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Google updates link scheme guide with warning



10:46 pm on Jul 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Google has updated it's link scheme guide, which pretty much seems to outlaw everything. [support.google.com...]

There's some good insight into this at [searchengineland.com...] which alerted me to the changes.

Is link building dead? Thoughts?


1:27 am on Jul 30, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member whitey is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I might just add that the article was written by Barry Schwartz [ aka RustyBrick ] "Does this mean link building is dead?" [seroundtable.com...]

Although there is much commentary and experiences which would lead folks to be challenged, to put it politely, I think it's also worth reflecting on another thread put out there to help encourage folks through what MC has described elsewhere as a "transition" : [webmasterworld.com...]

Robert Charlton

8:48 am on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator robert_charlton is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

The Google linking guidelines are here, and I suggest a careful reading....

Link schemes
https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en [support.google.com]

As Barry points out, a big change/clarification is "optimized anchor text in press releases"....

from Google Link Schemes - Webmaster Tools Help...
Here are a few common examples of unnatural links that violate our guidelines:

...Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites. For example:
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.

I'd cited some of the guidelines less than a week ago in this discussion [webmasterworld.com...] ...so I've read the document that recently. The above example was so spammy, though, that I've got to confess that it didn't appear to be a change in policy. If read strictly, though, the guideline does appear to be a change that's going to affect many press release services.


3:26 pm on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

It has gotten to the point where it seems the only type of self-linking allowed by Google is adwords linking. So be it! Since I no longer make my decisions based upon what will please G, I will continue to self-link my bylines or author boxes in syndicated articles and continue to self-link on all my social networking.

I can see how all of this will just encourage people who are dependent upon G to turn to the churn and burn black hat methods.


4:08 pm on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Is link building dead? Thoughts?

No, link building isn't dead. Link building is a natural part of the internet and was even before Google existed. Create great content, link to it from where you please and let Google worry about the spam problem they created with pagerank.

This includes any behavior that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
Are we supposed to be as suspicious as Google of our own links before we post them to see if they might be considered evil by Google?

Using automated programs or services to create links to your site
I would guess this new addition is aimed squarely at those who create social profiles, blogger blogs and Web 2.0 sites with tools that do much of the work for them. Matt Cutts mentioned going to war against these types of links later this summer. Does that mean I should go to every social profile I have and unlink my site since these are now more likely to cause me ranking problems?

I don't create spam links and already loathe being told to go to spam site owners to ask that they remove links to my site. I have better things to do with my time. If Google is truly a problem solving company I'd appreciate they solve that one fast.

'We want a spam free user experience' Google says but then they tell me to go visit these spam sites and beg for link removal to help Google clean up their rankings? I don't want to anymore, it's not my spam and I don't want to see it either.


4:53 pm on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I actually wouldn't mind it if Google simply said :-

"we whitelist big brands, Amazon, eBay and Wikipedia, that's why you're seeing what you're seeing in the SERPs. Small to medium businesses - don't worry your minds about links - we only use links to rank and sort our whitelisted sites. You're welcome to advertise on our Adwords platform if you like. Oh, and please - link to your heart's content if it wins you extra organic traffic/is part of your marketing efforts. Spammers - same applies - links don't count for you too, so please don't waste your time."

Think of all the time webmasters would save and could then spend on improving their websites.


5:00 pm on Jul 31, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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
Was that always in there? I have a Technorati profile that links to my site because that's how Technorati worked in 2007, should I shut it down? Is that even wise since if I shut it down someone else can claim my site and then it's totally out of my control?

Hmmmm... Are G+ profiles that link to your site not outside the new guidelines? Also, with these new warnings, should we not worry about our competitors creating link spam for us on various sites using their tools?

Possible Solution: Disavow file?
If you do not use a particular service then is it wise to add it to a disavow file proactively in order to protect yourself from spam?

Popular Web 2.0 sites, user generated content sites like squidoo and hubpages, article marketing sites, social networks, press release sites etc. The places where automated software typically inserts links are a concern because Google's new guidelines seems to suggest these may be a problem moving forward. As always if Google says it's 'bad' then spammers will start doing it against their competitors.

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