Link Building Post Penguin. SEO In a Penguin filled world.


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Taken from my talk at SMX Sydney 2013. This presentation discusses how SEOs should be thinking in a post Penguin world. How do you build penguin friendly links?

Today, the objective is not to build <a> tags. Instead, it is more so to build genuine relationships. Int his presentation we cover the evolution of the Penguin update, How Google Penguin works, How to build links moving forward and finally details used Penguin friendly tools.

Even with the release of Penguin 2.0, this information is 100% relevant. Why? Because organic relationships are the key recommendation. Nothing is safer in a post-penguin world than natural relationships. So... How do you build "Links & Relationships in a Post Penguin World?"

License CC Attribution:
If used, please credit Mindshare Sydney & Phillip Ohren (

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  • Think about it. Back in the 60s, swinging was common. Physical relationships were easy to find.Today…
  • Link Building Post Penguin. SEO In a Penguin filled world.

    1. 1. Link BuildingPost PenguinSMX SydneyPhill Ohren@PhillOhren
    2. 2. OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC2It‟s all aboutrelationships.Image Source
    3. 3. OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC3Love.Source: Wikipedia CCIt was freein the 60‟s
    4. 4. OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC4Today, findingrelationshipsis much harder.Source: Photo Bucket CCLink Building is the same.
    5. 5. Agenda: „Link’ Building Post Penguin1. How did we get here? Quick recap on Algorithm history.2. Understanding Penguins: Facts & Theory.3. Does Penguin Affect You?4. Post Penguin Tools: Tips and Advice5. Link Building Post Penguin: Thought starters, Tips & Tools.6. Key TakeawaysOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC5SMX SydneyHelp you to uncover new SEO opportunities moving forwards.
    6. 6. Algorithm EvolutionTo understand the need for Penguin,we need to understand how the algorithm evolved.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC6
    7. 7. The search mission statement…OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC7Algorithm EvolutionOrganize the worlds information andmake it universally accessibleand useful.
    8. 8. 2003-2006: Big, silo updates around fundamentals…A clumsy index…• Florida: 90‟s tactics• Nofollow: clean up „unvouched‟ links• Allegra: Latent Semantic Indexing• Bourbon: duplicate contentAlgorithm Evolution8Source: SEOmozBig updates, tackled the most pressing issues.Number of Releases: 1 eachOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    9. 9. 2008-2010: Lots of dynamic infrastructure updates…Content became very diverse…• Caffeine: speed indexing (scalable).• Real-time: content indexing.• Social Signals: Twitter & Facebook.• May Day: long-tail thin content.Algorithm Evolution9Source: SEOmozEnabled a more scalable and diverse index; a solid platform to build on.Number of Releases: 1 eachOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    10. 10. >2011 Onwards: Algorithm or Relationship Verification?Algorithm Evolution10Source: SEOmozWHAT?WHY?WHERE?WHO?WHEN?HOW?Provides Google with a clearer picture in regards to a websites purpose.Number of Releases: ConstantEach new update uncovers a new signal…• Panda: content quality.• Knowledge Graph: info aggregation.• Penguin: over optimisation.• Authorship: who said what.• Freshness: time sensitive content.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    11. 11. Relationships: No longer just an <a> tag…Both internal & externalrelationships are visible.11Image Source: SocialMediaBlend.comRelationship analysis is helping Google to better organise data.Algorithm EvolutionOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    12. 12. Commbank.Perfectly organised…12Social MediaLocal AssetsBrand AssetsNewsGoogle understands Commbank’s assets and multiple user paths.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    13. 13. UnderstandingPenguinOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC13
    14. 14. Penguin Update;Designed to target solelywebspam.Not SEO‟s.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC14Source: Search Engine Land.& Matt Cutts
    15. 15. Problem: The majority of SEO’s were „spammy‟…• Buying links• Building shallow content• Targeting high PR sites• Content syndication• Sitewide link building• Heavy non-brand focus• Stuffed attributesOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC15Understanding PenguinsAnyone hit by Penguin was deemed to be spamming Google.
    16. 16. Penguin: Focuses on 4 key areas decipher relationships…Algorithm EvolutionOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC16Source: SEOmozSite Link FactorsAnchorTextLinkSource/ EaseCountOverTimeKeywordStuffedAttributes: LexicalCo-occurrence(Ratio)Knownlinknetworks.Helps build a picture of a websites link profile in relation to the market.
    17. 17. Example: It is easy to spot an over-optimised portfolio…Algorithm EvolutionOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC17Source: SEJ75% of its inbound links are divided into 4separate anchor texts.This anchor text distribution is muchmore diversifiedCredit CardsBest Credit CardsCompareCredit CardsCredit CardBRANDBRAND Credit CardMost of us are guilty of this type of link building in the past.Bad Link Portfolio Good Link Portfolio
    18. 18. Data Points: Think about it, Google knows heaps!Algorithm EvolutionOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC18The new Disavow function enables Google to see the linksWE think are spam too.And now… User GeneratedLink Reporting…
    19. 19. Does Penguin Affect You?OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC19
    20. 20. „The objective is not tomake your links appearnatural;‟„The objective is that yourlinks are natural.‟- Matt CuttsOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC20Source & Image: Matt Cutts
    21. 21. Despite everything:Spam still works in Australia...OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC21But for how long?Source: Google Jan 2013
    22. 22. Portent Study: Shows tolerance to spam declining…Top 50 Websites in the INC5000 list analysed.Initially, websites were penalizedwhich had more than 80%manipulative links.Over a series of months, spamtolerance decreased to just 50%. Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC22Google is just warming up.So there’s no “safe” amount of manipulative links in your profile.
    23. 23. Catch 22: Do you manage your links or not?OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC23Failure to act may work.But for how long?It’s better to start managingyour portfolio now.Not all websites wereaffected by Penguin.But, websites further upthe link funnel have.
