Getting Over a Google Penalty
It is no surprise that Penguin took out a number of different websites, and if yours was among them it would be a good idea to begin digging out. It is not just the websites who have been doing some less than honest practices either, some of the most innocent and even non-monetized sites are still being hit. Many are unsure of exactly what is going on as of yet, but one thing is for sure: Things they are a changing. Google flipped the script on many of us and it is going to take some time for the extent and methodology of these changes to be fully known. One of the things that has become very obvious for SEOs is that Google is not taking kindly to over-optimized anchor text.
If you have too many keywords on your site linking out, to other pages within the site, or even if you have external links point back at you…you will want to check their density. Under the penguin guidelines that have been released by some SEOs we have noticed that if one’s anchor text density is too high their site could end up being penalized for this alone. Google’s logic here is not far off the mark, after all it is important to just put your keywords out there and be done with it. Google wants the world to know that keywords and the links they should contain should be an afterthought, not a defining attribute. Those who do not heed this warning could quickly find their site dropping out of SERP paged altogether.
The answer here is not to rip out the links completely (unless you just have THAT many), instead you should consider changing the anchor text. Once this is accomplished it is no problem to wait to be re-indexed and see what Google thinks. If your site starts appearing in the SERPs again then you should be relatively out of danger for the time being. As search engines evolve we really are at the mercy of these updates, and this creates the need for a serious amount of patience. Do not just go forward without taking these new updates into account, and if anything the changes we have seen will continue.
Logical progression is the name of the game with Google, they have always said that they want the searching party to be able to find the best content possible. Whatever they can do to achieve this goal is going to be employed as a method when dealing with websites. Bearing this in mind one need only cater to the visitor in order to attract the love of both them and the search engine. Of course bringing in people initially is still a bit of a challenge, but as things move along this too could be changing rapidly. As the algorithm becomes more intelligent we could find that one day we (as searchers) have the power to dictate our own algorithm, and in doing so shatter the concept of website hierarchy in SERPs.
- Penguins, Anchor Text and Headaches: What Do We Do Now? (stateofsearch.com)