A copy of our subscriber newsletter from May 2012.
I know what you're thinking, 'long title' but this super cool tool is not just for SEO geeks like you and I, it is useful for normal people too. Ever try to crop a new picture for a favicon, a twitter page, and so on and have to do it by hand? it sucks. This tool does it all, so definitely bookmark worthy.
Google has webmasters on a crazy ride with a slew of Panda Refreshes and the Google penguin update.
Cool Penguin Update Hack (in case you missed it)
News recently broke on webmaster world of a cool hack to help identify if you were hit by that other monochromatic animal, the penguin. Run a google search for one of your [ phrases -amazon.com ] and you'll see your old rankings pre penguin. It does not work all of the time but it works some of the time, worth a shot, if you haven't already audited you rankings and analytics for the ranking hit.
Backlink Spring Cleaning and Building in The Authority
My really big tip for May is to audit your backlinks and identify the ugly stuff, even if you weren't hit by the penguin - it's way easier to take preventative action to protect existing rankings than to get them back after a SE update spanks you.
Here are a couple things to look at:
Look at your anchor text distribution - To do this you'll need access to a subscription link index and explorer, such as Ahrefs or Linkscape. What are the results for the top 5 anchor text for your site? A website with a natural backlink profile usually has links with no anchor text and links with their url and domain name among the top anchor text. A typical profile of an unnatural site is keyword stuffed top anchor text. How does your site fit into this continuum?
Look a raw file of your backlinks - to find the really ugly you may not know about. Using a link index, as discussed prior, do the biggest export you can of your backlinks. Once you have this list remove all the links that are image links, have no anchor text, link to you with your url or domain name and link to you with a page title. Whittle the spreadsheet down until all you're left with are your backlinks linking with exact match anchor text. The next thing you want to do is click around the links that are left. What are site wide links, blog links, old directory submissions, and so on your site. Is there anything that is especially low quality? Also, look out for any proportion of these backlinks that appear deindexed.
Once you've done this analysis, you'll have a good idea of what the bad stuff that may be linking to you is. If you find that you may have an at risk backlink profile, there are two options: try to remove the very worst of the worst links and/or try to get more links from trusted places. If you haven't been hit I recommend very selectively trying to remove links and I recommend building in authority links to help both diversify your back link profile and to build site trust.
Conference season is fast approaching! I was able to chase down our incredibly busy Marketing Director to get these two updates to our conference calendar:
This year IMN is going to be busy again on the conference circuit as Sponsors for both:
SES San Francisco - August 14-16 & PubCon Las Vegas - October 15-18
You can also see Jim as a Keynote Speaker at Search Exchange in North Carolina on July 23-25th. So come see Jim speak and meet some of the Ninja Team at our Exhibition booths. We can't wait to talk to you!