It’s business as usual for anyone trying to improve his/her website’s rankings on Google. The search engine giant has made a change, so it’s time to panic, get annoyed, and then react. They updated their link schemes at the end of July of this year, and this time they mentioned guest posting and anchor text links when. For companies who have full-time writers or for SEO agencies that pride themselves on offering quality guest articles, this new update was particularly concerning. Is Google putting guest blogging on the chopping block?
How Google’s Link Schemes Update Worked
First and foremost, the answer to that question is a “no.” However, it is important to consider how Google does view guest blogging and how their update reflects that opinion. You can often see trends in the way the Google makes changes to its link schemes, so we’re sure to see something similar in the future. For now, consider some of the changes that were just made:
- Incoming links and search rankings. In the past, Google did put a lot of emphasis on incoming links and how those will affect your search rankings. If you had a lot of incoming links from a variety of sites that were high quality and relevant, you would do well on a SERP. Now, Google removed this paragraph from their link scheme help article, which has people wondering about the future of incoming links and their importance. No one said this wasn’t still important, it’s just been removed from Google’s long-lasting article.
- Optimized Anchor Text. This didn’t come as a surprise to many. Google doesn’t want to see anchor text that is over-optimized. You don’t want to have three links in one sentence, and you don’t want all of those links to be keywords. It looks unnatural (because it surely is). On that same note, some companies have a large guest posting operation that includes only over-optimized anchor text. This is typically spam, and this type of behavior has spurred a lot of websites full of spammy articles, so Google had to make a change.
- Advertorials are still a “no.” This is not new information, but it’s something Google updated on their link scheme help article, likely as a precaution. Advertorials are essentially a type of advertising where payment is received for articles complete with links. You can learn more about how to avoid this here.
None of this information seems overly new except for maybe number 1 above. Still, the mention of guest-posting campaigns and the fact that Google has updated its previously unchanging article has many taking a closer look.
How Guest Posting Got Involved with Google’s Link Schemes Update
What probably caused marketers and small business owners to raise their eyebrows in concern was the fact that guest blogging was mentioned in this newly revised help article.
Google is cracking down on low-quality guest posts that are being published on low-quality sites. In the past marketers may have tried to get as many links on as many sites as possible, but this is not the goal according to Google. In other words, guest posting campaigns are OK and no companies need to worry if their SEO agency is putting effort into this aspect of link building. On that same note, agencies don’t need to worry that they are putting their efforts to something wasteful.
The moral of the story: Do guest posting correctly. Create quality, unique articles, and don’t create hundreds every month. A few articles published on quality sites are better than a large number of articles on low-quality sites. Furthermore, get more advanced with your anchor text link strategy, which you can learn more about in this article. This type of mentality is something Google is not going to take away!