Google has been constantly tweaking its algorithm to make the results in its SERPs better.
Among those algorithms, Google Penguin 3.0 will surely occur in 2014. The release of Google Penguin 3.0 has been hyped for the past couple of months.
Nobody knows at what time Google releases updates, Penguin 3.0 is not an exception. Matt Cutts, just casually Tweet the update on Twitter. And that’s all!
Nobody knows whether It will be a boon or bane for Webmasters.
Like all other Google Penguin updates, this update will also focus solely on the backlink of a website or blog.
It’s better to make your blog bulletproof from Penguin 3.0 by cleaning up your backlink profile.
It is expected that much less known ranking factors will come into existence, with the Google Penguin 3.0 update. There will certainly be a change in the way of backlink building strategies.
What sort of sites do Penguin 3.0 target?
- Highly optimized anchor texts.
- Exact match anchor text
- Backlinks from low-quality sites and blogs
- Sites or blogs with malwares.
- Sites or blogs, which have many backlinks from guest blogging networks.
- Sites with a high number of affiliate links and advertisements.
- Sites or blogs which have artificial social shares.
How to ditch toxic backlinks and prevent Google Penguin 3.0 from happening to you?
It remains as a million-dollar question.
In one sentence, if you want to prevent your blog from being a victim of Penguin update, then you must disavow or remove any unnatural backlinks (unrelated) pointing to your sites.
Well, here is the definitive guide, to help you with identifying and disavowing unnatural or low-quality backlinks.
As I have mentioned in the post, the process will be free of cost, it’s a free way to make your blog bulletproof from the upcoming update.
Identifying low quality backlinks
Before removing any toxic or unnatural backlinks, it is necessary to identify and analyze them. So that you do not lose any search rankings by removing backlinks that actually are backbones for your blog. Even Google Disavow Tool warns you about it before using the tool.
So how to identify toxic backlinks?
Go to WebMeUp. It’s the great free tool to monitor all the incoming links or backlinks to your site or blog. You have to register there for a lifelong trial account! You can either sign up via your e-mail or Facebook.
Enter your blog URL in there. Hit enter.
Now click on “Download backlinks button”
The CSV file with all your backlinks will be downloaded. Open the CSV document on Google Drive, or Spreadsheet.
Copy all the URLs in the spreadsheet, then trim the URLs to their root domains, with the help of this tool.
Now replace all the URLs in Google Sheets with that of root domains that are extracted.
To remove the duplicate root domains, head over to Remove Duplicate Item. Paste the root domains list and click Remove duplicates.
Now you get a solid list of root domains that are linking to your blog.
Now I can copy the stuff and paste it in Google Sheets
- In Google Sheets,
Click Tools > Script Editor
- In the resulting window, create a new blank project. Copy the script in here. Paste it, and name it as getPR
- Hit Deploy as Web App, with settings that you can notice in the screenshot below.
- Now return to the main document, refresh the document page.
- In the second column (B), side to the first root domain entry, enter getpr(a1) and hit enter.
- Now you can notice that the first root domain’s PageRank is updated.
- You need not do the same thing for all the root domains. Just drag the mouse holding the edge of the cell. As you can notice in the screenshot below.
Now you got PageRanks of every website that is in your backlink profile.
Now it’s time to filter out unwanted or toxic backlinks.
You might want to analyze the quality of the sites whose PageRank is below 2.
For this, sort the PageRank column in ascending order, so that you can easily identify the root domains with low PageRank.
Now visit every page, that you are unfamiliar with and analyze the quality of the site. It’s also important to even consider sites with high PageRanks, and are unfamiliar like article or submission directories. Because there is an increased chance of sites manipulating fake PageRanks.
If you are suspicious about the trust of the site that is linking to your blog, then you can also look at the Moz trust score and domain authority.
I hope that you have already marked down the unnatural backlinks and their root domains. Assuming the same, I will dive into the next topic.
How to disavow or remove toxic backlinks?
The next step is to remove unnatural backlinks. Don’t care too much about “nofollow” backlinks, but disavowing and removing them helps to some extent.
Shoot out an e-mail to the Webmaster who is pointing unnatural backlink to your site, requesting him to remove the link.
If this does not work, then here’s the next go.
I’m sure that many of the Webmasters who are pointing toxic backlinks to your site, may not take down the backlinks.
For this, Google has launched Link Disavow Tool. Using this tool, you can enter toxic backlinks and ask Google not to consider them as backlinks, while ranking your site or blog.
In other words, you’re asking Google to ignore or disavow them.
For disavowing toxic backlinks,
- Login to Google Webmasters account.
- Go to Disavow Links Tool.
- Select the blog or site for which you want to disavow backlinks.
- And then hit Disavow.
- Proceed, after reading the caution.
- Now on the other side, create a notepad text file, containing the root domains or URLs which you want to disavow.
- Now upload the TXT file and hit submit.
Now Google should process the toxic backlinks, and ignore the backlinks coming from that site when ranking your blog.
In other words, your blog or site will be free of all toxic, unnatural, backlinks.
Other surefire tips and measures (Must read, don’t ignore)
- Make sure that you have high-quality outbound links or external links. For this make use of Xenu’s Link Sleuth or use any other tool (search Google) and follow the above process. Instead of disavowing them remove them! Your site or blog will be under your control nah?
- Don’t build backlinks too fast.
- In backlinks, quality matters not quantity.
- Greatly diversify anchor texts. Having the same anchor text for all of your backlinks may alarm you of automated or forced backlinks.
- Maintain sitewide link ratio. Using tools such as Ahrefs or Majestic SEO.
- Check for malware by scanning your site.
- Ditch some of the advertisements and affiliate links.
- Slowdown guest blogging, if you’re a regular guest blogger.
- Check for duplicate, outdated, low-quality content.
- Check if you have already been affected by Penguin update, by comparing your Google Analytics traffic charts with that of major algorithmic updates. If there are any significant variations in traffic, then there’s something.
Penguin Tool by Barracuda Digital does the task automatically for you by authorizing with your Google Analytics account.
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These are some of the tips and strategies that you must follow to make your blog bullet-proof from Google Penguin 3.0 2014 update. The date is not yet confirmed, as always it would be surprise for Webmasters and bloggers all around the world. We’ll have to wait for Matt’s tweet about it.
Being natural, in terms of backlinks building and guest posting should be the main goal of a Webmaster who is more paranoid about being penalized by the upcoming Google Penguin update.
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