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What Is The Peguin Search Update?

When thinking about penguins, a few things come to mind.  Most would leap straight to the animal itself.  These flightless birds, that are colored to appear as they though are a ritzy butler, are usually favorites at zoos across America.  They have made a huge cinematic presence in recent times as well; indeed, thanks to “March of the Penguins,” it’s hard not to picture a penguin anymore without hearing Morgan Freeman’s pietistic voice narrating. Yet penguins aren’t so cute and cuddly in all media.  For fans of the “Batman” comic, the Penguin is actually something of a repulsive character. He is slimy, misshapen, treacherous and an arch nemesis of the hero. In the SEO industry, some would argue that the term “penguin” is more akin to this villain than the “Happy Feet” gang.  That’s because back in April, Google unleashed its new algorithm, Penguin.  It is designed to eradicate spam, duplicate content and generally weak websites from the first few pages on a Google search.  Or in other words, it is designed to undercut the strategies of “black hat” SEO.  But even though Penguin was established to counterattack SEO tricks, many argue that Penguin will ultimately be good for the SEO industry.

In the long term, many feel Penguin will clean up the game, leaving it fair for the ethical SEO workers.  Penguin is not the first algorithm of its kind.  Prior to Penguin, Google implemented Panda, which had similar goals.  Because of the constant updating by Google, SEO workers can have a difficult time playing catch up.  There’s also no doubt that every time such an algorithm is updated, some websites that did not engage in nefarious SEO tactics will be accidentally victimized.  Despite those negative short term, effects, the Penguin update is meant to keep the industry honest, and SEO professionals that play by the rules are destined to reap the rewards.

Unlike Panda, Penguin is more concerned with the quality and reputation of sites linked to the domain, as opposed to the high volume of links.  This is an effort to cut down on blogs that have serve no other purpose than acting as a proprietor of anchor text links.  These blogs are easy to identify, as they are typically poorly written and populated with an abundance of irrelevant links.  SEO workers who run these blogs will now be forced to adapt to use more creative and honorable methods.  In the end, some observers think that this will serve the industry well.

Penguin looks favorably upon natural backlinks.  SEO workers that use practices such as mixed anchor text and on page optimization will move up in SERP (search engine results page), contrasted with SEO workers that use much maligned practices such as Javascript redirects.  Again, this serves to make the industry more reputable and ethical, and to weed out the bad seeds.

Certainly, just as with Panda, Penguin is going to provide some bumps in the road in the short term.  There have already been several complaints from many site owners who moved down in SERP, so many to the point that Google has made complaint forms for these site owners to fill out.  But with advance in technology, on top of the positive steps taken by both algorithms, the SEO industry is looking to be free of its bad hats down the long road.

Jesse Stoler

About Jesse Stoler

Jesse Stoler is a Content Specialist at Page One Power, a link building firm based out of Boise, Idaho. His hobbies include stand up comedy and pretending he has fans.


Link Building: Links to Avoid

Now that Penguin has hit and some of the dust has settled, you may be wondering which links you should be pursuing for your e-commerce site. The new update has changed some links that were previously good for SEO and made them detrimental. So which are still good and which should be avoided? Read on to find out which type of links to avoid when link building.

First it is helpful to review some of the major types of links that exist out there. Below is a short list.


  • Directory links
  • Blog Comments
  • Guest Posting
  • Article Marketing
  • Profile links
  • Content links
  • Black blogs/blog networks
  • Anchor text links

So which of these strategies should you avoid in your link building?

DoFollow Blog Comments

DoFollow blog comments are hard to find anyway, but those that exist get hammered by SEOs. You should avoid them or use them in a very limited fashion. A large DoFollow blog comment footprint looks very unnatural to search engines. Go for NoFollow blog comments instead to round out your backlink profile.

Black Blogs/Blog Networks

Black blogs and blog networks should be avoided at all costs. Recent updates have rendered these very poisonous to your backlink profile. If you have any of these in your link profile, you should work on removing as many as you can.

Exact Anchor Text Links

Anchor text links are still a great link to get, especially if your brand or company name is in them. However, if you have an anchor text profile that contains large amounts of exact-match anchor text, you’re going to have a bad time.

Links on Low-Quality Sites

You should also avoid links on low quality sites from now on as well. Recent updates have begun dropping the rankings of sites that have links on low content, low authority, and low quality sites. Make sure your backlink profile does not contain too many of these links or you may pay for it later on.

Keyword-Rich Anchor Text in Directories

Your goal with directory links should be to get your brand or company listed and not to get your keywords in anchor text. Do not target directories looking to get your keywords in anchor text as this looks unnatural on your backlink profile. Save keyword anchor text for guest posting or content links.

So now that you know what links you should avoid, you probably want to know which links you should be targeting the most. The answer to that question is guest posting and content links. These two strategies are very good sources of quality white-hat links. Guest posting is an obvious strategy, but content links are a bit harder to wrap your head around. Content links involve creating and hosting great original content and then having people link to it. This is a great strategy because people come to you for a link rather than you coming to them as with guest posting. This is really the crown jewel of link building.

So if you are undertaking a link building strategy, make sure to avoid the types of links mentioned above so you can stay on the good side of search engine updates now and in the future.

Author bio: Justin Gilmore is a Web Content Developer for Page One Power, a link building firm.


What is a Black Blog?

Black Blogs: The Dark Side of the Web?

Maybe you have heard the term “black blog” kicked around , but you may not be familiar with its meaning. So, what exactly is a black blog? Black blog is a term coined by Zach Ball, co-founder of link building firm, Page One Power, who explained, “a black blog is one dedicated solely to selling links to game the search engines and possesses no true value to a person visiting the blog.”

“A black blog is a blog used for the sole purpose of selling anchor text links,” Ball said. “Unlike a normal blog, which seeks to attract traffic and visitors a black blog does not care about its traffic or visitors. The general characteristics of a black blog are: poorly written content, irrelevant external links, a lack of contact information or an about page and typically has poor graphic design.”

If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting a black blog, allow me to fill you in. On the black blog Sopadias, which is presumably about soap, I read the following bit of text (although shortened, the text as it appears is intact). Continue reading “What is a Black Blog?” »

A Relationship/Obsession with Spam Link Building

I’ll admit, I can’t get enough of looking at link portfolios full of spam. There are few things more amusing to me than site-wide anchor text link on a black blog surrounded by other questionable anchor-text rich links. For years I’ve heard, read, and listened to “experts” talk about link building that will get you “de-indexed”. I’ve seen panda clear the forest. I’ve seen it all, and all the while I still see spam. The most bizarre thing I find about all that spam… it works and I’ve seen it work for very competitive terms. Continue reading “A Relationship/Obsession with Spam Link Building” »

Zach Ball

About Zach Ball

Zach Ball earned degrees in political science and secondary education, but ended up starting an internet marketing firm with his brother Jon. That firm is Page One Power.