The silent update in Google’s link scheme document about anchor text optimization in press release and guest posts couldn’t stay silent for long.
The new update in guidelines warns webmasters against over optimization of anchor texts in articles and content distributed on other websites such as article directories, blogs, press releases.
The document couldn’t be clearer;
Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank.
Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.
The recent abuse of guest posting practices to build links is shattered by Google with this update. Doing guest posts for personal and business branding is favored by Google, however, any campaign that involves large scale guest posting with thin content for sole purpose of link building (absolute use of exact anchors in bio and body content will be considered as a pure link scheme and make a good reason to invite a Google penalty.
Solution: Use SEO cocitation method.
Avoid using exact money keywords as anchor texts. Instead, use longtail phrases and words that people are searching for to link back to your websites and landing pages. For example, rather than using “car insurance” in an article, guest post or a press release, using “best car insurance companies in 2013″ will keep you [intlink id=”164″ type=”post” target=”_blank”]safe from over optimization [/intlink] and keep closer to SERPs and users’ expectations.
Write quality post to help audience understand more about your industry, benefits, business and products without being salesy.
For press releases, use the dates, announcement text, names and statements as anchor texts to link back to the landing pages.
Remember that, you are still getting backlinks to your website and all pages using the appropriate anchor texts, but making a better sense now.
Another example is paid advertorials where the description or widget having exact anchor text will violate the Google webmaster guidelines.
Solution: Add a rel=”nofollow” attribute to the tag in advertorials
Read this clean statement;
Additionally, creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation of our guidelines.
Interestingly, it clearly opens the room for fair practices for guest posting and press releases where strict editorial distribution can help with natural links and rankings with appropriate use of anchor texts and phrases.
The new update opens more room for fair search engine optimization and ranking strategies while giving good food for thought to the spammers and aggressive link builders.
How would this new guideline change your link building strategy? It’d be great to hear the thoughts.