Link Building Strategies And Tips – Post Panda & Penguin


What You Need To Know About Google’s Panda & Penguin Update

Google Panda Update (aka Farmer Update) was an algorithm update by Google to filter low quality websites and spam. It was a site wide penalty to remove poor quality content from Google search engine results pages (SERPs) and to provide higher rankings for high quality websites – sites with original content, in-depth analysis etc. The first Google Panda Update was on February 24, 2011 which targeted content farms (sites with poor content)

Read: Google Panda Update Timeline & Tips [Infographic]

Google Penguin Update (or Over Optimization Penalty) targeted websites that engaged in webspam tactics (Black Hat SEO) to manipulate search engine rankings. Those sites were ‘overly optimized’ with keyword stuffing (refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords to manipulate a site’s search engine rankings) and aggressive usage of keywords in anchor texts.

Link Building Strategies To Avoid – Post Panda & Penguin Update

1. Avoid Excessive Internal Linking

When you interlink your own web pages it passes Google PageRank juice and it can affect the rankings of those pages. So, interlink your web pages only if it’s relevant and adds value to your readers.

2. Avoid External Footer Links

External footer links are unnatural especially when it is pointing to irrelevant sites which is entirely different from your niche.

3. Avoid Site Wide Links

Site wide links (like footer links) are those which appear on all or nearly all the pages of your website. It can be related or not at all related to your website. If you still want to add a site wide link then add a nofollow attribute to those links so that it tells the search engines not to follow them.

4. Avoid Exact Match Anchor Texts

When you build backlinks diversify your anchor texts and don’t use your keywords alone as your anchor texts.

5. Avoid Blog Networks

You should never use those Blog Networks to build backlinks as those blogs are exclusively created for the sake of cross-linking and manipulating PageRank. Google has de-indexed several blog networks so sooner or later all those blog networks will be adversely affected.

6. Avoid Link Spikes (Link Velocity)

Of course backlinks plays an important role in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) but you must be careful about the rate at which you acquire those backlinks. You should build your backlinks only gradually (unless you receive tons of backlinks from a viral marketing campaign) so that it looks natural to search engines.

What Else Should You Avoid?

What Else Should You Avoid?

  • Mass Directory Submissions
  • Article Spinning & Article Marketing Spam
  • Forum Profile Link Spam
  • Excessive Reciprocal Links (Link Exchanges)
  • Blog Comment Spam
  • Profile Link Spam
  • Low Quality Press Release Submissions
  • Low Quality Social Bookmarking Sites
  • Link Farms (any group of websites that links to each other)
  • Paid Links (it’s impossible to detect all those paid links but you should still avoid it)

Link Building Tips – Post Panda & Penguin Update

1. It’s All About Quality, Not Quantity

It's All About Quality!

SEO is never the same after the Panda and Penguin Update but it is not going to die or fade away. In fact, it’s going to be challenging and at the same time fun as well as you no longer need that massive Article Submission, Directory Submission, Article Spinning, Blog Comments etc.

If you have tons of backlinks (with keywords in anchors) from low quality websites then Google will surely penalize you sooner or later for over-optimization. Now, ONE backlink from an authority blog in your niche is equal to say 100 backlinks from low quality sites.

You can still consider directory submission and article submission as long as they are authority domains. While submitting your article to directories make sure that you submit unique articles with no duplicates or spinning. (Check out some of the Top Article Directories here)

2. Diversify Your Anchor Texts


When link building, you should diversify your anchor texts so that it looks natural to search engines. Instead of using your keywords as anchors you can use your Brand Name, Naked URL (,, Long Tail Keywords or by using general anchors like “Click Here”, “Learn More”, “Read More”, “here”, “My Website”, “My Site”, “Your Name” etc. as they look more natural.

3. Link To Your Inner Pages (Deep Linking)

While building backlinks instead of linking to your home page you have to link to your inner pages. Of course, the home page is the face of your website but where is your real content? On home page or inner pages? Check out some of the Deep Linking Tactics.

4. Leverage Social Media

Leverage Social Media

Both Google and Bing have added Social features and is using “Social Signals” to rank websites. You can leverage your social media profiles by sharing your content on all your social media profiles – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Google+, Reddit, Delicious, Digg, YouTube, Flickr etc. I used to update most of my social networking profiles whenever I post fresh content to my blog. Also, make sure it’s super easy to share your content by adding social media sharing buttons to your blogposts!

5. Press Release Distribution

Press Releases

Press Releases are great if you have got something news worth. Submit your press release to some of the high quality press release distribution services but make sure that it’s written for the users and not for search engines. Ideally, you should submit an unique article to each press release website. (Check out some of the Top Press Release Distribution Sites here)

6. Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging

Guest blogging refers to a blogpost/article which you write for another blog/website in your niche. It helps you to build high quality backlinks to your website from authority websites in your niche which in turn will boost your ranking on SERPs. Guest blogging increases your credibility and will position yourself as an expert in your niche. And, it will increase your traffic and subscribers almost instantly. Read the ultimate guide to Guest Blogging by ViperChill & KISSmetrics.

