Monday, January 7, 2013

Unnatural Links Notifications & Over-Optimization

Google announced that the websites involving over optimization techniques will be penalized. This result in drop in the ranking positions in the Google search results either with or without notifications due to detection of links related over optimization violations. Google rolled out the first Penguin update on April 24, 2012 to identify web spam. This algorithm change decreased the rankings of the sites which violates the Google's Webmaster Guidelines. Black web spam should be avoided to get quality backlink profile. We need to identify the backlinks and remove the low quality links before the over optimization penalty hits.

Unnatural Links Notifications & Over-Optimization
Unnatural links occur from the public backlink networks, links from junk content posts, link exchanges, profile link spam, high number of links from blogs/forums, single post blogs, links from irrelevant sites, high number of top-level domain links, comment link spam and high volume of directory links etc. 

The following are the links related Over Optimization cases:

Excessive Link Acquisition Check

Acquiring extremely high links is not a good practice. Re-evaluate link building strategies and avoid over optimization. Link acquisition velocity can be checked either by using Ahrefs or Majestic seo.

How to Check for Site-wide Links

High number of site-wide links such as header, footer and sidebar links results in over optimization and site can be penalized. Some of them may occur naturally. A webmaster tool is one of the quickest ways to check your website and detect site-wide links. Check for the links which links several times must be flagged as potential site-wide links and manually checked. The third party service such as Majestic seo, Site explorer and Ahrefs should be used which reports as normal links even though the Google has removed the links from websites from its index.

How to Check for Unnatural Anchor Text Distribution

If all the links in your website has same anchor text then it is known to be over optimized and allowing Google to penalize. It is better to develop natural link profile by creating different variations in anchor text. We can get the anchor text data from different sources like majestic seo and open site explorer.

The following are to be removed in order to filter the data:

Dead Links: These are the sites used to link in the past and no longer link to your site now. The tools used in the 3rd party services are useful in filtering of the dead links.

Deindexed Linking Root Domains: Identify the linking root domains which have been deindexed.

No Follow Links: No follow links causes over optimization and should be removed.

Unnatural Spread of Links Authority

Unnatural link authority spread can be seen on websites who buys more links. Unnatural links include link schemes and buying links. These link profiles come from excessive link building. These unnatural links should be removed from the backlink profile or submit for reconsideration request if cannot be deleted. Too many low authority links leads to over optimization.

Exact Match Domain Update

What is EMD Update?

EMD Update is the algorithm update by Google where it targets “exact match domains”. The main purpose of this update is to filter the sites which are using words that match search terms in domain names.
Exact Match Domain Update

How EMD Update Works?

Even though the EMD update aims to filter the sites with exact match domains some of the sites are not affected with this update. The main reason is that the sites maintain quality content. For example, there are plenty of sites with domain names such as:
                  • for “usedcars”
                  • for “movie”
                  • for “recipes”
There are plenty of sites with search terms in domain names but EMD affects the sites that have more generic keyword in their domains. As these sites have lot of keywords in it which help in ranking high in SERP. Example of these sites is Online- that has long tail domain name. EMD targets a site for update when it lacks the content termed as “parked” or if the content is copied, termed as “scrapped” or even if the content on the site is spun. This means that EMD domains are not being targeted instead EMD domains with low quality content are being targeted.

Types of EMD’s:

There are some factors which help in identifying quality domains which help in EMD update:
  • TLD extension
  • Number of keywords: It is better to minimize the number of keywords in URL. The best idea is to maintain 3 words for .com and 2 words for .org.
  • Hyphen or Non-hyphen: Domains with more than a single hyphen is treated as spam. Even domains with single hyphen are old and have fewer advantages compared with non-keyword domain. So it is better to avoid hyphen domains.
  • Domains with “stop words” are qualified as “partial match domains” – Domains that include stop words are not qualified.

Some of the Best EMD Domain Practices:

  1. The best idea is to spend some amount in buying a good domain name.
  2. It is important to skip second level TLD’s such as .info/.mobi/.travel etc.
  3. Better to have non-hyphen domains or single hyphen domains.
  4. Minimize the number of keywords in URL.
  5. It is good to build a brand name keyword domain.
  6. Another best idea is to build a Geo-local EMD as they offer lower barriers to entry.

Advantages and Dis-Advantages of EMD:


  1. Startup site can gain traffic relevant to long tail.
  2. Can get targeted anchor text and social mentions with keywords easily.
  3. Can dominate a single niche.
  4. Variations in long tail keyword will help in targeting.
  5. Brand mentions and keyword mentions will be the same.
  6. Effective for generic commercial intent queries and local search.
  7. It will be effective to target a single niche with well built micro site.
  8. It will be good approach for the businesses having limited keyword sets.


  • One of the main drawbacks is it limits future brand expansion and creates “brand confusion”.
  • “Credit” won’t be the same for brand mentions and occur as “generic”.
  • It would be harder to claim social media profiles and associate with brand mentions.
  • There is high chance of over-optimization.

Google Panda and Penguin Updates On Website

Google Panda and Penguin updates on website Google Panda algorithm was rolled out on February 24th 2011 to penalize low value quality sites while providing better ranking for high value quality sites and placing them at top of the search results. Website owners disliked that and even after doing modifications to their sites, Google doesn't re-index the site. Google also released a latest algorithm known as Google Penguin on April 24th, 2012. Main strategy of penguin update is to lower the website ranking that violates Google quality webmaster guidelines and to display the high quality sites at top of search results.

Steps to Prevent Website From Panda Update:

  • Duplicate Content: If your site contains any duplicate content then it has to be rewritten. You can use copyscape checker to check the duplicate content.
  • Keyword Stuffing: Include target keywords in title tag and content which doesn't look spam. Pages with keyword stuffing can harm your website ranking.
  • Unuseful Ads: Avoid irrelevant ads and make sure that your site must be with limited and relevant ads.

Steps to Prevent Website from Penguin Update:

  1. Cloaking: This is a SEO technique which displays different content for users and search engines. Cloaking must be avoided or else it is considered as spamdexing technique.
  2. Link Schemes: Never use link schemes, these links may affect your search results as such it is a violation of Google’s guidelines.
  3. To become Penguin friendly, create social media news releases, related blog post and forums.
  4. Penguin targets the site which uses black hat SEO tactics and web spam.
  5. Anchor text plays a prominent role in website ranking.
  6. Create a useful content with appropriate keywords and follow the Google’s quality guidelines.
If your website is affected with Panda it is not easy to come out. According to the SEO poll, only 13% of sites have recovered from Google Panda and it is easy to get out of Penguin update. Penguin 3 is the latest update released on October 5th 2012 designed to target pages with many ads. Panda 20 is the latest update which was released on September 22nd, 2012.

Panda Update Vs Penguin Update

The main difference between Google Panda and Penguin is that the Panda targets on thin content and high bounce rates. Whereas Penguin targets on low quality links, keyword stuffing and over optimized anchor text. Hence, Panda update focuses on low quality sites and Penguin targets on websites to follow Google webmaster guidelines and also aims on over optimization.