Google is slamming the websites that have poor web pages and filled with thin content. It has introduced many algorithms that include Google Panda and Penguin. The main reason for these Google updates is to give better user experience for any keyword you type of Google search results. We all know the importance of link building to get better search results for the keywords that we want to rank for.
Then how are you doing link building in Google panda and penguin world in 2014 and beyond? Whether you agree it or not, link building can be a tedious task. It is very difficult to build quality links in Panda and Penguin world especially if you are a new to search engine optimization.
It doesn’t matter whether you are link building yourself or outsourcing your SEO efforts to someone else, you need to focus on some fundamentals to grow your website.
If you have noticed Google recent search algorithmic updates which are popularly known as Google Panda updates and Penguin updates have changed the life of lots of small as well big brand websites and blogs. Lots of link building methods which were working prior to Panda and Penguin updates are not only gone but may have negative impact on your website overall rankings on Google if you are still following them.
Before moving on with the link building methods that you should be following in this Google panda and penguin World, let me brief you about Google Panda and Penguin.
Google Panda Update
Google Panda was first introduced in Feb 2011 and the main aim behind Google Panda update which was an algorithmic change from Google, is lowering down the rankings of low quality websites and bringing high quality websites back on top on Google search. Lots of article publishing websites notice big drop in their traffic from Google search. Some losers in panda race were wisegeek.com, ezinearticles.com, hubpages.com, buzzle.com, fixya.com, articlesbase.com, mahalo.com and suite101.com etc. Some of winners in panda race were YouTube.com, DailyMotion.com, Mashable.com and Boston.com etc.
Through Google Panda Update, Google was able to uncover the shady link building techniques followed by big brand websites like JCPenny, Overstock.com and Forbes.com. Websites that have poorly written content,
lots of 404 pages and low engagement metrics (bounce rate and time spent) also noticed drop in traffic from Google after Panda Update.
Google Penguin Update
Google Penguin update was first launched on April 24, 2012. Through this update, Google is aiming at lowering down the rankings of those websites that are not following Google Webmaster Guidelines and are involved in different black hat SEO techniques.
After Google Panda and Penguin updates, SEO’s and Link builders are forced to rethink about the methods they should be following to be on the safer side with these updates. They need to focus more on quality than quantity. They have to work very hard to build high quality links for their target websites and blogs now. You must understand one high quality backlink is much better than hundreds of low quality backlinks.
So here are some link building methods that you should follow while starting a link building campaign for your website or blog keeping Google Panda and Penguin updates in mind:
How to build backlinks in Google Panda and Penguin era?
Google loves fresh contents, if you frequently update your blog with new information, Google rewards you in the search results. It doesn’t matter whether you are blogging for years, or just started a new website, you need to post regularly to boost your search engine traffic.
If you update your blog consistently, Google crawlers crawl your site frequently and thus it gives you better results for the keywords you are writing for. Besides this, your blog readers also love to revisit your blog if you update regularly. So keep your blog posting schedule consistent, write posts in advance, and schedule them to maintain a consistent blog that gets rewards from both Google and people.
Don’t use the same anchor text, keep variety in it
Gone are the days when we were able to enjoy top rankings on Google by getting some exact anchor text link for targeted pages of our website. If you are building lots of backlinks to your website using the same anchor text, you are inviting Google to place an over optimization penalty on your website.
You need to keep lots of variety among the anchor text you use for getting backlinks for your website to make sure these links look natural to Google. When people are linking to your website naturally, they can use anything as anchor text against your website URL. They can even use Click Here, Read More or anything that comes to their mind. So you need to keep lots of diversity in your anchor text.
Suppose I want to rank bloggerspassion.com/blogging-tips/ page for blogging tips keyword, I may use anchor texts like blogging tips, blog tips, blogging tips for beginners, Blogging Tips from Anil Agarwal, Blog Tips on Bloggers Passion, Read More about blogging tips, Visit here, bloggerspassion.com/blogging-tips/ and so on….
Create an authority website in your niche
This is very important step when it comes about building high quality backlinks for your website in Google panda and penguin age. You should just publish high quality, well researched and comprehensive contents on your website. If people are finding your website contents useful, there is every chance they will start linking to your website automatically. This way you will end up getting lots of editorial links for your website. You will not need to ask anyone to link to your website manually.
Since I’m working in blogging and SEO niche for some time. There are some trusted and authority websites in blogging and seo niche that gets lots of editorial links automatically primarily because of their content quality. Some of websites and blogs in these niches I myself love linking to are Seomoz.org, Problogger.net, SeoBook.com, SearchEngineLand.com, Hubspot.com, SearchEngineWatch.com, Matt Cutts blog, DailyBlogTips.com, Digital Inspiration, QuickOnlineTips.com, JohnChow.com and CopyBlogger.com.
Interview blogging experts in your industry
Interviewing experts in your niche can be the most effective way to get quality backlinks to your websites. This is the evergreen way of link building even in Google panda and penguin era. Find out the authority bloggers in your industry, ask them if they are interested in getting featured on your websites and you are good to go.
Here are few tips on how to conduct expert interviews to build backlinks.
- Get to know about the person you want to interview so that you won’t end up asking silly/irrelevant questions.
- Make your questions short, relevant and to the point. And ask limited questions, don’t piss them off by asking 15 to 20 questions, chances are they end up giving you one line answers. As a rule of thumb, anything around 6 to 10 questions seem legit.
- Email the bloggers who you have interviewed, once the interview goes live, ask them to link or share your posts. The chances are either they will link to their “Press pages”, “Featured Here” pages or they will share with their fans and followers. If their readers love your interviews, they may link to your posts as well. So it’s a win/win approach that helps you connect with the influencers while building links the natural way.
