Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Penguin Key Factors: Anchor Text Diversity & Link Relevancy

These past few days, webmasters have all been abuzz about the launch of Google Penguin Update. This latest Google algorithm change seeks to target and fight webspam in search results, penalizing those sites that are over-optimized.

According to more early analysis, Google Penguin Update may have given emphasis on these two key factors: Anchor Text Diversity and Link Relevancy.

SEO rank tracker, Microsite Masters, had made an analysis of historical data from thousands of websites to assess and evaluate whether sites that dropped in rankings were accountable for having unbalanced percentage of inbound links with anchor text matching “optimization” or “money” keywords (keywords that that the site was trying to optimize SERP visibility) against any other more natural-looking type of linking anchor text (like “click here”, “here”, “blog post”, or anything that wasn’t a keyword containing measurable search volume).

Microsite Masters found out that sites which got negatively hit by the Penguin Update had a “money keyword” as its anchor text for over 60% of its incoming links. However, they stated that having over 60% of money keyword anchor text does not guarantee that your site would be hit by the penalty. This is because there are also many of the sites not affected that had numbers just as bad.

But, for sites that weren’t penalized, Microsite Masters discovered that these sites had a great deal of anchor text diversity, having much more natural looking backlink profile. They stated that if your site has keyword anchor text that is less than 50%, it’s all but guaranteed that you will not be affected by the Penguin update.

Microsite Masters also discovered that sites that were penalized by Penguin have very few incoming links from domains and websites in the same niche. According to them, this obviously shows that it’s safe and even probably beneficial to have links coming from non-relevant sites. However it’s equally important to supplement those links with links coming from similar niche sites.

These findings reinforce the fact that with Google, link quality and relevance are major factors. So it's important to get more backlinks from relevant sites especially from those sites with high-domain authority and also diversify your anchor text and link profile to make your link building look more natural to search engines.

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