Penguin Winners vs.Penguin Loosers

Link Building Case Study on Penguin Update
Penguin Update – Link Building Case Study via

The Penguin Update is not exactly new any more – there was time enough to dive into the data and have a look what distinguished the Google Penguin Update Losers from the Winners. One of the best experts to do an analysis like that is Christoph Cemper. Why is that – because he has one of the best toolsets in the industry at his disposal and he is a renowned specialist when it come to link building and link analytics.
Click on the infographics above and read the complete case study.

What is more important? Relevance or page load speed?

Recently the signals from google that page load speeds plays a more and more important role as a ranking factor were quite clear.
This lead to quite a few people asking whether page speed might even be more important than relevance.
Well – page speed is one out of more than 200 factors important for ranking.
Listen to what Matt cutts can tell us about it:

nofollow or not … a short interview with Matt Cutts

Just recently Jen Lopez from SEOmoz met up with Matt Cutts at SES for a short but nevertheless very interesting interview.
Interesting to hear what he has to say about PR, whether to let the PR flow around on your site or to block certain pages and how to use the nofollow tag.

Alternative Methods of Improving Your Backlink Profile

Typically, those of us in the SEO community in the past have counted on a few reliable link building tactics to drive our rankings. Directory submissions and blog commenting seemed to be the easiest way to get a high volume of do follow backlinks without expending too much energy. But as Google continues to tweak their algorithm so that it better reflects actual human perception, these “automated” link building tactics, and actual links, are carrying less value. Content marketing has come to the forefront of the industry, and blog post links more valuable than their directory and blog comment counterparts. This makes perfect sense, as Google is rewarding those that provide valuable information to people that are searching and essentially looking for answers.

As a result of this shift, it has become more difficult to acquire strong backlinks, and it certainly takes more time. This is particularly the case for new websites that have yet to establish themselves online and lack the digital connections that older websites may take advantage of for building up their backlink profile. For those sites, I still feel that it is valuable to submit to related directories, and spend some time blog commenting, as you have to start somewhere and these links can gradually help to strengthen the domain, albeit on a minimal level. As the old adage goes, “You have to start somewhere!”

For webmasters that are running older, well established websites, link opportunities should be more abundant. Often, however, webmasters tend to overlook a couple of strategies that can be used to identify opportunities right from under their noses – using data from analytics software, assuming it is set up on the site, and conducting branded searches to see where other webmasters are linking to you but are not using targeted anchor text, and to find links that are pointing to 404 pages. If you are like most webmasters and using Google Analytics (most use this as it is free and for the most part user friendly), check out the Referring Sites report to see what links are sending you traffic, and identify which of those you should contact to improve the anchor text.

Regarding branded searches, it is always important to remember that it is much easier to convince a webmaster that already has a link up to your site to change the anchor text to something that will greater benefit you than contacting a webmaster that you do not have a relationship with at all. If you are operating an e-commerce site that tends to add and remove products frequently, there may be a good number of links that exist on other sites that are pointing to dead pages. Contact those webmasters with new URLs and new anchor text, and drive link value to the new product pages!


Andrew Hagan is an avid writer in the SEO industry. For more SEO tips, information, and strategies please visit his blog at!

Matt Cutts on the “link:” operator

There is often much confusion about the link: operator in google – some people still tend to believe that only backlinks from pages with PR > 4 are shown, or that what you get to see is the complete picture. Both is wrong! See for yourself what Matt Cutts from Google tells us about the link: operator:

Is Pagerank really important?

To make it short: Yes and No!

Yes, because it determines a few aspects of the quality of your links.
No, because it doesn’t tell anything about your ranking for the keywords that will give you the most traffic…

For example, one of my very new sites,, has a Pagerank of 0, not surprisingly…

But the ranking at the time of writing this for one of the main keyphrases (“Fotokalender Gimp”) is number one on the german google SERP…

But what is Pagerank, actually? If you have the google toolbar, then you will notice the Pagerank bar and will see that it shows a green bar. More green, higher pagerank, more important site. If it only was this easy…

Ian Rogers has written a comprehensive post on what pagerank really is and how it is calculated and so on:

Ian Rogers article on PageRank

Do I really need to know this?

In my opinion, not really. What you need to know is: If I get links from sites with high pagerank (or pagerank at all, e.g. a minimum of 1) then that is good. Is it good because it help you rank higher? Not exactly – it helps you rank faster, if, and only if, the links have the right anchor text. It helps you rank faster because sites with higher pagerank are spidered more often. That means your link will be found soon by google and can be taken into account. If you have a link on a Pagerank 0 site (grey Pagerank bar) then it takes maybe a month or longer until the site is spidered again (if at all) and it will take ages before this paricular link can contribute to your ranking.

So if you got a blog list from the blog search on, look for the dofollow blogs with higher pagerank first…

I know that Pagerank is a controversial topic and I am fully aware that this was only a simplified way of looking at pagerank, so feel free to comment and tell me what you think about PR!

Is Google aware of comment spam?

I wrote a lot about gaining backlinks by commenting on blogs, and I always warn people that if you use this technique for link building, you have to deleiver real value as otherwise you are nothing but a spammer.
So what – a few people might think, then I am a spammer as long as google does not notice I am fine with that.
My opinion on those: You are wasting other people’s time and most probably your own time, too.
Read here what Google has to say about comment spam:
Google on comment spam

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Two kinds of google penalties

Most probably most of you are aware that there is such a thing as a google penalty – Your site will vanish from the search results or at least be sent to one of the last pages if you don’t behave well and do nasty things like hidden text, keyword stuffing, etc.
What many are not aware is that there are two types of penalties – the automatic or algorithmic one and the manual one.
And depending what lead to your penalty the way to lift it might be different.
As so many times before Matt Cutts brings us the answer in an excellent short video:

Social signals for SEO

Does Google use data from social sites in ranking? There has been much discussion about this for quite a time and now Matt Cutts has confirmed what most of us have suspected for a long time:

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Test your webmaster knowledge (solutions)

Recently I wrote about the webmaster quiz (read here) – now Google published the solution:
Google Webmaster Quiz Solutions
Well, how much did you answer correctly?

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