PENGUIN UPDATE: 5 NEW Factors that Google Uses to Rank Websites

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Hey guys, thought this forum post was awesome as far as penguin is concerned, so I thought I'd share it with you guys (source: PENGUIN UPDATE: 5 NEW Factors that Google Uses to Rank Websites)

I manage an agency, so I do everything I can to get an edge up on the algorithm. Myself and a few other SEOers have analyzed tons of data to figure out the breakdown of penguin. We put a lot of time into this research, and I would love to hear your input! (For those of you that like stat, we correlated these factors using Spearman and plotted a Normal Distribution with an alpha level of .05 yielding 95% confidence)

5 New Post-Penguin Factors:
Anchor Text Diversity (Google Divides your number of links by the total number of different anchor texts used to link to your site)
The ratio of the number of links to deep pages vs your home page
The Composition of your backlinks TLDs
Average number of characters per word and H2 breaks (5.1 characters per word is ideal with one H2 per 150 words)
Time on Site (The time it takes a user to return back to Google, Dwell Time)

The New Factors - Broken Down

Factor 1: Anchor Text Variety

Google takes your total number of referring domains and divides it by the total number of different anchor texts that people use to link to your website. BUILDING LINKS TO BRANDED KEYWORDS IS NOT ENOUGH. The more links you have, the larger anchor text variety you should have. If you have 100 links, but those 100 website link to you using 5 different anchor texts... that is unnatural EVEN IF most of those links are branded keywords, like your site name.
Hint: Build anchor text for these type of keywords: "Visit the site", "click here" , "find out more information", "on their website", etc...

Factor 2: Ratio of Links to Deep Pages
Here is a sample breakdown of how the back link composition should look like on a website with 100 indexed pages and 120 links.
Page Ideal # Of Links
Homepage 20 links
Popular Page 10 links
Pages 1-10 5 links each
Pages 10-20 2 links each
Pages 20-40 1 link each
Pages 40-100 No links
This is just an example and by no means actual data to rank well. What I am trying to illustrate is that don't build 1 link to every subpage. CHANGE IT UP. Build a ton of links to one subpage, then a decent amount of links to some more sub pages, but leave half of your pages without any links.

Factor 3: The Composition of the TLD's of your Backlinks
If 40% of your backlinks are from sites ending in .info, this is unnatural. On the other hand, if 100% of your backlinks are from sites ending in ".com", this is ALSO unnatural. In order to see top results, make sure your backlink profile is comprised of the following structure.
TLD Ideal % Of Links
.com 60%
.net 10%
country specific 10%
.org 5%
.co, .info, .biz 5%
Other 10%

Factor 4: Average Character Length of Content
Spun articles tend to have either a significantly higher or significantly lower average character length than naturally written articles. In order to see top results, your average word should be 5.1 characters long.

Factor 5: Time on Site
Not everyone uses Google Analytics. That being said, Google doesn't need you to use analytics in order to get data about a users time on site. Dwell time measures both bounce rate and time-on-site metrics - I believe Google measures how long it takes for someone to return to a SERP after clicking on a result. This is data they can EASILY get from their own SERP data. They have already admitted to using this data in quality tests!

Summary:
There you have it. A brief overview of 5 new factors we have discovered since Penguin. This list is far from exhaustive, but these are ones I figured were worth mentioning. We spend hours and hours each day trying to break down the exact effects of every possible ranking factor. If their is a demand for users to see the actual math we used to determine this, PM me. I will send you our ACTUAL data and the true spearman correlation and Z-score data that was aggregated to come to these conclusions. THIS IS NOT SPECULATION but highly analyzed and correlated testing.

Take Home Points: Make sure your backlink profile looks natural, build alot of "garbage" anchor texts to increase diversity, keep your average word count at 5.1 characters, build links to deep pages (using the clever strategy above), and do something to make people stay on your site longer.

