Penguins are cute creatures, and just like photographers they don’t fly very well. However, they also have a nasty side. What? Those cute little birds we used to see marching along in a line at the Zoo? No. Think Batman, then think Penguin. Not cute now are they? Danny DeVito at his nastiest.
Google Penguin and why it can easily bite photographers
In April 2012 Google announced a major update to their Search algorithm and the code name for the update was “Penguin”.
One of the major changes within the Google Penguin algorithm was Google’s increased ability to identify “un-natural” backlinks. Google wants backlinks to be built naturally over time by humans and not “engineered” either by an automated back-linking program or worst of all by purchasing backlinks from spam directories.
Why Diversification will protect you from Google Penguin
In Google’s eyes, a sure sign of an un-natural set of backlinks are backlinks that all use the same anchor text. So if you have 100 backlinks to your site and all of them are for the same keyword phrase you are potentially in trouble, and google may lower your position in the rankings as a result.
So you need to diversify your backlinks to a combination of the following:-
Keyword links – e.g. “Wedding Photographer in Arkansas”, “Arkansas Wedding Photographer”, “Little Rock Wedding Photographer”
Brand Name/Anchor links – “John Doe Photography”, “John Doe”, “Doe Photography”
Generic and Naked Links e.g. “www.johndoephotography.com”, “this website”, “click here”
In my opinion, to avoid any potential Penguin penalties, your main keywords (and it should be a mix of them, not just one) should be less than 30% of your overall links, Brand name links should account for about 40% and generic links should make up the rest.