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Penguin, exact match domains, and inbound anchor text



6:18 pm on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

I was hoping I could get everyone's thoughts on a particular issue in regards penguin. I have two sites that got hit that I am finally getting around to trying to take a look at the link signals.

Both sites are someactivityonline.tld which at least pre-penguin suggested that they were about "Some Activity" hence ranked for the keyword in addition to "Some Activity Online". Penguin wiped the rankings out on one site (doesn't even appear) and the 2nd site it smacked me down a page or so.

So looking at the link profile of the site that took a beating, I can hazard a guess at "spammy links". Now I think the common thinking is that Penguin has something to do with the incoming anchor text variations. So I have a couple of really crappy sites linking to me which may or may not be a problem. They are abandoned blogs with no way to contact the webmaster.

So here is the question, The anchor text of these sites is the name of my website "Some Activity Online". So at least to me I would think that would count as a "proper link" even if the source is crappy. Pre-Penguin at least with my limited understanding, these low quality links were simply ignored rather than penalized.

I guess my question is what do you think? Is it worth tearing my hair out over it? Or do you think its probably not the issue and look elsewhere?
Mod's note: Changed .com to .tld, just in case the dot come version was actually owned.

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 8:00 pm (utc) on Sep 11, 2012]


9:38 pm on Sep 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

In my case I believe it was too many exact match anchors and not enough generic click here and raw URL links.

So yes I agree with you, I have some good examples, for example I have 2 sites in the camping niche - one site serves one product size and the other the larger size.

I built links to the smaller size product - using exact match anchors, on the other site I never got round to the any link building, the smaller product site with the exact anchors got the beating and the other site was left alone.

I have another example, two sites selling the same product - one to the US market and the other to the UK market, both sites are unique content affiliate sites. I did the exact match anchor link building on the US site - the UK site I left alone as it was already ranking highly, and again the site I built exact match anchors to took the beating, the UK site I left alone is still ranking.

So for me it was exact match anchors, perhaps google have also weaved some on page stuff into the mix but I am not seeing it in my case.

I am reading about Penguin been based on a self learning algorithm but I think that is giving them too much credit. I am seeing anchor match penalties and no recoveries are happening because that is just how the algorithm is setup - you get slapped and stay slapped - at least for now.


2:07 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

So could it be to fix (when they decide to get around to refreshing Penguin) to simply get a bunch of incoming "click here" or raw url type of links?


2:58 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Well the purists would scoff at creating url and click here type links to get out of Pengiun but until they come up with a better idea it is worth a shot.


3:32 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

IMO, lately Google does not want you to spell it out to them. Whereas in the past years, if you lined up titles, h1's, domain name, anchors, and content, searchers tended to be referred via a matching query. Nowadays, it seems being very clear like this is disadvantageous. Instead, it seems you have to hint at being relevant or at least not be such an obvious match.


4:22 pm on Sep 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Well the purists would scoff at creating url and click here type links to get out of Pengiun but until they come up with a better idea it is worth a shot.

I agree this would be my way forward but it's only a temporary solution IMO. Bottom line is regardless of the anchor text, the links aren't being created naturally and it is only a matter of time before even those get discarded. You'd have to bet that Google are trying to move away from any signal that can be manipulated.

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