    24. 24. Manage Link Profiles: Get all the data you can…OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC24Compare yourself to competitors. Determine your Brand : Non-Brand Split.Ask yourself, are these links useful to users?
    25. 25. Manage Link Profiles: Reallocate LB resources…OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC25Remove / NoFollow all thelinks you obtained by….• Paying someone other than a charity orFoundation• Using any tool with “amazing,” “super,”“crusher” or any other• Which add no value to their site• Writing the same article 100,000 times• Widgets• AdvertorialsSource: & Google HelpB: Last Resort:A: First:Request Removal / Reconfigure
    26. 26. Post Penguin ToolsOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC26
    27. 27. Find out what hit you...• Useful for agencies, clients & individuals.• Should be used a your first port of call. Source: Barracuda DigitalTools & ProcessesOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC27Content or Link Penalty?Helps you determine the route causes of past declines.
    28. 28. Semi-Automated Link Management: LinkDetox28Link Building Post PenguinSource: SEJ, LinkDetoxSemi automated link profile management. Saves time on initial research.Still requires your manual input.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    29. 29. NetComber: Determine hidden website relationships…29Its main purpose is toexpose websiterelationships viacommonalities.The idea is good.However it is still in beta.This data can help you understand how your site is perceived, but alsouncover insights regarding your competitors relationships.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    30. 30. Link Building30Post PenguinOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    31. 31. 31Source & Image: SEOmoz“I am really getting thesense that what Googleis trying to say is,„Stop link building andstart link earning."- Rand FishkinOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    32. 32. Anchor Text Rule of Thumb: There is no golden rule…32Look at the current marketleaders. This is your best guide.Aim for better!For natural link building movingforward, aim for:• 60% branded,• 20% non-brand,• 20% on-topic / generic.Source:’t cut corners. Spend time learning and analysing your market.BRANDBRAND Credit CardOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    33. 33. „Genuine‟ Guest Blogging:Identify Key Influencers.Form relationships.Find those really, really nichebloggers / communities and engagewith them.Do not worry about links.33Link Building Post PenguinIntegrate your efforts with Media,PR & Social Teams.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    34. 34. High Value Content: Earn links directly with content…Quality content ticks the Panda box...High value content earns links,likes, engagement & shares over time.Perform a gap analysis.Compare your contentto the market.34Link Building Post PenguinThink for the user first, long-term content strategies work best.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    35. 35. 35 OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    36. 36. 36 OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    37. 37. 37 OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    38. 38. 38 OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    39. 39. Stuck for ideas?Engage creative & PR teams. Work with them.Explain what you are trying to achieve.39 OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    40. 40. Creative Commons: Enable people to use your content…Link Building Post Penguin40All natural, legal and best of all you are giving back to your audience.Creative commons is fantastic.It‟s free & easy to, Remix, Reuse — LegallyCreative Commons works to increase sharing,collaboration and innovation worldwide.AttributionOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    41. 41. Links That Drive Traffic:1. Community participation2. Editorial Quotes3. PR stunts4. Controversy5. CEO Speeches Annual reports6. Brand Activations7. Host Events / Meetups8. Calculators / Tools9. Embeddable Video10. Content Curation!41Link Building Post PenguinWork with Business Development, Creative, PR, Activation, Events & Legalteams. They are probably doing this type of activity already.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    42. 42. Seed That Content: Start some ripples…42Link Building Post PenguinOrganically, this activity will eventually lead to comments, links & shares.Use your Ownedassets and Earnedrelationships toseed your content.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    43. 43. Seed That Content: Let links be the by-product…Paid media helps get yourcontent to your audience.Starting the conversionjourney.Creating engagement,likes, tweets & links.43Link Building Post PenguinPaid media activity will eventually lead to organic comments, links & shares.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    44. 44. Advertorials:Be transparent…44Advertorials arepaid links.NoFollow them. It’s still avaluable relationship as itdrives traffic.Keep tabs on other peoplein your business.Like the Interflora example, getting this wrong can be costly to traffic.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    45. 45. Identify Social Influencers: Engage them…Darren has the potentialto influence 127,000users search resultsdirectly via G+ alone.Influencers are on multipleplatforms.45Profile your users.Build relationships.Ask them to share yourcontentLink Building Post PenguinOMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    46. 46. Invite Authors In:Partner with them on-site…46Google follows Authors.Their respect can beattributed to yourwebsite.Partner with them.Consider a content series.Link to their G+ profile.Add credibility to your content through the recognition of credible authors.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    47. 47. Partner Up: Link, just don’t be abusive…47If you have a non-financialpartner, by all means linksto them.Stay away from non-brandkeywords. Stick to brand ordomain citations.Links like this become worthless in the long-run.OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    48. 48. OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC48It‟s all genuine aboutrelationships.Image Source
    49. 49. Key Takeaways:1. Build real relationships!2. Manage your link profile monthly.3. Focus on engaging influencers.4. Rethink your content strategy, go for value.5. Don’t stress about new links. Be natural.6. Integrate with wider media activity.49 OMX Sydney 2013 @Phillohren @Mindshare_APAC
    50. 50. Any Questions?Thank you.Phillip OhrenSenior SEO@PhillOhren