Many small businesses saw important metrics in their content analytics reports drop after Google unleashed Penguin 2.0. The spam-fighting technology update was expected to affect 2.3 percent of all English queries by targeting sites with questionable backlink profiles. Unfortunately, some SMBs still lack the resources to weed out the references that put them in Penguin’s path, so their search engine marketing results continue to suffer.
In response to requests for more transparent information about backlinks, Google recently updated its free Webmaster Tools to give companies more examples of the domains that reference their website content.
“Site owners looking for insights into who recommends their content will now have a better overview of those links, and those working on cleaning up any bad linking practices will find it easier to see where to spend their time and effort,” announced the official Webmaster Central Blog post.
Previously, the reports offered around 100,000 examples from the first half of the alphabet, which left SMBs without a clear picture of all the backlinks in their profiles. When small business employees hit the “Download more sample links” in the future, they will receive a true representation of all the links, so they can make more informed decisions about which links to allow or disavow.
ContentLEAD reported that sites won’t be punished for bad links if they’ve first identified the offending references, requested the sites’ admins remove the links and then disavow them through Google. With better data about backlinks, SMBs might find it’s easier to take the necessary steps to begin climbing search rankings once again.