One of our contributors, injury attorney Michael Ehline, here, from Los Angeles, California, has been trying to understand the Penguin updates for some time. He related that many of his friends have come to him after receiving e-mails from Google about not being in compliance with link quality guidelines or simply losing all their rankings. He went on a quest for more information by contacting sites like Audiencebloom, and just watching the rankings fluctuate after each recent algo change.
He pointed out that Panda has seen not only one update in the recent past, but two. One of the updates came out in February, and the second one came out in March. As many people may have already noticed, the updates brought several different changes that are likely to affect many online businesses strategies for link building. Some may have even noticed a decrease in traffic by as much as 10 to 30%.
In any event, after consulting him, we came up with these new strategies that we think will help you get back some of your rankings. We realize that many of you may not know how to get rid of the bad links. Don’t worry about that for now. We will discuss that once we have had time to run some tests. So here goes.
Update Changes Your Law Firm May Want to Consider When Building Links:
• Brand should be mentioned more in text links – This is your firm or practitioner name. One cool way to achieve this, is linking internal pages on your site to your homepage. For example, when you write a blog post, mention the name of your blog (“Ehline Law Injury Attorney Blog“) for example, and have it linked back to your homepage. Another good idea is to have outside websites create text links using your brand name and linking to your site.
Anchor text links like these are actually what Google appears to look for in determining link building “quality” with Panda 3.4. They think most voters would not use a term like “Los Angeles personal injury attorney”, but instead would use a link like “Attorney Ehline”. Get it?
• Avoid using exact anchor text links too often – A common mistake that many site owners make is to use text anchors that contain exact match keywords, like “car accident lawyer”, for example. If this is done too frequently, your site can actually lose rank from being penalized. There are many theories as to what the overall weight should be. One theory is that only two percent should be “exact match” and the rest all naked, dirty and branded anchors.
A great example of a penalty from Google for too many exact match anchors, is the recent JCPenney case. By getting sites that were completely unrelated, to link their website to JCPenney’s site using anchor texts that were exact matched, they “gamed the system.” After the NY Times conducted an investigation into why the ranking of their site was so high, it was uncovered that the links were not natural. The JCPenney site was de-ranked manually by Matt Cutts in order to speed up the process, because Google’s Webmaster guidelines had been violated.
An excessive amount of text links that are exact match is one type of unnatural link building signals that is aimed for with Panda 3.4. In the past the practice that was standardly used was to incorporate anywhere from 30 to 50% matches. With these updates, the numbers have dropped significantly. You may want to begin with 5% and slowly progress from there.
• Use more anchor text links containing semantic keywords – The best way to avoid problems with penalties for making too many anchor text links that are exact match is to create more anchor text links containing semantic keywords.
Google and other search engines better able to determine the method of your keyword use when semantic keywords are used. When several of these keywords are used, it makes it all the better. You’ll quickly notice that anchor text links containing semantic keywords is a great way to give your site ranking a boost.
Instead of only using synonyms of particular phrases such as ‘amber’ ‘yellow’ or ‘gold’, take it one step further and replace them with ‘interior house paint’ ‘egg yolk’ or ‘coward’. Using a text link containing ‘egg yolk’ and also saying ‘yellow’ makes it easy to distinguish that you are describing a color.
• Increase Social Signals – Google is placing more importance on social signals and less importance on inbound links. In order to show the value of a page and rank higher with Google, it is important to increase social media shares for your sites content.
Below are some effective methods for increasing your site’s social signals:
• Ask site visitors to share content – While the installation of a plugin for social sharing can be helpful, you must also ask visitors to share your content.
• Social site buttons must be clearly visible – Buttons you install for sharing content must be easily accessible. Plugins like Scrolling Social Sidebar makes this a cinch.
• Join the Tribber community – This is a social site that can help a great deal in increasing your site’s social shares.
• Take advantage of social influencers – The strength of your social signal will improve when you interact and promote content with social influencers.
• Create content that is of high quality – The higher the quality of your site’s content, the more apt readers will be to share site information and blog posts you have created.
• Consider adding more junk anchors – Examples of junk anchors are ‘Buy Now’, ‘Click here’, and ‘Read More’, and they can be used in a countless number of places on the Internet. Not only are junk anchors contained on your site what Panda 3.4 is looking for, but your conversion rates will end up being higher with their use.
• Avoid exchanging links with other webmasters on a mass scale – This is an action that does not really help and the three major search engines frown upon it. It’s perfectly fine to exchange links when readers benefit and your site receive value from the exchange.
• Refrain from buying links – This is a practice that frequently results in traffic that is low-quality, results in being penalized by Google, spending much more for the links than you should. To drive traffic and optimize your site, you should instead consider purchasing a blog.
While it would be nice, there isn’t a short cut strategy to achieving ranking results that are long-term. Creating links that are useful, relevant, compelling, and valuable to Google takes time. The process will be a lot shorter however when you focus on providing valuable services and products and supply readings with content that is good. To collaborate with either myself, Jeremiah Johnson, or personal injury attorney Michael Ehline, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org to Google Plus, or go to the contact us page of this site.
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