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Surprising Insights from 830 Link Penalty Cases – Search Engine Journal

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SEMrush studied 830 backlink profiles of websites hit by link penalties. What they discovered are insights that may influence how you think about link building. Not a Ranking Correlation StudyRanking correlation studies try to understand what the ranking factors are by studying millions of Google search results pages (SERPs). Those kinds of studies lead to unreliable results that should not be taken seriously. This research by SEMrush is not a ranking correlation study. Which is why I am writing about it. A study like this shows some interesting insights. But because Google processes are not openly discussed by Google, one can’t say with 100% certainty that a certain pattern led to a link penalty. But because this isn’t a ranking correlation study, what is seen can still be remarked upon and debated. Guest Post Penalty PatternsThe SEMrush study found that many sites that suffered manual actions for guest posts had specific patterns. They observed that sites that had certain link features together tended to be the ones suffering from a link penalty. A notable pattern was guest articles that were clearly labeled as sponsored plus an aggressive keyword-rich anchor text on the “dofollow” links. A dofollow link means …

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