May 04, 2012
Please allow me to open with a quotation from one of my personal favorites, Winston Churchill:
"A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
Now as many of you know, last week Google released an update called "Penguin" which shook things up a bit in the SEO world. But after allowing a few days for data to come in, we've figured out a good amount about what really happened in this update.
The good news? We're seeing a majority of our customers maintaining rankings or even moving up in the SERPs lately, due to the diversity of links that Link Emperor builds. Sweet!
The better news? We've already adjusted a few settings in the default backlink allocation to account for the Penguin changes. Luckily, these factors were already on our radar many months ago, so when Google rolled them out we already had code written to deal with it.
Finally, we're seeing some AMAZING ranking opportunities that I'll cover as well.
Isn't it great having guys like us around?!
Anchor Text Randomization
The main change that Google seems to have made involves slapping sites that have overly optimized anchor text. So if a site is trying to rank for "dog shampoo" and more than 50% or so of their links have the phrase "dog shampoo" in the anchor text, it looks fishy. Normal people link with phrases like "click here" or "http://www.dogshampoo.com" etc. So something like 80% exact match anchors is pretty crazy.
Therefore, if your site has too many links that are over-optimized, there's a chance that it got slapped.
Now if you're quite sharp, you might realize that our method of link building already accounts for this because of the long-tail approach. Since we recommend that you build to hundreds, if not thousands of different keywords, you should hopefully never have been focusing all your links on only a handful of keywords as it was.
Someone using Link Emperor should hopefully have had links for "dog shampoo", "buy dog shampoo", "hypoallergenic dog shampoo", "discount dog shampoo", "doggie shampoos" "shampoo for dogs" and on and on and on... which helps a TON in this case!
Important New Randomization Feature
But beyond that, a few months ago you may have noticed that we added a feature to further increase anchor text diversity.
With that feature, you can set a certain percentage of your anchors to have other totally random prefixes and suffixes thrown in. These look like "great dog shampoo" or "dog shampoo for you", as well as just the URL itself as the anchor text, and even tons of totally generic phrases such as "click here" "buy now" "check it out" etc.
When we first released it, we didn't include it as part of the default allocation, so it was just an advanced feature for the guys with tin foil hats who wanted to be extra careful about their link building.
But now that the guys with tin foil hats were proven correct, we've decided to build a high percentage of random anchors by default. If you'd like to play around with it, just go to the Link Building tab in the backend interface and click on "Anchor Text Randomization Settings" to pull up a fancy slider that explains what's going on. Check it out!
Leveraging Authority Sites
Now let's take a moment to talk about opportunity...
We've noticed a major boost in the rankings of many authority sites. These are massive, well-known sites like Amazon.com, Youtube.com, web 2.0 sites, press release sites and more. So we've been gaming this quite a bit by creating pages on those sites, tossing them into Link Emperor and ranking them easily for the terms we're going after.
The great thing is that when you build up a page on an authority site, a link from that page counts a lot more than a regular link on some random page. So we've been creating lots of these so-called "buffer pages" on topics related to our niches, ranking them easily for our keywords, and ALSO getting the benefit of high-powered backlinks from them pointing to our money sites.
This has been a popular strategy for a long time, but it's almost unbelievable how well it's working after the recent updates.
So if you're currently building most of your links to your main website, put some real thought into getting authority pages built on other sites and linking to those as well. The pagerank will still pass through to your money site, but it will get a boost since it's coming through an authority site, and you get the added bonus of being able to rank extra pages for your terms!
Alright, now that the secret is out, there's no more excuse for worrying about the nasty Penguin. Go beat up your competition!
Co-Founder, Link Emperor.com