Penguin Penalties

Penguin update was put in place by Google as a machine-learning algorithm to reveal backlink profiles with spam devaluing them or even de-ranks them. The initial function of Penguin was to aid in ranking of websites by allowing those sites with high-quality links and de-ranking the low-quality links and spam reduction. The new Penguin penalty has the ability to differentiate between a natural and unnatural link, and an artificial and a genuine site.

This software is run at specific times of the year across large quantities of data sets to find any backlinks having in them spammy patterns. Occasionally, if the backlinks containing these spams are run, they get penalized until these links are removed. Most of the websites that do not adhere to these rules of getting themselves clean off spams have lost their ranks.

How to detect penguin penalties

Since Google does not notify you about any penguin penalty once your website has been hit by Penguin, you should carry out your own checkups on your website’s traffic. To do this you must follow the following steps:

Look for important keyword drops.

Find out if in your website’s traffic the sudden drop dates reflects those of Penguin penalty diagnosis and if they do, then you should check the keywords that you stopped ranking on Google. Any software that can rank-track or Google Webmaster Tools can be used to check for the above.

Anchor text diversity

This is the ratio of ‘non-money and brand name’ anchor text to that of ‘money’ keyword anchor name text links that directs to your domain. The keyword ‘money’ refer to key phrases which refers to the reason for your ranking as opposed to your brand name that is an anchor text which is a blend that is natural-looking.

Site wide link ratio

It is advisable to distinguish between domain links from total backlinks since it helps to further investigate anchor text ratios. The Google Master Tools is a very important tool as it can be used to give a quick check through the report tab ‘Link to Your Site’ that would perform the task and show the linking domains and the number of links from each of these domains. The backlink analysis tools e.g Ahrefs, Majestic SEO, Link Research Tools etc can be used to produce a more detailed report on the above.

Check domain authority and trust flow

The Moz Domain Authority and Majestic Trust Flow should also be analyzed.

Link health breakdown

For a deeper analysis of a backlink profile, use Link Detex to detect the risky backlinks.

How to identify unnatural links.

  • Download backlink report from various sources eg Majestic SEO
  • Scrutinize the backlinks from domains with low citation and trust flow.
  • List the links and domains and get their contact details.

Clean up your act

To regain ranking, dilute your anchor text ratio by building quality links.