In 2014, Penguin came out and links became a big deal again. As part of Google’s attempt to fight web spam, websites were punished for having too many low quality links. Even now, a year or so later, they are still tinkering with the update. In fact, yesterday it was hinted at that Penguin would be going real time in the near future. This means that penalized websites should see immediate positive results once they ditch those dusty ol’ links.
Audit Your Website Now
Since this new update is going to come out soon, why not use it as an excuse to conduct an audit of your website? This is something that should happen on a semi-regular basis, and like a long overdue doctor’s appointment, the longer one waits, the worse these problems get.
Starting To Fix Those Low Quality Links Now
Spam is always a problem, especially if you have a large ecommerce website. Low quality links could be pointing towards you for no other reason that some of your products meet the criteria of some pre-programmed bot. Stay on top of where these links are coming from, and take action before they stack up. Fortunately, Google Webmaster Tools offers a solution with their disavow function, so for the cases when you cannot get the link manually removed, Google offers a solution.
There’s also Open Site Explorer, but it’s more of a long list of all your links, both good and bad. As a targeted tool for low quality links, it can be a bit hit or miss. Beyond tools, fixing your website’s links is simply a process of going through the list of inbound and outbound urls and removing or disavowing the junk and keeping the quality. This can be a time consuming process and we generally recommend that this happen as part of a monthly SEO plan.
Keep an Eye on Analytics
One problem we face in SEO is time lag. While we can see trends of traffic going up or down, often times it’s difficult to trace it back to one small specific change or improvement. This is because when optimizing a website we update a lot of different components, but it’s also because there is a delay between optimizing a page and those results being picked up by Google. With a real time update, that variable will be controlled for. Thus, a change done today can be seen in tomorrow’s data. Giving you better control over the effectiveness of your SEO.
Conversely, penalties from bad links will also hit your site instantly. Paying closer attention to analytics will prevent penalties from affecting your traffic over the long haul. So take the time to check your analytics. Even if it’s only a quick check in every morning, it’ll help you catch penalties and also see the immediate benefits of a good SEO strategy.
What do you think? Are you interested in more news about Google’s Algorithm updates? If you’d like a more detailed analysis pertaining to your website simply contact us and we’ll have a look see.