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I am now wondering: what's the difference between an "advertorial" and a guest post with a link?
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.
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
Yea I'm probably overdoing it
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.
but I think the monetization of those is more likely to be along the lines of AdSense
There's still a place for a good text link, or set of them (like in a widget),
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.