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-- Google SEO News and Discussion
---- Possible Clue to the Penguin Update - in a backlink profile
adder - 3:42 pm on Jun 22, 2012 (gmt 0)Total number of backlinks: 4,000
Here's an obscure case study of a site that was hit by Penguin AND received an "Unnatural linking" warning via GWT. I was asked to look at their link profile and here's what I found.
It's a medium-size site with half-decent content, trying to rank for a difficult three-word phrase, let's say: Fluffy Blue Widgets. Now every search involving "Fluffy" has dropped significantly in rankings. Longtail phrases involving "Blue Widgets" but excluding "Fluffy" aren't affected.
Here's the stats:
Anchors mentioning "Fluffy": 2,000
Exact match anchors "Fluffy Blue Widgets": 1,000
Incidentally (or not) the wast majority of the exact match anchors come from terrible sites: phpld directories with generic templates and those blatant blog sites that have a list of text links underneath each post.
One thing that stands out is that the link profile contains one low-traffic site that has put a sitewide link to the target site.
I have a feeling it's the combination of exact match anchors on low quality sites and this one sitewide link.
If this is so, I think I'll join Planet13 and open a pizza store because so far while working on this site I didn't find anything that I couldn't replicate if I was a bad SEO looking to ruin my competition. It's a typical victim - a small site with a weak link profile (owned by a self-employed webmaster if you read between the lines:) Ok, ok, in this particular case the site owner takes full responsibility for the links that have been built.
Does anything from what I've said here seem familiar or ring a bell? Have you recently seen similar backlink profiles on sites that have been hit by Penguin?
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