SEO Now: Ranking Highly in a Post-Panda environment

by: Anthony De Marco

After Google’s most recent updates have left the SEO world stunned, many people are wondering how to actually move up the rankings in this new algorithm. Since so many things have changed and Google is now investigating and penalizing spam more heavily, the old tactics don’t work. Building huge masses of low quality links will not get you to page one these days- and neither will the major paid blog networks or just owning an EMD alone.

So what exactly is it that we should be doing now? We took a look at some Boston SEO experts for the scoop. Instead of not knowing and trying out random tactics you learned on some forum just to see if they actually work- it’s alot easier to consult a tried and true company who has already done the testing. Besides, you shouldn’t be testing things on your live site.

There is an advantage in this, however: since Penguin and Panda turned the SEO world upside-down, a ton of SEO experts have thrown in the towel- meaning there is less competition now than before. I can’t count how many people I know that have “sold their SEO businesses because they were tired of dealing with all the updates”.

This is fantastic for me and you, because there are less people competing and ranking right now is actually pretty simple. Given that you are making all your links look natural and avoiding setting off any red flags to Google, the two main factors that will rank you in the current algorithm are the PR and relevance of your links.

High PR + Relevant Links

We do not want to use spammy blog comments in this day and age for links. If you want to rank right now for any even slightly competitive keywords that are worth any money, you have to be using High PR links.

Getting just 2-3 High PR links will cause a spike in your rankings upon their indexing. Depending on the competition in your niche, you will have to slowly acquire more of these to see how many you need to get to the top of page one. And doing this gradually is a good idea because these links are not cheap.

A High PR link means a link on a page with a PageRank of 3-10, though the vast majority of these are in the 3-5 range, since PR 6-10s are quite rare and very expensive.

You can acquire these by leasing a link from someone on a monthly basis or by buying your own PR sites and placing your links on them. This is my favorite method, since you are in complete control of your links and the other content on the site- and the other content on the site is important because Google looks at this to determine how relevant your links are.

If you are trying to rank for “Miami lawyer”, for example, it would be best to get links from a bunch of attorney and lawyer sites. If all your links are coming from blogs about weight loss, then they are not nearly as relevant and Google is very aware of this. You are not going rank very highly unless you’re getting your links from websites with content relevant to your website.

Building Pillow Links

Our High PR links have the most link juice that can aid your site, so when you build these High PR links you want to always use the exact keywords you’re targeting as the anchor text. The problem this can create is that your anchor text profile will consist 100% of links with the same anchor text. This looks completely unnatural and will always trigger a Penguin penalty.

This is easily remedied by just building what I like to call “pillow links”. Pillow links are cheaper links you can build to make your anchor text profile look much more natural. When I say cheaper, that doesn’t mean low quality. It just means they are not the expensive High PR paid links that give you most of your juice. The best way to make these is by using social bookmarking sites, web 2.0s, wiki sites, and PDF sites, among a few others.

Let’s say we have 5 High PR links all using our main keyword as anchor text. If we just build 95 pillow links with random anchor text such as “click here” and other natural linking terms, then our exact keyword will only make up 5% of our anchor text profile. This is just about perfect and is definitely low enough to avoid catching the Penguin penalty, while we still have enough juice from our High PR links to get to the first page.


Get your links from High PR sites with content relevant to your niche. You do not have to worry about penalties as long as you do not go with any of the major paid blog networks that advertise on forums and other large scale operations- the best method is leasing links from individuals or buying your own High PR sites. Use pillow links in conjunction to vary your anchor text and make your site look completely natural.

Using High PR, relevant links makes up the bulk of SEO right now. There are definitely a lot of other things to be aware of in the current algorithm, such as ensuring you avoid all of the penalties(not just the anchor text over-optimization mentioned here) and using social media to aid your SEO.

We’ll cover this in more detail in some later posts.