Think of your website as an ice cream sundae.
The content of your site is the vanilla ice cream and all the backlinks are the toppings. Press releases are sprinkles. Guest blog posts are chocolate syrup. Forum links are nuts. Directory submissions are whip cream. Social links are strawberries. The more toppings you get and the better their quality, the more Google likes your sundae and ranks it higher.
Then Penguin comes along and Google is looking at the anchor text of backlinks in a different way. Suddenly, all of those lovely sprinkles and strawberries that you’ve over optimized by using keywords as anchors turn into black olives and mushrooms! That would be great if your website was a pizza, but on ice cream, those toppings are gross.
So you have four choices.
- First, you can go back and pick out the olives and mushrooms (eliminate old backlinks).
- Second, you can change them back into sweet toppings (changing the anchor text from keywords to brand and URL anchors).
- Third, you can dilute the sundae by adding a lot more ice cream and good toppings (more content and more quality, branded backlinks). Shoot for 50%+ branded anchors.
- Or fourth, you can start over with a new sundae – a lot more work, but possibly a better choice if you can’t get the taste of those black olives or mushrooms out of your sundae, no matter how hard you try.
Whatever choice you make, know that it won’t be a quick recovery from Penguin. It’s likely to take some time to reestablish your trust with Google. (Would you trust Dairy Queen with your business if they put mushrooms in your sundae?) Once you’ve got your backlink profile in order and you’ve built more quality links, then you can start looking at keyword-specific anchors again.
Thanks for reading.
Recovery from Penguin algorithm update