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Google: Making Quality Links Is Against Google's Webmaster Guidelines

     
3:40 pm on Oct 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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John Mueller said:
Just to add to Hardial's comment -- if *you're* making quality links to your site, then that would be considered against our webmaster guidelines, and by that, those links would definitely not be considered "quality".

IN essence, any link building is now against Google's guidelines. Links must work. So just by the fact you told someone about content on your site, and they decided to link to it. ITs against Google guidelines because you had a "hand" in it.

Google has lost its mind. They cannot control the value of links..
10:54 am on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"So just by the fact you told someone about content on your site, and they decided to link to it."

Not sure what "Hardial's comment" was but with your above example you are fine. Publishing a website is in essence telling visitors about your content.

Now if you told someone about your content and said (or wrote) that it is great content to link too that is considered link building.

Google wants links to build naturally not by people making deals about links in the background. Of course this is a pipe dream and will never happen. When nofollow was introduced this IMO killed natural links. My site gets mentioned all the time naturally in Reddit and Wikipedia but as far as I know about Googles algorithm these links will never count as they are all nofollow. Links from major news organizations are the only ones that seem to count now and big brands get all those.
11:05 am on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google wants links to build naturally not by people making deals about links in the background.Google wants links to build naturally not by people making deals about links in the background.

Google want people to buy adwords..those are the only "links" Google approves of, all others are not good for Google's profits..
12:01 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Link building was so much abused, over and over again to manipulate Google's ranking, this is not surprising.

This might also mean that Google is paying more attention to the content of a site/page, than the links, and I think this is not bad.
12:25 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Justpassing
The next from Google is: if you building great fantastic beautiful designed and comprehensive content with an INTENT to get links. We wont count those links since you had a hand in it.

(sarcasm)
1:11 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Let's be careful not to take things out of context or wear out the hyperbole.

Google has never liked manipulation. Many SEOs use links to manipulate SERPs. No shock that a Google employee would voice the opinion to discourage active link building. IMHO this is a non-story.

John is trying to help webmasters but he is first & foremost an employee of Google. It is not wise to wait for his help so we can manipulate Google rankings - that just isn't going to happen. Listen to what he says & doesn't say, then apply it to your own personal situation. John is still talking about links so that is a clue that links still influence Google serps and link manipulation is a concern to Google. That is great news for SEOs because it means you can still influence rankings & gain traffic through wise SEO tactics & strategies.
1:14 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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IOW "please don't actively seek hyperlinks as our ranking algorithm is overly reliant on evaluating links and is unable to tell whose inspiration they were"

As said it's easy to take it out of context, I'm sure he wasn't trying to outlaw online marketing.

A source would be good for the statement, FWIW.
1:26 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@brotherhood of Lan

here is the source: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/webmasters/ZN_kjT7CZDc/discussion




[edited by: not2easy at 2:13 pm (utc) on Oct 4, 2018]
[edit reason] Enabled copy/paste link due to #! URL [/edit]

3:08 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I tend not to use compliments, but goodroi that is one of the best things I've read on here for a long, long time.
5:19 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Google needs competition. I can think of two outfits who could bring that competition -- Apple (Macs, phones, tablets) and Mozilla (Firefox). Both have popular platforms on which to distribute search functionality. Microsoft's Bing strikes me as just a way for MS to keep its foot in the door, but otherwise they don't much care.
7:06 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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People don't talk much about Penguin now, but it was mainly developed to penalize artificial link-building.

Google's algorithm can't always determine whether a particular link was artifically built or not. So most likely what the algorithm does is look for unnatural patterns in a site's overall backlink profile. Examples of unnatural patterns would be:

-- Nearly all of the backlinks have the same anchor text.

-- Almost all of the backlinks are dofollow links.

-- Backlinks are being created at a much faster rate than would be expected from the amount of traffic the site gets.

-- Almost all of the backlinks point to the home page.
7:08 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My site gets mentioned all the time naturally in Reddit and Wikipedia but as far as I know about Googles algorithm these links will never count as they are all nofollow.

They may not be followed, and they may not contribute to PageRank, but is PageRank the only way Google looks at links these days? I'm skeptical, for a simple reason: If big sites, content management systems, etc. use nofollow by default, then Google can't afford to pretend that it (and we) are still living in 1998.
8:30 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Reading at the comments, it seems that for most of you, links are made only for ranking purpose?
8:52 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Reading at the comments, it seems that for most of you, links are made only for ranking purpose?
To steal someone else’s line: I only regret that I have but one upvote to give.

Since no human ever arrives at any webpage by means other than a search engine, links obviously have no purpose except to rank better in the said search engine.
9:04 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Since no human ever arrives at any webpage by means other than a search engine, links obviously have no purpose except to rank better in the said search engine.

1/3 of my traffic comes from links, it's still twice less than SE traffic, but it's not to neglect I think.
(only natural links, never build links)

And when a link to my site is posted at Reddit , this is thousands of visitors per day, for around a month, depending of the discussion.
9:09 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Any other point of view would be heretical, link to what might interest the visitors, where would the SEO service sellers be if we all did that..do webmasters burn, at 451 or ... ?
9:11 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I definitely gain some links purely for ranking higher but I also develop links with no ranking benefit. I don't want to rely on Google's fickle algorithm for my business so I seek out any & all traffic sources that will convert.

Sometimes these are links from corporate internal networks that Google never sees. I don't care because I gain valuable non-Google traffic that converts. Other times it can be links from password protected university department's specifically connected to my site's content or give private discounts to trade associations/unions by listed special offers on pages requiring membership. My ultimate goal is to grow so many alternative traffic sources that Google becomes a minority traffic source for my sites.

