By now, you have likely heard about Google Penguin and Panda, and how each algorithm update affected a significant number of websites in the first half of 2012. If your rankings and traffic took a noticeable dive around April 24, 2012, you were probably hit by Penguin, and your website might still be suffering tremendously. If that’s the case, follow specific search engine optimization tips to improve the look and feel of your website, and through certain steps, you’ll have the chance to regain some of the ground you lost a few months back.
Penguin works by analyzing the inbound link profiles for every website it indexes. The algorithm looks for links that appear to misguide or manipulate the search intent of readers. If your site has a high volume of linkbanks and many of those portals are unfavorable under the new guidelines, your site is affected directly. The primary signal for an unnatural link appears to be the anchor text of a link. For instance, if a high ratio of your inbound link profile consists of non-branded text, Penguin and, potentially future features, will flag your site and penalize you.
You can discover where these unfortunate backlinks exist by using tools like Majestic SEO or Open Site Explorer. These tools can provide you with an index of links that lead back to your website, and through analysis of analytics, you can determine the portals that are hurting your online visibility and rankings.
The hard part comes after you have identified the unfavorable links. You now need to reach out to each webmaster and request he or she remove the link. Since this is a sensitive subject, and the webmaster is not obligated to oblige, you should use your best communication skills to convey your message and hope they follow through with pure intentions.
Removing unnatural linkbacks is an arduous process, so make sure you employ White Hat SEO tactics in the future to avoid such issues down the road.