Google Penguin was the search engine’s response to so-called “black hat” SEO tactics for link building, which was first released in April 2012. Numerous updates have been rolled out since then. Manipulative link building techniques that focused on creating links through “link schemes” were targeted. These included buying links, building thin sites simply for the purpose of linking back to a main site, trading links, comment spam links, and similar tactics.

The era of Google Penguin has required site owners to take a much harsher view on link building. Each site, perhaps for the first time in the history of SEO, is expected to know and own its site link profile. The volume, quality, source, and content of links ultimately fall to the site’s owner. If dubious practices are detected, site owners may be required to audit their entire link profile and work to have poor quality links removed. Today, when building links, it’s smart to ask questions such as:

Is this a high quality site?
Is it relevant to my topic or niche?
What does that site’s link profile look like?
Will they use diverse anchor text to point to my site?

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