SEO Question: What links should I remove if I’ve been affected by Google Penguin?

This weeks question is:

What links should I remove if I’ve been affected by the Google Penguin update and what links do you think will be in scope moving forward?

That’s a brilliant question and below is a list of sources you may want to review:

  • Sitewide sidebar and footer links
  • Links on low level directory sites
  • Links on sites with malware
  • Placed paid links in content
  • Mass article marketing sites – normally contain links in the signature
  • Advertorial or sponsored links
  • Websites that have been de-indexed
  • Links that appear on the same site as spammy links
  • Links coming from link wheels and networks
  • Low level self hosted blog sites -¬†typically setup with one page of content which contain anchor text heavy links

A little more information…

Below I’ve also included a video by Matt Cutts who talks about the same subject:

…and here is a great guide by Search Engine Watch.

My two pieces¬†of link building advice…

  1. is the intent of the link correct – don’t chase anchor text, make sure its a ‘natural and trusted link’
  2. make sure your backlinks are engaging as possible, ask questions, be a resource and helpful!

Do you have any thoughts? Leave your comments below…

Credit: Penguin image from

This post was written by , Dave is a digital marketer specialising in SEO and PPC, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

One Response to “SEO Question: What links should I remove if I’ve been affected by Google Penguin?”

  1. Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the list of possible bad link types, I think this is pretty extensive. Also I like the video, hopefully Google will be a bit more helpful in identifying bad links in the future.

    I think one thing that people need to bear in mind is that even if they manage to identify all the bad links and remove them, and get their reconsideration request accepted their site may not regain the rankings it had before.

    This could be due to the fact that some of the links now considered bad may have been providing juice before the update so you will need to replace these with good links.

    Check your link profile to make sure that the links are relevant and high quality and are from diverse types of websites and with diverse anchor text.


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