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May 22, 2008
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[h1]Google Panda Update: Say Goodbye to Low-Quality Link Building[/h1]Kristi Hines | Mar 8, 2011 | 18 Comments

A while back, I wrote about how to get the best high volume links. Fast forward eight months and Google has made two major changes to its algorithm -- first to target spammy/scraper sites, followed by the larger Panda update that targeted "low quality" sites. Plus, Google penalized JCPenney, Forbes, and for "shady" linking practices.
What's it all mean for link builders? Well, it's time we say goodbye to low quality link building altogether.
'But The Competitors Are Doing It' Isn't an Excuse
This may be tough for some link builders to digest, especially if you're coming from a research standpoint and you see that competitors for a particular keyword are dominating because of their thousands upon thousands of pure spam links.
But here are two things you must consider about finding low quality, high volume links in your analysis:
  1. Maybe it isn't the links that got the competitor where they are today. Maybe they are a big enough brand with a good enough reputation to be where they are for that particular keyword.
  2. If the above doesn't apply, then maybe it's just a matter of time before Google cracks down even further, giving no weight to those spammy backlinks.
Because, let's face it. You don't want to be the SEO company behind the next Overstock or JCPenney link building gone wrong story!
How to Determine a Valuable Backlink Opportunity
How can you determine whether a site you're trying to gain a link from is valuable? Here are some "warning" signs as to what Google may have or eventually deem as a low-quality site.
  • Lots of ads. If the site is covered with five blocks of AdSense, Konterra text links, or other advertising chunks, you might want to steer away from them.
  • Lack of quality content. If you can get your article approved immediately, chances are this isn't the right article network for your needs. If the article network is approving spun or poorly written content, it will be hard for the algorithm to see your "diamond in the rough." Of course, when a site like, which has one hell of an editorial process, gets dinged, then extreme moderation may not necessarily be a sign of a safe site either (in their case, ads were the more likely issue).
  • Lots of content, low traffic. A blog with a Google PageRank of 6 probably looks like a great place to spam a comment. But if that blog doesn't have good authority in terms of traffic and social sharing, then it may be put on the list of sites to be de-valued in the future. PageRank didn't save some of the sites in the Panda update, considering there are several sites with PageRank 7 and above (including a PR 9).
  • Lack of moderation. Kind of goes with the above, except in this case I mean blog comments and directories. If you see a ton of spammy links on a page, you don't want yours to go next to it. Unless you consider it a spammy link, and then more power to you to join the rest of them.
What Should You Be Doing
Where should you focus your energy? Content, of course!
Nine in 10 organizations use blogs, whitepapers, webinars, infographics, and other high quality content to leverage for link building and to attract natural, organic links. Not only can use your content to build links, but you can use it to build leads as well by proving the business knows their stuff when it comes to their industry.
Have You Changed Your Link Building Strategy?
With the recent news, penalties, and algorithm changes, have you begun to change your link building strategies? Please share your thoughts in the comments
OK, so this is a bit scary and here's why- I cannot control the content on a site that links to me. It was a big thing not too long ago to pay for your blog with ads. So, if someone has only a blog for a website, they have a lot of good content on the site that matches what I'm looking for, BUT they have ads galore, how does that work for me? Or, someone changes their website after they link.
Yeah, I know, one link won't be the end, but it was always that it was more important who I link to than the other way. It sounds like that is changing.
It is ALL gibberish to me. I posted this for those who understand this gobbledy-goop.
I think the world of natural organic links has dried up a bit.
oops - excpept when you consider that I am posting a comment to a natural organic link for them above. hahahah
It is ALL gibberish to me. I posted this for those who understand this gobbledy-goop..
I have so few incoming links it's not a big deal. I have TONS of outgoing links, tho. I support the local economy by linking to things to do, restaurants, etc. Not a one obliges me with a return link.
I limit the number of links if they aren't reciprocal. But basically for most B&B, the changes in Panda shouldn't really change anything.
There were two basic changes. The first was to punish a few websites that abused the algorhythms, such as JCPenney and Overstock.
The other was to change the values for links on certain terms and websites that link to them. There was a list of seven terms that someone looked up that appear to have been significantly what Google was looking for. They didn't punish the sites, only the sites value went down if they allowed such links to be posted. Think of this as a way of going after the spammers of websites instead of email. It's the same sort of products that the spammers sell that caused websites to lose their value. Add into that they lowered the value of websites that had more ads than content. So if you have a page the discusses a bunch of businesses in depth then it will still rank well, but do by just listing them and it's value goes down. (Frankly, if the businesses aren't linking you, you might be better off having that web page not indexed and instead include it as a link in your email to guest, so it's a service without sending people elsewhere without reciprocation.
Well this FINALLY took care of a closed (since 2005) B&B's website that the webmaster had taken over and used it for google ads around the outdated content. It would follow my listing in the city bed and breakfast search, I went back 4 pages and still not there! Good!