Google Penguin Update Could be Coming This Week
Posted by drew on Oct. 5, 2014, 6 p.m.
Google announced late last week that the latest version of the penguin update could be released as early as this week. While there were no guarantees about a date of release, Google’s Gary Illyes claims the update will be a “delight” to webmasters.
It has been nearly a year since the last penguin update, so this change is expected to be very substantial. Since penguin updates target link spam, many SEOs are taking this opportunity to reexamine the backlink profiles.
It’s important to note that Illyes said any attempts now or within the last two week to disavow spammy links would be too late to avoid any potential penalty from this penguin update. However, penguin updates will come more frequently with the new algorithm change, so SEOs should still clean up their link profile to minimize the effects of a penalty.
When you are checking your backlink profile, there are some patterns you should be looking for that may signal you have a spammy link profile that is vulnerable to penalties. I covered these spammy patterns in a previous blog post you can find here.
If you find that you have a large number of suspicious looking links in your backlink profile, what should you do? Your first step will be to contact the webmasters of the spammy sites linking to you. You can ask them politely to remove the link that points to your site.
In my experience, this is often a long process that doesn’t always return the results you were hoping for. If contacting webmasters directly doesn’t work, you can use the Disavow Links tool in Google’s Webmaster tools.
To use the tool, you should download a list of links to your site (which you can do via Google Webmaster Tools), then place all suspect links into a text file in a list format. If you want to ignore all links from a specific domain, you can include a domain-wide line that might look something like this.
It is very important to know that uploading a new file of links will replace the existing file of links. So any time you want to disavow more links, make sure that your file includes all previous links you have submitted.