By now you should have heard of Google’s Penguin update. The big question now is,
“How should I SEO my website after Penguin update?”
The best way to answer this question is by showing you some case studies.
Case Study 1 – Acne Treatment & Acne
Below is a search for Acne Treatment. Ranking #1 is a page from Facebook.com.
The same Facebook page also ranks #7 on the keyword “Acne”. Impressive isn’t it?
You must be thinking this Facebook page must have some great backlinks. Well, let’s see.
To analyze its backlinks, we use ahrefs.com. Below is a summary of its backlink profile.
This Facebook page has 2000+ backlinks. I went through more than 50 of them, trying to see how quality those backlinks are. But guess what, almost all of them are junk links!
Below is a typical webpage that links to this url. It is a standalone anchor text that appears out of nowhere.
Here’s another typical one. It is added to the footer of a non-English webpage.
Another standalone link that appears out of nowhere.
Most of the links are either using ‘acne’ or ‘acne treatment’ as the anchor text. Now you know why this page is ranking high in these terms.
Can the penguin smells junk backlinks? What do you think……
Case Study 2 – Roofing Toronto
Do a search for roofing Toronto and you will see the top result is from a website called Professional Roofers.
A search in href.com reveals that it only has 65 backlinks.
Are these high quality and relevant backlinks? Again, we’ll see.
Below is a “typical” backlink it has. It is a link from an article called The Delicious Kiss. Huh, what’s that?
Another link from a completely irrelevant article.
Here is the ultimate. Read the content. It will make you laugh.
You can do your own research. Most of its backlinks are junk links like these.
But there is one thing that makes all the difference. This site has a link from business.com directory, which has a PageRank of 3 (and business.com itself has a PageRank of 6).
Notice that the anchor text listed in business.com directory is Professional Roofers, not Roofers Toronto. The reason why this website can rank high in Roofers Toronto is because of the spam links it has built because the anchor text for those spam links are either Roofers Toronto or Roofers In Toronto.
So What Is SEO After Penguin Update?
Here’s what’s happening. Google Penguin is now putting more emphasis on site authority. With that authority, a site can now rank high in the keyword it wants with a slight boost in backlinks, eventhough those backlinks are pure junks, with 0 or unranked PageRank.
In the case of Acne and Acne Treatment, the Facebook page gets its authority from its root domain, Facebook.com. In the case of Roofing Toronto, professionalroofers.com gets its authority from Business.com.
Once you get some form of authority, all you need is some (or many, depending on how competitive the keywords are) anchor-text-focused backlinks and you can rank for the keywords you want.