- You can also email other blogging peers, your blogging buddies to link to your interview posts, if they really like your interview series, they will definitely link.
Harness the power of guest blogging
Although Matt Cutts declared guest blogging is dead, you still can build backlinks using your guest posts. You only need to choose blogs selectively. Don’t guest post on random blogs as you may end up getting penalized by Google crawlers. Relevancy and consistency is the key to get your guest posts featured in authority blogs.
Guest blogging on top blogs in your niche is one of the best method you can implement for building targeted backlinks for your website in your niche in this Google Panda world. Most of popular blogs in your niche will have strict guest blogging guidelines that need to be followed to make your guest post publishing on them.
So you should work hard for gaining each and every link. You have to write a well-researched and comprehensive content in the form of a guest post. Writing high quality and engaging guest posts will make sure you are able to drive lots of relevant traffic and backlink to your website.
If you are looking at blogs based in blogging, SEO, affiliate marketing, social media, health, food, education, travel or technology etc. categories, I have complied the list of guest blogging websites here.
Start commenting on other blogs
You need to make a list of active and most popular blogs in your niche and don’t think much about whether you will be getting a dofollow or nofollow link by commenting on these blogs. This practice will be highly effective if you are running a link building campaign for fresh new website.
You should have an exact idea about a blog post before commenting on it. Don’t write one liner comments but try to add more value to a blog post through your knowledge sharing comments. If you happen to the first commenter on a blog post on popular blog in your niche, may even be able to send some targeted traffic to your website very quickly.
You should avoid submitting comments on blogs where your comments get approved in no time. It means those blog owners are not much worried about content quality and have no moderation in place. So you should target those blogs only where your comments are kept in moderation before actual approval or disapproval by its blog owner.
Be selective while doing directory submission
Google recently de-indexed some directory submission websites. But it’s not the case like every directory is de-indexed in Google as claimed by lots of industry experts. In my opinion, you should not do much directory submissions. You should be submitting your website to very few directories which are really trustworthy. You should give a try in submitting your website to Dmoz, Yahoo Directory, Business.com directory and Botw.org type of websites only. It’s also true it would not be that much easy to get a link from such directory websites.
So it’s not easy to get quality links and links that are generated quickly are no more considered by Google. So you need to build backlinks to your website the hard way.
Social Media Links
I’m a big fan of social media links. You can build some backlinks for your website through your presence on popular social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google Plus and Pinterest etc. Social media signals were recently included as one of important ranking factor by Google in its search engine algorithm. If your website contents are able to create good amount of buzz and shares in mentioned social media websites, you will notice lots of targeted traffic coming to your website from these websites and Google search.
Doing Some Local Link Building
I love my websites being listed in local business directories and Yellow Pages type of websites. You should claim a listing for your website on Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Business especially if you have a location specific business website.
Apart from this, you can use videos, images, podcasts, infographics and widgets etc. to build more targeted links to your website once you have gained some age and popularity for it in the eyes of search engines especially Google.
This has been the proven way to build quality backlinks in Google penguin world. Create visually appealing infographics that grab your visitors attention.
Also provide easy ways to linking and sharing you infographics. If they are highly informative, they will go viral quickly giving you backlinks all over from the blogosphere. Spend time in creating infographics or hire someone to design them for you.
Major Link Building Mistakes to Avoid in Google Panda and Penguin world
Do not look at ways to get links from other websites in their footer, sidebars or blogroll sections. If you are doing so, you are going to get hundreds or even thousands of links to your website with the same anchor text and this could result in making your backlinks profile look un-natural to Google. You should build links for your website in a natural way. Here are some link building mistakes you should avoid doing:
Never use Fiverr.com type of websites
Don’t build too many backlinks for your website in quick time. And never use Fiverr kind of websites to build some quick backlinks to your website. Most of links that are sold through Fiverr.com type of websites will not do anything good for your website and may force Google to place a severe penalty on your website. When you are building lots of backlinks to your website through different sources like Fiverr in quick time, that will not look natural to Google. You need to build 5-10 backlinks every day especially if you are working on a brand new website.
Don’t submit your contents on Panda Hit Websites
Lots of article publishing websites were hit by Google Panda update. So you should think twice before publishing your content on any of article publishing websites. You can get an idea about a website traffic trend using the tools that are mentioned in this post. Personally I have stopped submitting my articles on any of such websites.
One more recently hit website (especially used to get guest posts published) was My Blog Guest run by Ann Smarty. It was hit by Google Penguin updates and completely demolished the website from Google search results. So don’t try to use these type of websites that is hit by Google updates.
Reciprocal linking or link exchange means someone is linking to your website and you are linking to his/her website in exchange. You should stay away from such practices.
Never use duplicate content on your own website or on other websites for carrying out any form of promotion activity. Either update your old blog posts with latest information or delete (and deindex) them from Google search results. Also make sure to check all of your guest posts that you have published from the beginning of your blogging journey.
You never know whether they are copied or original unless you skim them through again. Google penalizes the sites that have copied content, so be smart while writing posts, also try to use unique headlines. Doing a simple Google search before publishing your blog posts can help you create unique and totally original content for your websites.
Conclusion about link building in Google panda and penguin world
If you are focusing on your readership rather than increasing traffic, you will always stay ahead of your competition no matter what. At the same time, also focus on optimizing your posts for search engine crawlers, but don’t over do it and you will be fine in the eyes of Google.
Doing expert interviews, using social media sites wisely, selectively guest blogging can help you build quality backlinks to your websites even in the Google panda and penguin era.
I hope the above link building methods will take your website rankings in the right direction specially keeping the on-going Google Panda and Penguin Updates from Google. How are you building backlinks for your website or blog in this Google Panda and Penguin hit world, do share your tips and ideas in the comments section.