Whitey - 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.