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Categories: SEO

It has been more than a week since Google announcement of their algorithm change in February 2012.  There are in total 40 changes highlighted in the announcement. Out of those 40 changes, one of them, which I am concern on, is extracted from Google announcement:

Link evaluation. We often use characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed the way in which we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable.

They didn’t specifically mention the method of link analysis they turn off, as usual, but I suspect the turn off would not benefit to majority of the SEO link building.  I am actually waiting to see some impacts on the SERPs to include in this post. Hopefully, this is only a minor change and would not have any major impact on the link building effort.

SEO Risk

A lot of people are guessing that it might be related to the anchor text, Page Rank or any other possibilities that we can think of. However, it is really hard to tell based on their update as there could be some other characteristics of links that we are not aware.

What’s Next?

Is there anything else we can do? Well, not really. We can only work on whatever is working and wait until we know more about what Google discontinue on the link analysis. I am not going to list out a series of link building techniques or on page SEO in this posts. If you would like to find out more on the current working SEO strategy, I encourage you to take a good read of my 2 posts on SEO below and implement accordingly:

SEO Traffic

Traffic is the blood of the online business, no matter you are a blogger or marketer. Everyone is looking to increase traffic because you need traffic to survive. SEO is currently my favorite but I am getting more concern about SEO every time Google update their algorithm. Don’t get me wrong, I am not using some black hat SEO to manipulate the ranking.

However, according to Google, the best way to get links are:

The best way to get other sites to create relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can quickly gain popularity in the Internet community. The more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.

Also, Google did not provide any guidelines to show us that to what extent the link building activity is considered to be “link schemes”. If you run a online business, I bet you won’t just sit back to produce good quality, wait for people to discover it and hope that they can link back to you. Quality content is a must because ultimately the content are for human to read, not just for search engine. There are whole bunch of promotion activities that you can and will do to promote your content.

Does it mean I will quit SEO? Not at the moment. It is rewarding for my hard work and still working for me. So, I can only suggest that just focus on the SEO techniques that are working now and do it fast while you can still enjoy the fruits. SEO is a constant changing industry and now your job is to provide quality content to human and to please Google at the same time.

Traffic Diversication

Never put all eggs in one basket is something everyone need to think about it. If your business relies on only 1 stream of traffic, you are at risk although you might not be affected now. So, on top of SEO, I am also using video marketing to increase traffic and testing some paid traffic sources. Paid traffic such as banner advertising, PPC, PPV are a lot bigger than SEO. These are the traffic that can easily be scaled up. The key is to diverse the traffic and stop relying on only one traffic source otherwise your business will be at risk.

Your Voice

Did you notice any SERPs change since the Google announcement in Feb 2012? How do you position yourself to fight the SEO game? Love to hear your thought.

To Your Success,
Ming Jong Tey

26 Responses to “Google Algorithm Update February 2012 – Link Evaluation”
Read them below or add one

  1. zheng jacky says:

    Do not buy links from any text link sellers, this is in risk nowadays. My friends’ site was punishment by google for his link buying.

  2. SS says:

    Okay, I finally found out what is wrong. Google webmaster now shows error logs. If we don’t fix them our websites will no longer receive much traffic. I am just telling this from observation and action. The worst are the duplicate links (archive). Panda is now more sensitive to them. Getting rid of them is necessary.

  3. Wayne says:

    I think, “…in order to keep our system maintainable, clean and understandable…” is Google-speak for, “…to stay one step ahead of webmasters who try to game the system…”
    Wayne recently posted..Cottontail Confidential – Make Easter Bunny Ears, Egg Rock, Chick

  4. raks says:

    Information is very helpfull but the sudden change of google algorithm is effecting a lot to me .
    raks recently posted..Birthday Wishes

  5. Diane says:

    I look at my Webanswers earnings, I didn’t see much change in that. My Hubpages account took a huge hit. I no longer use that website because now I might only get one or two views a day from my twenty hubs.
    Diane recently posted..Does Bleach Kill Bed Bugs?

  6. SS says:

    Hi Ming, 90 percent of my traffic is organic. I did make a facebook fan page and twitter for the blog. Many other sites like pininterest and some forums also took links from it. So I get traffic from them also. I am not putting much weight on to Facebook and Twitter at the moment though since Google said at the end of last year that their algorithm update would no more rely on how many times a link was liked (Facebook) or twitted.

