Google’s updates are working towards giving us all a better search result. Thus Google is constantly updating what type of links it allows or doesn’t allow. Not that there are something radically new there but Google is constantly updating its official rulebook to tell us what to do, and what not to do.
Google is very adamant about one thing; do not indulge in link exchange. In the official quality guidelines, Google has certainly told us to avoid link schemes. Search Engine recently reported that Google has updated the link schemes page in that effect.
According to Google, link schemes are
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- Article marketing or guest posting with direct keyword based anchor texts.
- Articles which act as advertisements and payment is accepted for publishing it or high pagerank sites.
- Press releases which have high anchor text density.
The peril of guest posting have been discussed a thousand times probably. His Web Marketing published an article saying ““high quality guest posts can get you penalized.”
Google, ie Matt Cutts, even released several videos pointing out different penalties which you might face if you go all out for guest posting.
In one such post Matt Cutts said, it is good to have a reputable writer write at your site.
Cutts even said, “Sometimes it get taken to extremes. You’ll see people writing…offering the same blog post multiple times or spinning the blog posts, offering them to multiple outlets. It almost becomes like low-quality article banks.”
“When you’re just doing it as a way to sort of turn the crank and get a massive number of links, that’s something where we’re less likely to want to count those links,” Cutts said.
Another Google stalwart, John Muller, said “Generally speaking, if you’re submitting articles for your website, or your clients’ websites and you’re including links to those websites there, then that’s probably something I’d nofollow because those aren’t essentially natural links from that website.”
“Think about whether or not this is a link that would be on that site if it weren’t for your actions there. Especially when it comes to guest blogging, that’s something where you are essentially placing links on other people’s sites together with this content, so that’s something I kind of shy away from purely from a link building point of view. I think sometimes it can make sense to guest blog on other peoples’ sites and drive some traffic to your site because people really liked what you are writing and they are interested in the topic and they click through that link to come to your website but those are probably the cases where you’d want to use something like a rel=nofollow on those links” Mr Muller said in another video.
Eric Enge asked Cutts about this problem and he replied “The problem is that if we look at the overall volume of guest posting we see a large number of people who are offering guest blogs or guest blog articles where they are writing the same article and producing multiple copies of it and emailing out of the blue and they will create the same low quality types of articles that people used to put on article directory or article bank sites.”
“If people just move away from doing article banks or article directories or article marketing to guest blogging and they don’t raise their quality thresholds for the content, then that can cause problems,” he said. “On one hand, it’s an opportunity. On the other hand, we don’t want people to think guest blogging is the panacea that will solve all their problems.”
Adverts are catching Google’s attention recently in a big way and Google hasn’t delayed the action against them. A few months back, Cutts specifically released a video warning against this practice.
“Well, it’s advertising, but it’s often the sort of advertising that looks a little closer to editorial, but it basically means that someone gave you some money, rather than you writing about this naturally because you thought it was interesting or because you wanted to,” he said. “So why do I care about this? Why are we making a video about this at all? Well, the reason is, certainly within the webspam team, we’ve seen a little bit of problems where there’s been advertorial or native advertising content or paid content, that hasn’t really been disclosed adequately, so that people realize that what they’re looking at was paid. So that’s a problem. We’ve had longstanding guidance since at least 2005 I think that says, ‘Look, if you pay for links, those links should not pass PageRank,’ and the reason is that Google, for a very long time, in fact, everywhere on the web, people have mostly treated links as editorial votes.”
Under these circumstances, it is up to you how you reorganize your SEO strategy.