It’s usually Google search algorithm updates that strike panic and cause anxiety in the world of webmasters and digital marketers. This time, however, it’s an update to the search engine’s Webmaster Guidelines that has been causing quite some fuss.
Most major SEO – themed sites have already talked at length on the perils of ‘link building’. Numerous brands were engaging in acquiring links just for the sake of it, without too much concern for the quality of the link. Link juice, link power, or link quality are three largely interchangeable terms, which all refer to much of the same thing. It’s a balanced blend of content quality and domain authority, which all guest posters should be striving for.
It’s also something you should have been doing, as an integrated part of your digital marketing campaign for some time now. Google has been preaching the practice of ‘future proofing’ your website content and links.
Now the time has come for the search engine to actually act on the promises of an expected crackdown on large-scale, spam-orienting link building. So what is Google specifically targeting? Several types of content, as outlined below:
Types Of Guest Posts – No Longer Approved By Google
Guest posting schemes
Google has no problem with guest material in which the inserted link and anchor text bear actual relevance to the content. It is, however, targeting links within highly optimized material, whose sole purpose appears to be that of earning links and improving back link profiles.
In other words, if your content, link included or not, is relevant, informative, and good in terms of research and quality, then you are most likely safe from the effects of this update. If, on the other hand, you have been spreading optimized content throughout the web, consider yourself forewarned.
Some of you might hark back to the infamous Interflora case. One of Great Britain’s largest online flower delivery services was penalized early in 2013, for causes which were never officially communicated by Google.
Many then surmised the reason for the penalization was the advertorial materials the brand had paid for on several sites and blogs. This suspicion was previously confirmed by an explanatory video released by Google’s own Matt Cutts.
In the video, Cutts says links included into advertorials have to be marked as nofollow, even if they are included on non-content oriented websites such as e-stores. The takeaway here, even if you’re running a website for e-commerce, is that you need to nofollow any and all links within advertorial content.
Press releases with optimized keywords
It’s all right by Google to distribute press releases on sites other than your own. There is no problem with press releases– just leave out the optimized anchor text and the links. Also, most of the SEO experts advised, “make sure you check out the Guidelines from Google themselves, in order to understand what the search engine is targeting”.
If you do relay press releases through a news wire, nofollow the links on the optimized anchor text. Make sure you’ve removed absolutely all links, especially if you previously believed that keyword-rich content is a safe and sound marketing move. Hint: it’s not. And Google will make sure to find you.