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Matt Cutts : No-follow advertorial links or we'll take action
Whitey




msg:4579661
 11:04 pm on May 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts: I just posted a video about how the webspam team will treat native advertising that violates our quality guidelines, and mentioned that the Google News team is also willing to take action when something violates our guidelines. [youtube.com...]
[plus.google.com...]

 

netmeg




msg:4581275
 12:31 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

You probably have two choices:

1) Get them to remove or nofollow the link or post, or

2) Build up enough over-the-top high quality unique content that might tip the balance back in your favor.

There's no guarantees, of course, but that's what I'd probably do.

Jez123




msg:4581279
 12:44 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@netmeg, thanks for the advice. I can't see them adding a nofollow. I think they would have to get an outside agent to do that - which I might get charged for. Do you think removing the anchor would help the situation or do you think remove the link altogether? It somewhat negates an expensive ad.

I don't understand why they are doing this. I thought Penguin punished paid links etc?

jakebohall




msg:4581295
 1:18 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

@netmeg.... I typically recommend clients do both...

sem4u




msg:4581300
 1:41 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

If the site won't nofollow or remove the link you can add that page to your disavow file and Google will treat it like a nofollow link.

rj87uk




msg:4581315
 2:20 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I don't like all this nofollow, dofollow, disavow etc.

I'm going to not bother with all that and see what happens. Currently I'm about to do an A/B test with internal site structure / have a look at my internal links and see if I can improve the usability of my website and see if that changes my rank. I will certainly not use that disavow tool.

I am wondering about one thing; I ask local firms to add our link, button or banner to their website to show their customers that they are affiliated with us, we get maybe a link or two a day. Is that possibly the reason why we lost out to penguin? It's really small businesses with not much traffic usually and sometimes they have their website using free services.

My gut is telling me this should be ok as how else are we meant to promote ourselves but all this with penguin has confused me to say the least.

zeus




msg:4581316
 2:25 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

Oh now I know why they dont want those "ads", be cause visitors will more likely click those links as google links around the text.

Jez123




msg:4581324
 2:37 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am now wondering: what's the difference between an "advertorial" and a guest post with a link?

ColourOfSpring




msg:4581325
 2:44 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

I am now wondering: what's the difference between an "advertorial" and a guest post with a link?


If both are dofollow, then there's no difference - the intent is purely to "link build". Personally I think guest posts can be a good thing to build referal traffic (just use nofollow), but of course you need to offer high quality articles to websites with decent traffic.

I am wondering about one thing; I ask local firms to add our link, button or banner to their website to show their customers that they are affiliated with us, we get maybe a link or two a day. Is that possibly the reason why we lost out to penguin? It's really small businesses with not much traffic usually and sometimes they have their website using free services.


It may be, but why not continue doing it if it wins you more referal traffic from these sites anyway?

netmeg




msg:4581327
 2:47 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

The bottom line is, Google wants links that are freely given (or at least appear to be freely given) and anything else (to them) smacks of attempted manipulation. We can bitch and moan about it here all we want, but that won't pay the rent.

As far as the difference between an advertorial and a guest post, it's kind of a "I'd know it if I saw it" kind of thing. If I offer a guest post (or have a guest post on one of my web properties) I allow for ONE link - to the author's profile or website. No product links, no tweaked anchor text, and no more than a single link. Yea I'm probably overdoing it, but since the line *is* so murky and I've never been a link maven, I don't want to waste valuable time worrying about it (my time is better spent trying to think up ways to delight the users and drive a truck over my competition)

When you're talking about your bread and butter, err on the cautious side, even if it grinds you to have to do it. If you're just playing around to see where the boundaries are, or you have enough sites that you can afford to risk tanking one, of course, that's a different story. I wish I had the time to do that kind of testing because I think it's valuable, but unfortunately I don't. So I err on the side of caution and not risk.

diberry




msg:4581337
 3:39 pm on Jun 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

If I offer a guest post (or have a guest post on one of my web properties) I allow for ONE link - to the author's profile or website. No product links, no tweaked anchor text, and no more than a single link. Yea I'm probably overdoing it


I don't think so. There's a recent discussion about how someone got penalized (it appears, one can never be 100% sure) for having guest posts with multiple links. The site owner either removed the links or nofollowed them, and they came right back.

Jez, I think Google tries to distinguish between links strictly meant to improve rankings and links meant to (also) drive genuine, converting traffic. Advertorials can have both effects. I *believe* (but definitely can't prove) that Google tries to give the benefit of the doubt when a practice improves branding/referral traffic as well as ranking. That doesn't mean the link won't ever be a problem, especially if it doesn't feel natural in the page. But I think Google is more after the paid advertorials that bloggers are invited to do en masse, creating a sudden surge of everybody suddenly "reviewing" the same site or product, complete with a link. Yours being a one-off may be more safe, especially if it reads well and naturally and benefits visitors.