(Disclaimer: correlation is not causation. Just because these factors appear to effect rankings, doesn't mean they are actually in the Algorithm)
#factors #google #penguin #rank #update #websites
  • Profile picture of the author darrenlc
    Out of all the stuff I've read about Penguin your info seems be be one of the best so far. Thanks for this and it's a strategy I now plan to try.
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Cutts
    The key is being natural.... easier said than done :-)
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  • Profile picture of the author getseoonline
    awesome tips OP this thread should be bookmarked.
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    • Profile picture of the author QWE
      Great information. It is all about being natural. : )
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  • Profile picture of the author EdwardDennis
    great tips, but copied from BHW... :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author wilsonm
    Originally Posted by asiancasanova View Post

    Factor 3: The Composition of the TLD's of your Backlinks
    If 40% of your backlinks are from sites ending in .info, this is unnatural. On the other hand, if 100% of your backlinks are from sites ending in ".com", this is ALSO unnatural. In order to see top results, make sure your backlink profile is comprised of the following structure.
    TLD Ideal % Of Links
    .com 60%
    .net 10%
    country specific 10%
    .org 5%
    .co, .info, .biz 5%
    Other 10%
    What happens if all your backlinks are coming from subdomains of web2.0s, is that considered at all?
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  • Profile picture of the author seorules
    Great share mate...
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Why would you people swallow this? From a site
      that calls itself black hat seo?

      If you people believe this, then I've got a bridge near
      Brooklyn to sell you.

      Practically all of the list is just bogus.

      But at least we end the post with this:
      "Just because these factors appear to effect rankings, doesn't mean they are actually in the Algorithm"

      So what's the point?

      I've said this before, I'll say it once again.

      No wonder you people fail.

      Paul
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  • Profile picture of the author joeyjamz
    Well what do you suggest IS correct paulgl? Because frankly I'm ready to believe anything. I've been dominating google with several websites for over 3 years using the same process, and just recently a few of my very important websites disappeared from the search results for my keywords. Now I'm struggling to figure out how to adapt.

    So since you're so quick to knock down the above theories, what do you think are the most important SEO factors currently?
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    • Profile picture of the author YellowGreenMedia
      Originally Posted by joeyjamz View Post

      Well what do you suggest IS correct paulgl? Because frankly I'm ready to believe anything. I've been dominating google with several websites for over 3 years using the same process, and just recently a few of my very important websites disappeared from the search results for my keywords. Now I'm struggling to figure out how to adapt.

      So since you're so quick to knock down the above theories, what do you think are the most important SEO factors currently?
      How about you do your won testing instead of grasping at straws like this, get a domain that you can lose and start testing what you think is the best approach... but don't use unproven info like this without testing it first...
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  • Profile picture of the author boxoun
    Great analysis and different from others. I would argue one point. I don't think they use bounce rate as a ranking factor. Yes they said in past but latest statement was that they were using it as test but not a ranking factor currently. Time on site makes sense and different from bouncing factor so you make good points with that. Overall, this analysis correlates with my eyeball test. Thanks for share.
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  • Profile picture of the author ayushag
    I have heard the Exact Match Domains are no longer useful!
    is it right?
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    Ayush Agrawal

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  • Profile picture of the author AbbyBryant
    it's very precised explanation about penguin update. Hardly ever we get this kind of enlightenment, Great work.
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  • Profile picture of the author MarvyDery
    i think focusing on quality content to your visitors, improving your social signals and social bookmarking will help you to rank on Google regardless of what algo changes they bring in
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  • Profile picture of the author tech84
    Factor 4: Average Character Length of Content
    Spun articles tend to have either a significantly higher or significantly lower average character length than naturally written articles. In order to see top results, your average word should be 5.1 characters long.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    That turned me off, as I think that is just pure BS. Average word should be 5.1 characters long? Who in the world would write such stuff like that?
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  • Profile picture of the author juninho14
    thanks for the information. I didnt know that links like 'click here' was good nowadays as long as it was eliminated a long time ago. We are Back to the future!
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  • Profile picture of the author kayfrank
    This is a great list - certainly the best I have seen about the penguin and real advice on what to achieve. Thank you very much for writing this down.

    I think I am going to remove my links from Zeezo.com as there are loads to my homepage and nothing else. It looks very unnatural. Anyone else thinking that zeezo might be a problem?
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  • Profile picture of the author getano
    These are factors that Google used in the past, too. They are not new. The new thing that Penguin brings is the penalty for over-optimization.
    The main signals used for this are (as you said) anchor text distribution and the ratio of home page links vs. inner pages.
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  • Profile picture of the author logodesigni
    This is one of the best post i have ever read before on Google panda update. But do we always use "click here" or "visit here" instead of keywords?
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    • Profile picture of the author getano
      Originally Posted by logodesigni View Post

      This is one of the best post i have ever read before on Google panda update. But do we always use "click here" or "visit here" instead of keywords?
      NOT always! You use those kind of keywords to make your backlink profile look natural.
      In order to obtain best results this is what you need to use as anchor texts:
      - main keywords for the URLs
      - LSI keywords
      - brand keywords
      - brand keywords + main keywords
      - URL
      - natural anchor texts: "read more", "vist website", "source" etc.

