Link Profile Auditing – What does 2017 Bring?
The world of search marketing is forever changing and that’s no different for the small corner of link profile maintenance and auditing. For a couple of years now there has been a huge need for link profile audits or penalty recovery work, even to the point where agencies are marketing themselves as specialists in this field, but will 2017 change the frequency and how we deal with penalties and link profile auditing?
What does link auditing achieve?
Links are one of the driving forces when it comes to increasing a site’s visibility, so when these are manipulated, Google cracks down. This can lead to things such as partial site penalties, anchor text penalties or full de-indexation of a site.
A link profile audit allows us to analyse every link to a site to make sure what’s being created isn’t manipulated or could be deemed as “made for SEO”. Previously there has been a big need for this kind of work due to changes to Google’s algorithm, in particular the Penguin update. The most significant update that may change the link profile environment forever is the latest Google Penguin iteration. The latest iteration transformed the update to trigger on a site in real time, as opposed to after each update. This means that links can be de-valued during a site’s crawl, as opposed to after every update.
Google Penguin is Learning – What is means for link profile audits
When Google Penguin became a real-time update, it changed a lot of things. For starters it meant sites could see immediate uplifts from good links and good work, rather than waiting on each Penguin iteration. On the flipside it also means that links can now be de-valued at crawl. Previously Google’s bots would crawl your site and in a way ‘keep a note’ of bad links pointing to a site. Once Google then updated Penguin, the notes would kick in, devaluing the links and potentially sending out a penalty to the Webmaster.
What real time updates has changed is that it now means that any bad links you find during a profile audit will likely already have been assigned a value during crawl, possibly. Previously it was the link auditor’s job to remove these links before Google had the chance to update Penguin.
What this means
What I believe this means for link profile management is that it may not need to be done as often, but they still need to be maintained. This by no stretch means that bad links just get de-valued now, you can definitely still receive a range of penalties for bad links, it may just mean that a weekly / monthly profile audit and disavow may not be as much of a necessity as it used to be unless you know your site may be flying a little too close to the wire with links.