    Yes, just as you said, I would wait and see what would be the conclusive answer from SEO experts.

    Did you check your webmaster tool? I have been noticing that after the new update it takes two to three days to upload search impressions. Another thing is that although my layout and color of the site are totally different now webmaster tool shows the snapshot of what I had previously.

    • Ming Jong says:

      @SS: I usually check the webmaster tools once per fortnight at most. So, not sure about the time for them to update. Now, what I am doing now is to diverse the traffic to some other traffic sources (both free and paid) to mitigate the risk of single line of failure. If nothing happen, my traffic will be scaled up along with the organic traffic, which is a good thing :)
      Ming Jong recently posted..ArticleRanks Review

  7. Just known about this new google update. I have check my SERP, and I think I love this new one :)

    With this new updates, I have 3 pages in Top 5. Previous, I just have one. I though, the page (highest rank) help another page and bring them in SERP.
    Steven | recently posted..SEO in Dozen

  8. SS says:

    My blog is hit. I have been seeing my traffic going down day by day. It is not even one year old. Before last month’s panda update, I was at least getting 450 to 600 visitors. I published one content every day and made sure it had more than 400 words. I submitted all my contents to only 3 or 4 bookmarking sites. And worked hard to keep the speed of the site as fast as possible. Google gave me a score of 93 for the speed test. It still is like that. Yet the update now brings me somewhere around 250 visitors.

    I used some sites to analyze what what I was missing in my blog script. Then totally replaced the classic blogger template with a seo friendly one. Yet there is no change in anything. I even moved the ad blocks. Still nothing is happening.

    But let me tell u one thing, the newest algorithm is going to put google in trouble. I noticed that google now returns searches containing websites where keywords are all scattered and have nothing to do with what we are looking for. I found it out while doing my college work. I gathered the evidence and showed it to the google officials last week. One of them replied saying the stupidest things ever. Funny that he excluded my biggest evidence. He asked me not to blame Google and that for my college work their search engine is way too general.

  9. Ming I didn’t think algorithm changed in February Google updates page ranks of sites but I didn’t see any drop on sites listing.
    Rizwan Sultan recently posted..IBS and Stress

  10. shenoyjoseph says:

    even my traffic also 10% when google panda 3.0 is came. I notice that some weird thing using more keywords, creating spam link building and low quality content :)
    shenoyjoseph recently posted..Install Android 4.0 ICS on Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Wi-Fi with CyanogenMod 9 pre-alpha ROM

  11. ICCIEV says:

    The same for me didn’t notice any drop in SERP of my links but noticed a drop in organic traffic last month, hopefully it was not related to latest changes and that I will be back again this month, have to wait and check.
    ICCIEV recently posted..JustRetweet Versus EasyRetweet

  12. I really can’t understand what will they change in link evaluation. How can they distinguish between natural link and paid link. And if guest posting is still an effective way for link building?
    Tuan @ TechWalls recently posted..Blogging and Media – How Much is Too Much?

    • Ming Jong says:

      @Tuan @ TechWalls: Hi Tuan, I bet this is what everyone would love to know. I think SEOMoz will give us some hint in a month or 2 :) To me, I am kinda paranoid about link building recently, especially after the hit of some private blog network, Panda update, algorithm update, launch of G+, etc…I feel like they are ready! They have the capability to differentiate spun content, blog network, etc…but they just haven’t put full gear into implementation yet…

      Take blog network as an example, if you look at some of those blogs and you will know straight away that they are blog network designed for link building. This is a human review way to find out. As you know, Google has analytics, webmaster tools, G+, gmail account, etc…Even though those networks will avoid all these to stay anonymous, how about the client using their services? Aren’t most of us using any analytics or webmaster tools? Can Google compile the backlinks data that we get and analyze the monster database to work backwards what kind of links that the front page site get? Would they see some similariries and pattern? I can think of this logic and I am sure Google has the capability to do that automatically without human intervention.

      So far, high quality guest post is very still safe and effective.
      Ming Jong recently posted..Hostgator Review – Read This Before You Sign Up Hostgator With 25% Off Hostgator Coupon Code

  13. I didn’t notice any SERP drop for my keywords per se, but noticed overall site traffic down about 5-10% in February vs January.
    Justin Germino recently posted..5 Old-School Methods For Promoting Your Blog

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