google panda, backlinks, bad backlinksMany websites suffered in ranking after Google implemented the Panda algorithm changes in early 2011. According to some SEO experts, backlinks from other websites account for approximately 60% of a site’s ranking. It stands to reason then that building a good backlink profile is one of the most critical tasks in search engine optimization. The Panda algorithm has slightly changed how SEO specialists should go about building backlinks to websites.

Some argue that the Panda update killed article marketing as a strategy for building backlinks. They would even go so far as to say that links from such websites may negatively impact ranking in the SERPs for target keywords. However, businesses can still use article marketing to build backlinks provided that the content and websites they are using meet certain criteria.

The content posted to article marketing sites should be as unique as possible. Spun content that uses broken English and poor grammar will probably result in a poor quality backlink that contributes little to site ranking. In some cases, such content may even detract from site ranking. Also, businesses should be more selective in where they post content instead of posting backlinks on any content mill that will accept poorly written articles without discrimination.

As before the Panda update, websites should seek links on websites that rank well for their target keywords in Google SERPs. Sites should be at least loosely related. For example, financial websites may want to obtain links from websites that specialize in providing visitors with investment information. Sites that have higher PageRank are still more desirable than those with lower PageRank.

Websites should also scrutinize their existing backlinks for those that are lesser quality. Businesses should request the removal of lesser quality links back to their website as those may now negatively impact their ranking in search engines. Sites with low PageRank, that rank poorly for target keywords or that appears to have been banned by Google are examples of sites where businesses do not want backlinks to their website showing up.

If many of the existing backlinks to a website were obtained via a low quality link building service, it may take a considerable amount of time to clean up the damage. Websites that were hard hit by Panda may want to consider contracting with an SEO specialist, at least until their site has recovered in rankings. Some of the changes that websites will need to make to recover from poor rankings will take a great deal of time and energy to implement. In these cases, an SEO specialist may actually be more cost effective and may cause fewer headaches than a business trying to correct the problems themselves.

Do you agree or disagree?  Perhaps, I missed something?  Either way, I would just love to hear what your thoughts are on this topic… just let me know your alive!