Well it has been several weeks since the introduction on Penguin and the heated topic is LINKS. I know a lot of people have spent countless hours building a great link strategy but now that Penguin is out you might want to re-look at your links. Even for sites that have no link strategy it might be a wise idea to look and see where your links are coming from. Part of the Penguin updates seems to look at the type of sites linking to your website, how the anchor text is entered and what kind of links you have. So this could mean if you have an over abundance of links with the same type of anchor you could trigger a penalty.
So now might be a good time to see what you have and have a plan in place should you need to remove them in a hurry.
The first thing you probably want to do is see what you have. Here are some good sources that will pull your link data;
So what should you be doing?
Let me preference this. If you don’t have an extensive link building in place you probably need to do nothing. But you might be surprised how many backlinks you might have so at the very least use one of the above tools and take a look.
If you do have an extensive list of backlinks then you might want to get a plan setup should you need to reduce them in the future.
Start off by getting a master list of all your links.
Then you need to cross reference these links with the ones Google says they see via the Webmaster tools. Remember that links fit into a few groups. Those being;
- Links from free website such as WordPress, Blogger, Weebly etc.
- Site wide links – easy to spot if you have too many of the same anchor links to the same page on your site from another site.
- Image based links
- Directory links
- Highlight non common domain extensions – .edu, .ac, .uk and other country specific extensions
Once you have your master list then your criteria for removal might be;
- Too many links from one domain
- Too many links from the same IP
- Sites with too narrow matches on anchor text
- Site with obvious “I am just linking to build my links” or “advertising” types of sites
- Links from sources not related to your SEO
Getting rid of them
- There is no easy way to remove a link from another site to yours except to ask nicely.
- Sites like Blogger / WordPress / Weebly / Squidoo can be removed if you after the above you don’t get satisfaction you can email the site directly asking them to remove the link.
So while it may be too early to pull the trigger on removing links, you should at least have a game plan in mind, see exactly what you have an be prepared for action should you need to begin removing them. Remember Chance Favors a Prepared Mind!