Dymero




msg:4581832
 5:18 pm on Jun 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yea I'm probably overdoing it


You're not. We're now in a world where the link poster is liable to get punished as much as the link requester.

We accept guest posts, and though we do allow multiple links, the restrictions on them are strict, and I just made them even stricter not too long ago.

Whitey




msg:4581912
 11:38 pm on Jun 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

When you're talking about your bread and butter, err on the cautious side, even if it grinds you to have to do it. If you're just playing around to see where the boundaries are, or you have enough sites that you can afford to risk tanking one, of course, that's a different story


We're now in a world where the link poster is liable to get punished as much as the link requester.


Thresholds and discovery methods can change. Plus, as the above sentiment indicates, it's double the risk for link "seller" and link "recipient", so the market will, for this type of thing, diminish. If the time required to assess the risk/benefit has become uneconomic, then I wonder if those exposed to the FUD and penalties would want to be involved.

Good quality articles will still persist, but I think the monetization of those is more likely to be along the lines of AdSense, no longer links, regardless of the follow status.

We all know that detection and effectiveness is the real issue - but who want's to play that game. Thoughts?

Dymero




msg:4582074
 1:35 pm on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

but I think the monetization of those is more likely to be along the lines of AdSense


Not necessarily. There's still a place for a good text link, or set of them (like in a widget), but publishers and advertisers will need to consider the referral value, not the SERP ranking benefit.

gonnabehomeless




msg:4582082
 2:04 pm on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

OKAY ME BUYING LOTS MORE OF THESE ADVERTORIALS THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP GOOGLE <<<THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW THAT GOOGLE CANNOT PICK THEM UP

just like how they where telling everyone about sape links and them devaluing them and then everybody started buying them

chalkywhite




msg:4582090
 2:39 pm on Jun 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

The annoying thing is google caused all this by creating a pr algo that people used and gained to give there sites high PR. The result is PR=$$.

So once you get to the heady highs of being a leading website you best not want to make money..or else!

Whitey




msg:4582260
 3:03 am on Jun 8, 2013 (gmt 0)

There's still a place for a good text link, or set of them (like in a widget),

Have a look at this:

Example scenario: widget links

A fair number of site owners emailed me after receiving one of the new messages, and I think it might be helpful if I paraphrased some of their situations to give you an idea of what it might mean if you get one of these messages.

The first example is widget links. An otherwise white-hat site emailed me about the message. Here's what I wrote back, with the identifying details removed:

"Looking into the very specific action that we took, I think we did the right thing. Take URL1 and URL2 for example. These pages are using your EXAMPLE1 widgets, but the pages include keyword-rich anchortext pointing to your site's url. One widget has the link ANCHORTEXT1 and the other has ANCHORTEXT2.


If you do a search for [widgetbait matt cutts] you'll find tons of stories where I discourage people from putting keyword-rich anchortext into their widgets; see [stonetemple.com...] for example. So this message is a way to tell you that not only are those links in your widget not working, they're probably keeping that page from ranking for the phrases that you're using." [googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com.au...]


@Dymero - I'd caution this suggestion. Widgets have probably got a lot of folks into trouble as a linking method in recent years. And what can you say with any certainty that is a "good text link" these days? - the goal posts have just moved and thresholds can move in the future causing much grief. Link acquisition was always hard - it's just got a lot harder and now includes regular link maintenance for unwanted links. I acknowledge your point that they do exist - but for the majority of site owners it's getting near to impossible, or very difficult to work it out.

Dymero




msg:4582769
 12:50 pm on Jun 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Whitey: You'd no-follow them in that situation, so they didn't impact rankings. Surely Matt could not have a problem with that.

Whitey




msg:4583355
 6:52 am on Jun 12, 2013 (gmt 0)

@Dymero - agreed. Sorry if I misunderstood you.

Play_Bach




msg:4584774
 4:48 am on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I was just on a well known stock site (rhymes with Motley Cool) and at the bottom of the page was a 'Buy a link now' prompt. I don't see any nofollows on the page anywhere. Am I missing something, or are they too big for Google to care about?

jigneshgohel




msg:4584811
 7:22 am on Jun 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

I can't stop laughing while reading frustration of different webmaster on this policy. I do agree with most of the comments as why the hell they want us to make change in the way we put links..they are smart enough to develop algorithms which pass ranks.

What if someone start building paid links for their competitors?

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