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Hit by Penguin? Did you link build?

2:29 pm on May 14, 2012 (gmt 0)

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It appears there is a strong correlation...

For each of your sites hit by Penguin, respond to the thread answering if you did link-build for that site or not. Might be telling. Obviously don't show your website.

I'll start. Only one site of ours got hit and we did link-build for it.
8:59 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@andrew. Creating 'linkable' content is a good start. For a website with a long term view old skool mainstream spam is a waste of time and effort. Every topic on earth has its interested parties. As cliched as it may sound, if you focus on making your product the best it is in its field then you might succeed as people will notice and will talk about you be that on other traditional websites, blogs or other social platforms. Forget crappy spam techniques and focus on creating conversations :)
9:11 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Well Andrew the boy scout answer is obviously to tell you that natural links are ones you do not create yourself - create great content and the links will flood in - generally rubbish but can work well if you get it right/lucky.

Another way is to buy old domains and use them as a private niche network - if you have a holiday site buy some travel related sites and build content on these, eventually link together and keep your head down.

Dont forget that depending on your area some websites are simply not meant to have thousands of backlinks for a keyword which only gets a few thousand searches per day - it is not possible and stands out.
9:13 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I had a few sites on EMDs that suffered badly from the Penguin update. I didn't buy any links, but did link from other related sites of mine all with exact anchor text, possibly enough to make those links look bought.
9:22 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@jackonaplane, have you completely removed them or did you just change the anchor to something less obvious?
9:28 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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With Penguin, we lost 25% of the traffic to our reference site. We have done no link building, sharing, or swapping of any kind, and we can say this with no qualifications. 99% our work goes into the site itself, and the 1% of work that is offsite consists of managing our social networking profiles.

We do have spammy links to our site--including one domain with over 220,000 links to one page on our site (we requested that these be removed and that webmaster complied, but only about a week ago, and WMT still shows the links)--but we had nothing to do with them. Honestly, we never paid much attention to these links when we saw them in WMT because we figured Google was smart enough to figure out we had nothing to do with them.

So Penguin is not all about link-building, as we have done nothing of the sort. One potential issue we've considered is that a large portion of our backlinks are from comment sections and forums. These tend to be very diverse in nature, with links coming from news sites, sports forums, video game forums, livejournal discussions, Reddit threads, and on an on. I won't describe the subject of our site here, but I'll just say that people often share our content to settle bets with each other or to prove one another wrong, and our pages are very shareable for those purposes. We've considered the possibility that our content is actually TOO shareable, and that this is triggering something at Google. It's all very frustrating.

Could it not be that the spammy links you have, including that one domain with 220,000 links are causing you the problem with Google, and that Penguin is very much to do with unnatural links?
9:49 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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@sanjuu Give it a few more weeks to see if this change helps - it may take a while.

Also look at the content for repeated boiler plate content.
10:25 am on May 16, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I've kept them there for now, but diversified the anchor text a bit. If all links were previously "widget information", I've changed about half of them to something like "widgetinformation.com", "widget information details", "widget", "widgets information". So far, this hasn't had any perceivable affect on rankings (and sadly is less intuitive for users), but I'm waiting for an official Penguin refresh before I start drawing conclusions.
7:25 am on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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Yes definitely,link building is not the only reason which can cause a hit by Penguin but there are some reasons as bad links,link purchase and many more.
1:58 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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After so many updates do anybody can tell that what is the natural way to create links...


Don't "create" links.

Create good content that people will WANT to link to.

My BEST links are from PBS, Huffington Post, a University site, and a couple of well known bloggers in my niche.

I never asked for a link from them, and if I HAD asked for a link from them, I am sure they would have laughed at me.

But they liked my content.


Ever know anybody who likes to name drop? They like to say, "Oh, I was at a party and then so-and-so came in and I got to hang out with him for a while."

You need to be that so-and-so; the one that everyone wants to be associated with by proximity.

That's like the first rule for bloggers; if you can't come up with good content yourself, tell people about others you know about who have good / topical / controversial content. Be the person that bloggers write about when they don't have good content on their own.
2:13 pm on May 21, 2012 (gmt 0)

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I think google didn't have clear vision about what it will consider as natural.

All the methods you're describing are the opposite of natural. I'm not saying they won't work, but I am saying that there's nothing natural about comment spam.

A natural link is an editorial link. In other words, *someone else* chooses to link to you. This is different from forum signature or blog comment links, where you choose to link to yourself.

The natural way to get links is through traditional marketing, where the focus is less on links than it is getting exposure for your site or brand.

Create some content with a particular audience in mind, and then do what you have to to get it in front of that audience. If they like it, they'll often link to it and share it.
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