7. Create Great & Original Content

Content is King

Content is King. If you write high quality content then people will share and link to it naturally and you don’t need SEO at all. In fact, Google prefers white hat SEO tactics or no SEO at all.

Read: How To Create Content That Performs Well In SERPs

After all, Google wants you to:

  • “Create a useful, information-rich site, and write pages that clearly and accurately describe your content.”
  • “Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.”
  • “Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.”
  • Harsh Agrawal

    very useful tips and you have covered all the Key points:

    Anchor text: They are still important but keep a variation. for example, if you are trying to rank for link building service, use your brand name + Link building service + Service provider for link building + Link generation service and so on in your anchor text.. Give more weightage to your main and focus keyword but don’t go over board…

    Quality vs Quantity:
    2 tier and 3 tier link scheme still works but you need to work on adding quality and little bit of link building for your low level tier properties too.

  • Burksung

    Hi Mohan,

    Thank you for these wonderful tips. i am new to this game and thankfully i started after panda and penguin and your information helped me alot in understanding them and use a variation of anchor text and write great content

    thanks again


    • Mahesh Mohan

      Always welcome. :)

  • Nitesh Ahir

    Hi Mohan,

    I build links manually but one of my concern is what is a good strategies of doing backlinks?, my site is on rank 2 and went down to rank7 and i don’t know what to do or what kind of strategy will be using. what do you mean by authority site? is that the site is relevant or the site have a good PR or high PR(page rank) looking forward hearing from you and much better.

    • Mahesh Mohan


      Authority site means a website in your niche which is ranking well on search engines with a good domain authority (SEOmoz), PageRank and Alexa.

  • Affiliate Marketing

    So it sounds like good quality content is what google wants to see on your site.

  • Jennifer

    After panda update, Google completely changes its policies related to SEO. Now we don’t have to comment on irrelevant blog whether it is of high pr or not and put any irrelevant content on site. Otherwise, Google will penalize the website.

  • domainju hosting

    i should apply this term for ranking my site.

  • Virak

    You seems to tell us about what not do , and how about what to do?

    • Mahesh Mohan


      There’s two section: Link Building Strategies To Avoid and To Try. Please check the second part.


  • infatex

    I mainly use now forum posting and blog commenting for link building purpose and it help me a lot , thanks for sharing these useful tips also.

  • dli

    After panda update we don;t know what to do, eveyone has different tips and advices, but most of them is something like don;t do nothing, just create content and wait to grow naturaly … i use blog comments and forum posting to, and are the best way to biuld good liks, even if most advices say that blogs and forums posts are now considered spammy, but i don;t believe that, if you write high quality comments and posts on those forums, then is should matter, at least you can drive some traffic if people like what you have to say ?

    • Mahesh Mohan

      Yeah, you said it. It’s all about Quality. If you do a quality guest post or a blog comment or a press release (with a real news), and shows your links on forum signatures then it won’t be spammy in anyway as along as it’s relevant and manual.

  • John Jones @ Relationship Advice

    Great. Doing my best to follow all the tips listed! Thanks

  • Cris from Inside Docs

    Lats time when I did some link building for websites was about 4 years ago . Now I just read the “news” on link building strategies on digitalpoint forum and just found a link to this article. I wanna say that I’ve read it twice, because, indeed a lot of things have changed in SEO in the last past last years. I’ve bookmarked your blog, I will make sure that I will come to see more advices from you. Best regards, Cris.

    • Mahesh Mohan

      Thanks for that! :)

  • Vikash Khetan

    Thanks Mahesh for clearing one of my major doubts regarding Press Releases. My SEO Consultant had been pestering me for bulk PR submissions and I was not very much convinced, today I am sure how it needs to be taken forward. Thanks for the help.

    • Mahesh Mohan

      Hi Vikash,

      Press Release is still good.. but just make sure that you’re submitting a “real news” and not an article or a blog post. Also, you have to submit an original news article that’s not published anywhere else (not even on your blog or website). And always use a paid PR Submission site that submits to Google News, Yahoo News, etc.

  • mike banjo

    oh SEO is change nowdays, and need hard work to make it :)

  • Pushpendra Shukla

    Hello Mohan, Your post is very impressive. You explained each and every aspect very well and articles included with them are proved more helpful. No doubt content is the king while posting a guest post or press release. A content having good quality reduce your effort to promote it. Thank you for your time and effort for the article.

    • Mahesh Mohan

      Thank you so much… Happy SEO! :)