Actions initiated against ‘overoptimized’ sites by Google have been intensified. It seems a series of recent updates are easily able to detect most links-related overoptimization digressions, which can lead to both short and long-term positional damage, with or without any warnings. Even though the search engine major announced the Penguin update a couple of months ago, changes on its link evaluation system have been quite noticeable well before the announcement.
It now appears that Google has been slightly overzealous in some cases, argue some experts, temporarily hitting even those sites with natural link profiles. In other instances, it admitted certain algorithmic classification blunders, publishing messages like the one posted on Google+ by Matt Cutts that mentioned: “It turns out our classifier for parked domains was reading from a few files that were empty mistakenly. And as a result, we classified some websites as parked while they weren’t.” According to SEO experts, many websites have got unnatural links notifications fall under five broad categories as follows:
- Commercial Link Networks: In case you make use of a link-building product with a name, it’s more likely this product is under Google lens. It has already de-indexed several sites on networks like Build My Rank and other popular tools and systems.
- Agency Link Networks: Google is identifying the networks without relying in any way on creating accounts and utilizing the products as some suspected they’re doing with services like Build My Rank. Google is aware of these networks. They remain a prime target for elimination.
- Sidebar Links: If you harbor many of these, it raises a red flag to Google. So it is better to take them down.
- Anchor Text: The way Google tends to evaluate anchor text has changed. Websites with quite a high volume of keyword anchor text face greater risk of a penalty apart from link devaluation.
- Sites having become Toxic: A link can sometimes be placed on an average website and the site owner later decides to dispose links and paid posts each month to many unrelated sites. The site thus has turned into a toxic one from a good link source and the link then needs to be removed.
It is necessary to guard against the overoptimization penalty hits. Google, as stated above, has already implemented the Penguin update apparently against ‘black web spam’, to ensure backlink profile of your sites doesn’t violate its quality guidelines. ‘White hat’ search engine optimizers mostly enhance a site’s usability, help build quality content, something which is helpful for search engines and social media, site owners and users.
However, webmasters are at times tempted or made to use techniques in pursuit of higher traffic or rankings, which don’t bring any benefit to users. The intention is simply to resort to shortcuts or look for loopholes, resulting in usage of webspam techniques like keyword stuffing and link schemes, in an effort to propel sites rankings. This is essential to keep in mind, especially if the traffic volume has fallen.