James, how will I know that a particular link ( inbound or backlinks) is a healthy and good link from Google’s perspective; and secondly, how will I know that the backlinks pointing to my site is not a links from Google penalty blogs or site?
Recommended to read: How to be on first page of Google without backlinks
This was a telephone conversation my very good friend asked me after upgrading his website ( maviews.com) to a new efficient, fast loading, highly secured webhost (WPEngine), and also changing the design to a more responsive Magazine metro pro theme from Genesis ( based on my SEO recommendation).
Recommended to read: 11 bad backlinks to avoid that decrease your google search rankings
In my earlier article, I discussed elaborately that even though backlinks are meant to help our organic search rankings; some bad backlinks actually does the opposite.
While it is a good and recommend Google friendly concept to have an engaging site or blog with lots of comments, 90% of bloggers have abused this commenting relationship with just the sole purpose of attracting backlinks
The following guidelines on how to know links from Google penalty blogs are meant to help you understand if a particular site or blog is suffering or not healthy to get or approve backlinks from them
- Google Search Tool
Pick the domain name of a blog or site ( for my blog, I am simply referring to bloggingconsult, without the .org extension), paste the name on Google search and search for it. Watch out for the following
- Does the name of the site pop as the first query on the search result?
- Is the website or blog of the domain name in the first page of Google result?
The interpretation to this is that with the domain name, the blog or site should be the first answer to show on the search result. If it is not, then it means that the blog or site is not sufficiently healthy and strong in Google
For the second question, after clicking search, you now observe that the site is not on the first page, it simply means that the site is in sandbox, or the site is under Google penalty.
- Use Google Cache Tool
Though, this practice is anti-Google, but it can be quickly used to determine the health of a blog. simply go to Google ( see the image below): What is the lesson to be learnt from this?
First, the cache is a measure of how regular Google bots and spider crawls the site. Now, the implication to this is that the cache of any site should not be far from 2 weeks or 10 days. The cache is also a reflection of the quality of links pointing to such site.
In summary, if the cache is more than 10 days to the day/date you are checking it; then its a signal that such site is not healthy very well to Google and getting links from such site should be with caution or probably avoided.
- Relevance of PageRank
The algorithm surrounding the computation of Google’s PageRank is largely dependent on the quality of links a website receives. A high PR 3 or 4 does not necessarily mean that it’s getting more organic traffic than a PR1-2 blogs; what it does mean is that
- the PR3-4 blogs have more high quality links than the latter
- And that getting or obtaining links from the former ( high PR sites) will have impact on your rankings than getting same from the low PR sites
Three factors of a blog’s PR ( PageRank) to know whether its links are bad or not healthy are:
- The present rank of the site; to know this, use http://prchecker.info/ to know the rank of a particular blog
- Age of the domain; use https://www.whois.net/ to know the date and age of the domain
- Time interval of PR updates from Google
On checking this two, the following are the implications:
- PR is computed every 6 months interval, so naturally, a blog or website that is 6 months old and above should have a pagerank between 1-4
- So, if you check that the blog or site is about 2 years plus, and still has a low PR i.e. 1-2; then it means that all is not right with the website
- A two years old blog should have at least a PR3 and above
So, if you observe and notice this on any site, then getting links from it should be with caution!!! the links from it can be a Google penalty infested links, meaning it is bad and not healthy.
- Relevance of Alexa Rank
Many people basically focuses on Alexa just to know the global rank, however, Alexa is much more than that if you know how to analyse a blog’s standing. An alexa rank can actually help you to know if a site is healthy to get backlinks from it. Three things you should look out for includes:
- Its Global Rank
- organic Traffic percentage: This is the most important
As a general rule and from personal experience, If a website is at least a year old, and its organic search traffic is not more than 9%, beware as this shows that its not getting much traffic from Google. Though, such site may have a low rank, this does not matter as the rank is largely a result of backlinks the blogger has accumulated, how consistent the blogger publishes content, and number of blogs having alexa toolbar that links back to the blogger.
So, what do you need to check for?
Simply check if the Alexa rank is low, at least less than 100,000, and with corresponding high organic search traffic percentage ( from 9% upward).
- Unhealthy blog or Google penalized blog has slow indexation
One key metrics to know if a website is pretty strong and not suffering from Google penalty is knowing the rate at which it indexes a site or blog post. Google indexes a new post or update from a healthy website or blog faster.
Have you noticed that it takes less than 20 minutes or less to discover that a new blog post is already showing in Google search on some site; whereas on some other sites/blogs, it takes between a day to 2 days before a new post is indexed.
When hubpages first launched and was gaining popularity, an article published in less than 5 minutes is already indexed and seen on the search result. This trick is a sure way to know that a particular site is not suffering from Google penalty and that links obtained from such is a good and not bad links.
- Free tool to check for a healthy blog or site suffering from Google penalty
Feedback and Conclusion
Thank you for taking your time to read this piece on ‘ how to know links from Google penalty blogs’, I hope you have found it useful; please, kindly share your views, insight and criticism through the comment section below.