Some of my spammiest links I didn't even recruit and had to fight against it. I've had sites add run of site links to my site without asking me and they used keyword rich anchor text because my site name was basically keyword.com . I try to deal with it as best as possible and to avoid actively or accidentally triggering their spam filters.
9:25 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just one last general remark (targeting nobody in particular). May be some should stop being obsessed by building a site for Google, and return to the basis which is building a site for humans.
10:07 pm on Oct 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Reading at the comments, it seems that for most of you, links are made only for ranking purpose?

I link when it makes sense to do so. More specifically, I'm likely to link to:

1) An official source. (To use hypothetical example, I might link to the Widgetville water works if I were writing an article about water treatment in Widgetville.)

2) A resource that has in-depth information about a related topic that I mention only briefly. (To use another hypothetical example, if I were writing an article about making sourdough bread and made reference to a starter, the word "starter" might link to a third-party page about sourdough starters)).

3) To a related article or page of my own.

In some cases, I'll use a related affiliate link, but that will include rel="nofollow".

And in rare cases, I'll provide an editorial link to a relevant commercial page. (Yet another hypothetical example: If I were writing an article about cooking potatoes while camping, I might link to the manufacturer's page for a pocket knife with a built-in potato peeler if that was the tool I preferred to use when peeling spuds in the great outdoors. And it would be a traditional followable link, because I'd have no good reason to nofollow it.)
12:52 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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but it's not to neglect I think
It is possible that I should have included the <fe> markup. One never can tell.
8:23 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't ask for links and I don't give links when asked. I do link out to other sites when they can provide a better explanation than me 'read here for a really good article on unicornitis', or when I am quoting a source '10% of unicorns are rainbow coloured', because I think it gives me credibility.

I write my content to help people learn about a topic, and I do hope that they will link out to it, and/or share it on social media. I actually detest how Google places any emphasis on links at all, I'd rather they just ignore links. If somebody links to my site, I don't really care what Google thinks, but I do care that other people are potentially finding my content via that link. IMO Google have taken too much power and are dictating how we link when not everybody provides links with Google in mind. It's not all about them, but they make it about them by potentially punishing people for linking when they are not trying to manipulate the system. That really annoys me.
8:28 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I actually detest how Google places any emphasis on links at all,

Same. Links should be used only to discover new content, and ranking should be based only on the content.
8:50 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I actually detest how Google places any emphasis on links at all,

Measuring "link popularity" wasn't a new concept when Google came along in 1998, but Google did it better than anyone else, and the effort obviously paid off. As the expression goes, "It's hard to argue with success."
9:02 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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the effort obviously paid off.

This is subjective. Also, you can't compare 1998 and 2018. Back to that time people were linking sites for the purpose of sharing, this was legitimate to take links in consideration in that case, but, since things have changed, Google over weighted links, resulting in abuses and now, most webmasters are building links just for the purpose of improving their ranking. For example how many google bombing, ranking first exclusively because of link building, and everyday you can see scrapers which are ranking above the original content, just because they achieve complex link building.
9:27 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how many websites would stop existing if Google learned their sole purpose is to sell links. And what is the amount of funds that could be directed to creating really great content instead of buying these links...
10:49 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I wonder how many websites would stop existing if Google learned their sole purpose is to sell links. And what is the amount of funds that could be directed to creating really great content instead of buying these links...

+1
11:58 am on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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This is subjective.

"It obviously paid off" is subjective? I'd say that Google's earnings and market share are proof positive that the PageRank concept (Google's version of "link popularity") worked.
Google over weighted links, resulting in abuses and now, most webmasters are building links just for the purpose of improving their ranking.

Google isn't to blame for the fact that many people are stupid, greedy, or both.

People were trying to game search engines before "link abuse" came along. If it isn't one thing, it's something else.
12:43 pm on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Links should be used only to discover new content, and ranking should be based only on the content.


While I am sure that is one of the main goals, it is a pipe dream.

Links are used by Google as a way to crowd source the importance of the content. Having ranking based only on the content that is accurate is impossible these days and any time in the near future. Google doesn't actually understand the content let alone can determine if it is actually true or not. Everyone is throwing around the buzz term AI these days and we are so far away from true AI, it is in a way comical.

Besides, accurate ranking content changes from person to person. You give a group of people 10 similar articles and tell them to rank them by importance, and no list would be the same.
3:07 pm on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"It obviously paid off" is subjective? I'd say that Google's earnings and market share are proof positive that the PageRank concept (Google's version of "link popularity") worked.

Yes sorry, silly me, I was thinking of quality, but for you success is just a matter of money. So in that case yes Google is the most amazing and best company ever. Like Mc Do makes the best food, Apple the best smartphone, China is the most powerful country, etc...

This is not because Google was using links to rank sites that it makes Google successful. The success of Google was built because it was the search engine indexing the more sites / pages than anyone else back to that time. And because the webmaster community supported Google because it was the small guy against the other multinationals.

Google isn't to blame for the fact that many people are stupid, greedy, or both.

Okay, so people are greedy but Google is not, that's interesting I take note.
6:05 pm on Oct 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yes sorry, silly me, I was thinking of quality, but for you success is just a matter of money.

I think there's pretty widespread agreement that Google represented an improvement over the established search engines that it replaced. And Google didn't succeed by, say, being bundled with an OS: It succeeded because searchers preferred it to the many alternatives. (There may be a few "AltaVista forever!" or "Bring back the World-Wide Web Worm!" diehards still out there--hey, I liked Infoseek myself--but most search users have moved on.)
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