SEO is not only Link Building so Stop With the Premature Penguin Advice

Today’s blog is a guest post from my friends and SEO peers over the water from Dejan SEO Aus­tralia.

Its con­tent are very apt and I’d urge you go through and and them to your SEO list of ‘must read’ sites.

Trans­par­ency NOTE: This post is not a sponsored post and no fin­an­cial gain (or other wise) has been received in return for pub­lish­ing it. It has been pub­lished because I believe that there is always more than one way of doing things, and I like Dejan SEO’s ethos. The post has not been edited in any­way and is pub­lished as it was writ­ten originally.

Now, on with the show…

Over the past few weeks, start­ing from day one we have seen a bunch of posts about what to do to get out of Pen­guin clutches. Sure, some of them sound good, some of them seem just gen­eral good advice timed when people need them, and some are just crap. Any­way, 9 out of 10 of those art­icles are pre­ma­ture, people guess­ing, hop­ing to get new audi­ence and get some traffic flow­ing. Of course there are a few that do point out some great stuff, and these are the ones that don’t focus on link build­ing issues alone. No, they dive deeper into the sub­ject and try to fig­ure out the best way in the long run. Even a few “case stud­ies” I’ve seen I held my head as it star­ted to hurt. The fact is that even after a month we still don’t have enough evid­ence to sup­port any claim regard­ing the Pen­guin update, so let’s take it slow, one step at a time, start­ing from our own web­site and then mov­ing on to link building.


Hmm, even though I said that I am going to start with a link build­ing advice. I will give one simple, but at the same time dif­fi­cult, advice that can help you with Pen­guin issue. I bet you didn’t see this com­ing, well here it is:

-        Build high qual­ity author­ity links

 Wow, just that, that’s simple, no it’s not, uhmmm…. Damn…

I know, so let me explain. We know one thing about the Pen­guin update, it tar­gets link spam and link schemes, my point is, don’t go around remov­ing your links because you are not sure if they bring any qual­ity to the table. We are still not sure, but what we are sure of for the past few years is that a few amaz­ing links can turn the table around. So I say don’t remove any links, work incred­ibly hard on get­ting 3, 5 or 10 amaz­ing links from author­ity sources, and the next few steps will help you get to that. First under­stand the reas­on­ing behind it. With all the SEO out­ing and neg­at­ive SEO talk, and even some exper­i­ments, a few things I heard per­son­ally from Google employ­ees in hangouts, is that high author­ity sites have a low prob­ab­il­ity of being affected by Pen­guin update, even if someone was to gradu­ally build a bunch of spam and low qual­ity links. (Note: low prob­ab­il­ity, not impossible!)

So with that in mind, let’s finally do what we need to do, and that is make our site an author­ity that can’t be touched by the future Pen­guins released by Google, and we are going to do that without hav­ing a Q/A on what links work now and which ones don’t!

Here is a Q/A for you! Answer these 3 simple ques­tions and when you do answer them, act upon those answers as guidelines and you will do more than just fine, you will do great.

-        What makes a site an authority?

-        What makes a site attract­ive for users?

-        What makes a site linkable?

Although simple ques­tions and in some cases straight­for­ward answers, they can also be very dif­fi­cult, but I’ll try to explain so any­one can understand.

What makes a site an author­ity, well, this can be dif­fer­ent from mar­ket to mar­ket, but in gen­eral it’s the trust the site has. Not just the site, but every single asset on the site. Your web­site is as weak as your weak­est page, remem­ber that. Work on your deeper pages, but that is not it, yes, qual­ity is the best rem­edy, but take a look around, there are count­less web­sites with qual­ity con­tent, that is no longer an issue, you need to stand out and stand above the rest of the qual­ity sites. That is when you can be con­sidered an author­ity; here is how to get there.

Invest­ig­ate your assets:

-        Deeper con­tent that attrac­ted nat­ural links and mentions

-        Com­pany relations

-        Indi­vidual online relations

-        Social out­reach of each mem­ber of your little or large com­pany, group, community

That is the first step, you found out a few unused oppor­tun­it­ies that can be put to good use. Let’s move on. Invest­ig­ate the competition:

-        What pages on their site attract organic traffic

-        Why are those pages attract­ing traffic

-        Can you do bet­ter?

Yes, it all comes down to that, can you do bet­ter, more attract­ive. If they cre­ate a great resource, you cre­ate an even bet­ter resource that is at the same time attract­ive. If they have a ‘how to’ resource 3,000 words long, you cre­ate an inter­act­ive resource that is not so hard and long to read, but keeps the user engaged.

-        Think creative

-        Infograph­ics

-        Q/A

-        Visual stud­ies and examples

-        Cal­cu­lat­ors

-        Show­cases

Then go even fur­ther, build on that:

-        Social outreach

-        Con­tests

-        Giveaways

-        Dona­tions

-        Com­munity service

-        Press coverage

-        Get people to talk about your brand

-        Let them do the pro­mo­tion for you!

Yes, that is what qual­ity SEO is about, attract­ing the right type of crowd, and not just rank­ing for trophy keywords and at the same time using the crowd to pro­mote your web­site. Once you fig­ure out which assets can get the traffic you need to dig deeper and expand. Even a micro idea can become huge, and that is with the advice and examples above you get a site that is attract­ive and link­able, and before you know it, it becomes an author­ity site.

F! Pen­guin and F# Panda and other updates, if you just take the money you invest in buy­ing links and link schemes, micro sites and blog net­works you can cre­ate some great assets that will do won­ders for you if you just pro­mote them the right way and to the right crowd. Any of these updates is aimed at improv­ing search to a cer­tain degree, well, is it that hard to fig­ure out what Google wants you to do? Don’t panic, don’t delete your links, take a look at your site, is it really good as you thought or is it lack­ing, trust me, you can always do bet­ter!


Zarko Zivkovic works as SEO strategist and link builder at Dejan SEO — Aus­tralia. He is an act­ive blog­ger and also main­tains Dejan SEO’s news and updates sec­tion and Dejan SEM – Advanced Search Engine Mar­ket­ing Solu­tions, writ­ing about SEO and Social Media, Search Engine Mar­ket­ing and Blogging.

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