Of Deadly Salamanders and the scientific community goes crazy for it. Naturally, you scroll down the page to view the comments.
Comment #1: “What a great and informative piece. Thanks for sharing!”
Comment #2: “Oh man, those salamanders are scary. I’ll be sure to stay away from them on my next adventure.”
Comment #3: “Love hamburgers? Get your own at ilovehamburgers.com!”
Let’s play a quick game of “Which Comment Doesn’t Belong?” I think it’s pretty obvious.
Google reads the comment and penalizes the URL it links to in order to try and discourage link spam. The beauty here again is that Google sees everything! But, if you aren’t vigilant in monitoring your website or your comments, you could be slapped with a Penguin penalty and watch your website traffic go from constant to minimal in the blink of an eye. In fact, one of the fastest ways to invoke the wrath of Google is to start spamming the web with links!
Here are a few additional reasons not to invoke Penguin’s wrath by buying links from a link farm.
- No one is going to click that link, because they know it’s spam.
- It’s simply not going to give you any link juice.
- Google will punish you for doing it.
- People will put your site on spam registries and naturally quit visiting it.
What Should You Do?
A good way to build legitimate SEO links (and keep Penguin happy) could be to have industry articles published that link back to your website. Let’s say you work in construction. It would make sense that getting a link from a construction certification board would be relevant to your industry, and in turn, give you legitimate link juice and website traffic.
Or, if you’re a writer, having links from magazines or online journals can really boost your ranking. Receiving links fr
om an authority website with similar products, customers, and services is a great way to build your own website’s reputation.
Create a blog. Blogs with unique content, posted regularly, exert the fact that you are an expert in your field. This will tend to gather views even with minimal optimization through the Google search panel. If people like your content you’ll grow and people will love your work and link to it naturally. This is what’s referred to as organic link building.
There are lots of great ways to boost your website’s popularity and build legitimate links without trying to game the system.
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