A Review of Google’s New Update
Bloggers take note: Google recently announced some new additions to its algorithm. The announcement comes through an update on the Webmaster Tools “Link Schemes” section, so it has received little fanfare thus far. However, this update is not one to ignore: it may necessitate a second look at your blogging voice and SEO techniques, especially for those using more traditional link-building strategies.
Yes, you read that correctly—the sun is setting on this link-building mainstay. Google has announced that “large-scale” guest posting campaigns with optimized anchor text will be penalized under the new algorithm. Does this mean guest blogging should be avoided altogether? Not quite. It seems that the new algorithm is looking at the following traits in particular:
a) Numerous guest posts with similar content that link to the same domain
b) Links that contain optimized anchor text
Therefore, if your guest posts tend to differ in content and any links to your domain are natural, you should avoid any Google penalties.
For those unfamiliar with advertorials (such as me fifteen minutes ago), these are advertisements designed to look like newspaper or magazine editorials. These will be penalized harshly if they contain lots of blatant references to advertorials (e.g. the words “advertising” or “sponsored”) or contain do-follow links. Use advertorials sparingly to avoid any penalties.
Optimized Anchor Text
Let’s elaborate on what exactly this means. Optimized anchor text, according to Google, is unnatural, such as a phrase containing keywords. Compare this to a “natural link” which could just be the name of your domain, or perhaps a sentence summarizing something you wrote. Google provides the following example of optimized anchor text on the Link Schemes page: There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress.
Optimized anchor text will be particularly problematic if it is circulated on many other sites, so be sure to comb through any press releases or other distributed content. If there are optimized links, change them to “no-follow”—or just delete them altogether.
Despite the initial hassle of these changes, they should ultimately encourage cleaner, higher quality articles and press releases, which is something we can get behind. What are your thoughts on the new updates?