How often do you check your backlink profile? Weekly, monthly, yearly?
A backlink profile is made up of all the external links pointing to your website from other domains. Google gives these links a score based on a number of factors including domain strength and relevance. Relevant links from high quality domains are going to be more valuable to your site as more of its link quality will pass to you. You can look at your backlink profile in Majestic SEO and you can also see what external links are pointing to your site in Google Search Console.
The purpose of the Penguin update was to remove all unnatural link processes that had been happening. Links played a huge part in ranking factors back before the first Penguin update and still do so today, however Google spotted unnatural processes were taking place to help with rankings so had to update their algorithm to monitor the quality of links being built.
The first Penguin update happened in April 2012 to stop all the unnatural ‘spammy’ processes that were used to build links. Google targeted sites that were building and paying for links, especially those who were buying in bulk. Many sites suffered from this first Penguin update and fell from the SERPs. To recover link audits and disavow processes were needed to help become visible in the SERPs again.
Two weeks ago, Google rolled out their new updated algorithm to target spam. This update is now fully rolled out. Instead of punishing the whole site where you were losing domain based rankings, they are now targeting specific pages. This update will punish pages that may have had a link building campaign to increase rankings for a specific category or product.
So, what happened in the new update? Google are now monitoring spam in real time rather than when the algorithm has had a refresh like the previous update. As Google crawls sites on a regular basis, as soon as your site/web pages have been crawled, Google will be able to identify any ‘spammy’ links and punish that particular page. We used to do weeks of checking to see if in increase in rankings or Trust/Citation flow had occurred but now it could only be a matter of days.
Don’t panic! If you were hit by any of the previous Penguin updates from the first one in April 2012 to Penguin 3.0 in October 2014, you should see a level of impact on your rankings IF you cleaned up your profile.
Check, Check and Check again!
Keeping an eye on your backlink profile and checking it on a regular basis will help you to identify any poor quality links appearing. These could be built naturally but in poor places that might have a negative effect on your site.
A quick export from Majestic or Search Console to see new links created on a regular basis (every few weeks) will help keep on top of it. If you leave it for months on end or until you have been hit by Penguin this can turn into a lengthy job and even a disavow process.
If you have ‘spammy’ links pointing to your site, we suggest you clean it up sooner rather than later as this will save you time in the long run. If you need any assistance with this, do get in contact with us and we can set up training or take the hassle off your hands and do it for you.
What are your tips on keeping a healthy backlink profile? Let us know in the comments.