Similar to what happened with Panda last year, SEOs and webmasters showed annoyance to the Google Penguin Update in which most of them said they played against the rules of Google. Based on earlier analysis, the two key factors of Penguin include Anchor text diversity and link relevancy.
According to the Google Penguin Update – Five Types of Link Issues Harming Some Affected Websites, the spammy link signals were the issues for those websites that have suffered by the algorithmic change. Google also hits websites for aggressive anchor text for keywords in bankinks even before Penguin and right after it, the diversity of anchor text has become even more critical.
The historical data of tons of websites were inspected by the Microsite Masters to perform some investigations whether these sites that have seen their rankings declined after Penguin have been guilty for the unstable percentage of anchor text for the ‘money’ or ‘optimization’ keywords such as any term you tried ranking number 1 for in contrast into the more natural-looking linking anchor text mix.
There were quite fascinating results. Websites that have seen their ranking on search engines fall down had the money keyword for anchor text in 65% or more of inbound links, based on the statement of Microsite Masters:
For those websites that have been penalized, their banklink profile is more of a natural looking. Websites that had the money keyword anchor text under 50% of the time all but guaranteed won’t have an impact on Penguin.
Basically, what Google Penguin tried correcting its rankings by reducing patterns it is considering to be spammy links. Given that potentially also opens doors to negative SEO attacks wherein competitors have the opportunity of harming websites by pointing bad links at competitors with weaker link profile.
There is also a finding that Penguin hits websites that have a small number of incoming links from domains and those sites in similar niche which the Microsite Masters also stated. With Google, the key are link relevance and quality so by attracting quality links from the authoritative domains in similar niche would be a sure-fire sign your website or page is relevant.
Essentially, Google looks for signals that can’t be easily controlled. Obtaining links from relevant websites in similar niche is very difficult to control. The two tools that you can use to view your anchor text diversity and link profile are ahrefs and Open Site Expplorer.
If you are caught by Penguin for having spammy or unnatural links, the best way for you to go is link pruning, said SEO guru Bruce Clay. According to him, one should consider assessing link profile on a monthly basis to find less quality links to remove.
Though it is easy to concentrate on cleaning up your links hoping to recover of Penguin, maybe it is something else dragging down your rankings. Perhaps a site viewed by Google has scraped your website content which is either linking you with some credit or it has failed to take out internal link into your site in the copy text. The link is now from bad community that points back to your site. If you are unsure if your content has been copied on other websites, you should try Copyscape. If you have used it and find that other websites have snatched your content, Google will have the page submitted with a DMCS report which requests removing the content.
For affected websites but have not violated Google rules, it can be that your domain does not have authority or you do not have sufficient quality backlinks.