If you suspect your website may have been hit with Penguin's algorithmic penalty, which means Google is unhappy with your linking practices and has consequently decreased your position in the SERPs, you definitely want to conduct an investigation. In some cases the fault may be your own, but oftentimes other domains are to blame for committing a variety of backlink no-nos that put you in the penalty box.
I'm going to walk you through some easy steps for how to gather the data you need to review your backlink profile, and how to identify potential areas of risk that contribute to decreased rankings. And please know that if you're struggling with penalties, RKG can help. Contact us to discuss how we can work with you to reclaim favorable status with Google.
Kyla Becker: Hello, welcome to another video on the RKG blog. My name is Kyla Becker, and I'm the Senior Content Strategy and Engagement Specialist here at RKG.
We recently heard from Megan Geiss on how to get out of Google jail. Today I'd like to discuss a little more in depth how to review your backlink profile in the event that you suspect you're under an algorithmic penalty. Backlink review can also be a proactive exercise, which is highly encouraged.
In doing a backlink review, Majestic SEO has proven to be very valuable. Specifically, they have a graph that's available to you where you can see a visual representation of the backlink timeline.
Begin with the fresh index as this is a 90-day current view of what's going on with your profile. In looking at this graph, try to identify whether or not there are any large backlink gains during a small amount of time. This may indicate that there is an unnatural linking event occurring within your profile where a domain has implemented something such as a site-wide link, which could be viewed as unnatural by search engines.
In the event that you don't find any backlink spikes, yay for you, move into four other main areas of review. Those specifically are going to be your referring domains, anchor text, advertorial, and geo-location.
When reviewing your referring domains, start with your top 10 referring domains. Those are the ones that are going to be making the most impact on your backlink profile. You want to make sure that these domains are of quality, to ensure that the link equity that you're passing is healthy, and also that the domains are relevant, to make sure that they are not producing spam, or anything of that sort.
When reviewing anchor text, the main thing to look for is whether or not you have a large amount of backlinks coming in from very specific terms, mostly those that are commercial. This can be an indicator that there was some attempt to inflate rankings for a very specific term, or a very specific page through backlink building, which as we know was done prior, and no longer proper practice.
You also want to be aware of who your advertorial and affiliate partners are, and where those backlinks are occurring. Knowing where these backlinks are located will help you identify where no-follows need to be implemented, so that there is no double dipping occurring. Double dipping in this instance is gaining paid traffic and organic equity at the same time. You can either have paid traffic or you can have organic equity, but you can't have both.
Another important factor to look into is the geographical origin of backlinks. If you're a U.S.-based company, and you have international backlinks coming in, it's very possible that they're not relevant or healthy for your domain. You'll want to review these closely and ensure that the quality and the relevancy that you need are there.
Once you've identified some red flags within your backlink profile, if there are any, you'll want to further review the historic data in Majestic SEO to see if these red flags have been present historically or if they're one-off situations that may require more investigation.
These are just a few basic tips on how to review your backlink profile, and we hope you find them helpful. Thanks for joining us.