Google Penguin Update: Types of Link Issues You Should Avoid


It’s official! Google has named its new algorithm update dubbed as the “Penguin Update” launched last April 24, 2012.

So, after Panda now it’s time for Google Penguin to smash and change search rankings. The Penguin Update’s main intention is to penalize websites for over optimization or otherwise referred as spamming. With this update, millions of websites have been losing their rankings like soldiers losing on a battlefield!

Google Penguin Update

Are you one of the website webmasters whose rankings vanished after Google Penguin was released?

Early analysis indicates that link signals pointing to your website is a factor! With links playing a big factor, let’s then discuss about the types of links you should acquire as well as the types of links you should avoid.

What are natural links?

Before we talk about the types of link issues we should avoid, first it’s important to understand a bit about Google and links. Primarily with the reason that Google sees links as editorial “votes”.

So, in a manner, websites who acquired the most votes’ ranks higher on Google because more visitors find it relevant and worthy.

Links From Other Sites

Like any other search engines, Google analyzes the quantity, quality and relevance of websites linking to a website. More things even happen as Google looks on your link profile; it considers the types of websites linking to your site and how fast you have acquired these links.

Even the anchor texts (the works with links) you used from the linking website is being monitored. When Google algorithms discover unnatural links, large volume of low quality links and inequality in the anchor texts, it raises a big red flag!

As a lot of SEO experts kept saying, attracting natural links can be done by creating unique, high quality, interesting and worth linking contents dubbed as “Linkable Assets”.

Types of Link Issues

When you visit Google Webmasters forum, you noticed how great the effect of this Penguin update is. A lot of webmasters have been complaining about their sites having low rankings and even vanishing on search engine results.

If you are one of the sites affected by Google Penguin, the absence of natural links appears to be the reason. Below are the types of link issues that must be avoided.

1.       Paid Links. This is simply the links websites bought from another website targeting a specific keyword. Often times paid links are nofollow free which allows links to pass link juices.

Why paid links are bad? It is because buying links allows people to use money to influence search engine results. This is completely against Google guidelines of acquiring organic links, thus with the Penguin update Google was able to penalize websites who have been buying or even selling links just to manipulate the search results.

2.       Comment Spam. This type of link issue comes in 2 forms.

·         Signature in comments that contain exact anchor text.

·         People who uses anchor text instead of using name (like you’re supposed to!).

3.       Guest Blogging on Questionable sites. Although guest blogging is a legitimate and proper way to build links, guest blogging on questionable sites isn’t going to give you good results.

As Google Penguin went live a lot of blogs who accepts guest post were slapped! These sites are filled with low quality articles wherein its focus was on the anchor text rather than the content.

4.       Article Directory sites. Gone are the days where article marketing is the best way to improve your search engine rankings. Vast numbers of article directory were also affected by Google Penguin which calls to the attention for webmasters not to entirely depend on article marketing.

5.       Dangerous and Infected sites. Sites that have malwares, numerous pop-ups and spammy issues isn’t going to give you good either. Surely, Google doesn’t like sending users to dangerous sites which can also be a cause of your site being vanished!

You need to Act!

Now that you already know what types of link issues you need to avoid, the next step comes to you! You need to act.

Yeah it’s easier to blame Google and sign for a petition asking Google to kill its Penguin update, but this isn’t the time to give up.

Now is the time to check and see your website, do an appropriate and thorough evaluation of your backlinks profile, fix your website and create a wiser marketing and link building.


  1. Sanjeev what if I had commented on some new websites run by acquaintances and which are not related to my topic? I did not do it for link building. Will that have a negative effect on my website?

  2. I think article directories are still a great way to obtain links. I don’t think aritlce marketing should be completrely discarded. Instead you need to be more careful and excercie caution. I don’t see any problems with publishing articles on a handful of quality sites.

  3. I agree,,with all Google update rolling out it is very important to focus on quality content and simply follow Google guidelines upon building links. Relevancy plus Authority equals Visibility it is what we need to be aware of.

  4. Hi Juphet ,
    Great post! After Google Penguin update SEO professionals need to focus on quality work.The main reason behind Google Penguin update is to check web spam.Thanks for sharing such a useful post with us.

  5. This is great information! It’s all about been natural – or organic in the way you implement SEO for your website or Client. Theres no quick way to getting that Page One positon – only the Right way. But the updates are a pain without a doubt!

  6. This is really important that people are aware of these the types of links they need to avoid. One that has also has got a direct hit from the penguin update are link networks such as build my rank. They have went on record after the penguin update and straight up said that they had a good run but are now shutting down! Basically just make sure you are posting unique original content and are not submitting it to a bunch of places and you will be fine!


  7. thanks for this important and useful points on type of links that should be avoided.yes, It is really important to check where to place links and go for natural link building. that could really help after the google penguin update.

  8. Natural links are an indicator of quality content. It means that people are linking to you because they find your site interesting and they’re receiving any incentives for the links. Of course, if you’re paying for links you can always try to make your link profile look more natural.

  9. This is good news for anyone that was hit by the Penguin. When Google makes updates like this it can hit webmasters like a ton of bricks, but it’s also good to see that they are offering some suggestions as to how to recover, and that like Panda, the Penguin updates should be able to show you if you’re in compliance or not with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

  10. Even Google implied they will not reconsider sites that were actually hit by Penguin. That means a single mistake and everything will be vanished from Google. Btw webmaster may consider Bing if they are victim of Penguin.

  11. Google Penguin update is the great initiative of protecting spam. I hope by this initiative spamming will be reduced and the search engines will rank quality sites which are helpful to all. Thanks for this detailed post.

  12. You write this article like google has ended the lives of webspammers and now only white hat seo will work.

    Wrong. Try googling some keywords worth a lot of $$$ to be in top rankings. You will see Google did nothing to the major spammers on the net, only the dumb ones.

    Also, google has now introduced “negative seo”, where your competitors can “spam” your website with 100% the same anchor text, and you will lose your rankings in no time. It has already happened as a proof of concept and Matt Cutts acknowledges it.

    Google fails.

  13. Penguin update is such a pain in the neck! I just read that Penguin 1.0 was released. Gotta work on that and research further techniques to improve or rather survive Google’s rules. It’s all upon content now, uniqueness and freshness is considered.

  14. As expected, Google is getting more strict when it comes to rankings. In promoting our websites online, we only need to think of one thing – QUALITY. That’s what Google is after so that’s what we should offer.

  15. What I really enjoyed abou this update that now, you dont need to hire someone to build massive amount of links for you. There is just one mantra, Build the links and if they are not bringing in traffic, it is plain ‘useless’!!!

    It is good to see some spammers shifting to white hat methods :)!

    • Debra,

      Yeah you’re right! It’s now about quality not quantity. High quality contents are really what we need. We might spend longer time doing these contents but as long as it gives us good traffic and conversion we are going good! 😀

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