      Remember, diversity is the key!
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  • Profile picture of the author b4uindia
    Factor 5: Time on Site
    This is one of the big factor now since post penguin world Google is now emphasizing more on this factor I believe.
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  • I think we should do below 2 things to get ranking after penguin update.

    1. Use different keywords and phrased as anchor text. Also use your company name for anchor text.
    2. Get links from unique domains and ip addresses. Don't rely on just couple of sites to get backlinks.

    That's my opinion. If anybody else have other tips please share it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mantasmo
    All I have to say to this is... wait for it... lolwut?

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    • Profile picture of the author getano
      Originally Posted by bnetwork View Post

      All I have to say to this is... wait for it... lolwut?

      The worst thing you could do if you have been hit by Penguin is to stop building backlinks. This is a very solid signal to Google that you tried to manipulate the results by over-optimizing.
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      • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
        Originally Posted by getano View Post

        The worst thing you could do if you have been hit by Penguin is to stop building backlinks. This is a very solid signal to Google that you tried to manipulate the results by over-optimizing.
        While I would never stop building backlinks, the only people that buy into this ridiculous theory are backlink sellers, and especially the ones who are responding to customer complaints after tanking their sites.
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  • Profile picture of the author juninho14
    what you all think about domain age? It still matter to get a good position in gg?
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      In order to see top results, your average word should be 5.1 characters long.
      But... but... all of mine are 5.15 characters long....

      Ah, ****! I'm screwed! All my sites are going to tank!

      This is as bad as Dori's case study on links from deindexed sites actually helping your rankings.
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  • Profile picture of the author bilal9999
    Very useful information great share ,,,,,,,, Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author Danny Shaw
    All the hype about penguin still? 2 of my website got hit hard so something did change. But I am currently building links in most varied and caotic way possible and am #3 for my main search term. But get this the guy who is #1 is using something like BMR and his keyword anchor text for the main search term we are chasing is 70% + ????

    If what is said about penguin is true then his site must drop at sometime? If not then it is all BS and just scare tatics!
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  • Profile picture of the author Astrageeks
    Great post This is one of the best post i have ever read before on Google panda update.Thanks for sharing.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edward Floyd
    Great tips! Thank you very much. I haven't seen many tips on how to combat the Google Panda update so this is very helpful.
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  • Profile picture of the author nasuryono
    Thanks for sharing this with us. It's definitely a good explanation of the Penguin updates.
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    • Profile picture of the author Blue445nm
      Question with anchor text and backlinks. You should we should change it up a bit eh?

      So if I built 1000 links to my website for example and my keyword is 'dog training'

      Could you give me the % of how each text should be distributed?
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  • Profile picture of the author Rostonix
    Thanx given
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  • Profile picture of the author Stuart william
    I do have a quick question can we build links for sub-domain rather than inner page of website, btw Thanks for providing wonderful information about penguin recovery.
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  • Profile picture of the author jhakasseo
    Do anyone have article about "Anchor text diversity" straight from Google?
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  • Profile picture of the author brettb
    You might be onto something with "time on site". My old sites have got hit hard, and I think this is unfair. They get most of their traffic for answers type queries where the answer is only a couple of sentences. Why spin out a 1000 word article for these?

    Those PhD's aren't as smart as they think they are. Good other tips though!
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel0009
    I got different method that. dont use anchor text, Use Keyword+brand name for anchor text
    which is good?
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  • Profile picture of the author YellowGreenMedia
    So and you have also proof of all these statements you make here, and i hope you have better proof then just a link to blackhatworld.com

    It os a big thing here on WF, to post SEO shit like this without any proof as facts, that ladies and gentleman is how myths are created (like the dup content myth and the to much backlinks myth)..

    Please, please,, please when you such make bold statements like OP, have some HARD VERIFIABLE EVIDENCE to backup your claims..

    The funny thing is that gullible people HERE are just taking this info without thinking for themselves, when this is all speculation at best....
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasTe
    Interesting thread...
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    • Profile picture of the author MaroshIS
      I agree with most of it, except Factor 3. This is valid only for .com domains.

      But in case you have local site, say .de and ranking on german google, no problem if you have 98 percent of the links coming from .de domains only.
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