The Penguin updates have a resounding echo in the SEO world. However, they raised many questions and created chaos in the strategies agencies had. Significant changes and adaptations of these strategies were required in order to avoid an inherent Google penalty.
As pointed out above, chaotic behaviors appeared: agencies began frantically remove links, either of good quality or not, and to change their approach to cope with Penguin’s updates.
It is essential for SEO specialists to adapt their strategies and think ahead, to avoid problems with implemented strategies for clients and to protect their own business in the future.
Below are some tips and ideas on how to rethink future link building strategies and how to protect yourself from future updates that Google could take to improve the quality of results and increasingly minimize the manipulation of the algorithm.
Rethink Guest posting tactics:
Guest posts have become one of the favorite SEO tactics lately. Although this is not considered spam, it is clear that some are beginning to abuse the guest posts. Google’s reaction is soon likely to occur and it will probably devalue these links in the not too distant future.
One of the recommendations regarding the improvement of link building tactics in order to avoid possible future penalties is to initiate a discussion with the bloggers who have the sites where you post to record the content you created under their name and thus you will have the advantage of a good link.
Avoid sites that sell or have sold links:
It’s no secret that this is still one of the most commonly used link building tactics, although there are many warnings or penalties. Avoiding sites and blogs that sell links is recommended. Even if you have unpaid links on these sites, seing as they sell links and there are people who pay for them, search engines will most likely consider that your links are also bought. This will result in the devaluation of those links, translating into a waste of content and time.
More and more SEOs focus nowadays on building links with emphasis on the brand, to somehow balance the scales with the anchor texts used before the Penguin update. It is best to alternate anchors and not just insist on brand. Links must come naturally, so the anchors should be made on natural language and not in exact match keywords.
Search engines focus on identifying unnatural patterns within links profiles, so generating a large number of text links in articles is quite easy to identify.
The best thing that you can do is to completely alternate anchors and target links on images with brand anchors, contextual links with diversified anchors, and emphasize on the brand as much as possible.
Consider quality signals!
Like any other element of the SEO process, there is debate regarding the quality signals. It is yet to be established as a part of SEO, but there are clues that quality signals are becoming increasingly important. Search engines evaluate articles based on certain signals to determine if an article has quality or not.
Targeting links on sites that generate shares and comments on social networks will most likely increase the links’s value over time. This distributed and commented content is definitely easier to remember if it generates responses and discussions from the audience.
Consider the value of context!
In the past year and a half there have been many talks regarding the manner in which Google interprets the context and uses it to understand the value of a link. One of the most debated issues is LSI – Latent Semantic Indexing, which is a process of identifying the context or the meaning of an article or content, based on the words of the article and how they are used.
Although it is unknown how or if this concept is integrated in the algorithm and how the context is measured as part of the value of a link, many experts in the SEO world emphasize the importance of LSI. The content and its quality thus remain as a major advantage regardless of changes or updates.
Co-citation is spoken of more often as being part of the future of SEO – Rand Fishkin made an exceptional presentation in a Whiteboard Friday. Latent Semantic Indexing information is very important for the development of SEO strategies.
Use author profiles for link building!
Another debated topic of the past year was the notion of Authorship, and expectations are that this concept will be an important part of the algorithm in the future. It is recommended to use authorship for all articles written on behalf of clients, whether you use your name or the name of a full-time employee.