By Pam Aungst
Google recently went out of its way to remind people about its guidelines on link schemes. Specifically, the reminder was targeted at individuals abusing guest posts as a means of acquiring a large number of inbound links. Submitting the same article to websites en masse is just one way to violate Google’s webmaster guidelines. In light of Google’s stern warning to site owners, we felt this was as good a time as any to review the company’s guidelines on link schemes.
Violating Google’s guidelines is a serious issue, and you may even be doing it without realizing. If found to be in violation, your site could end up being demoted in Google search results without warning. Historically it has taken a considerable amount of time and effort for site owners to regain their rankings following a link penalty.
In this article, we’ll review Google’s guidelines from top to bottom in order to ensure your link building efforts won’t get you in trouble. Let’s get right to it.
Violations of Google’s Guidelines on Link Schemes
Generally speaking, a violation of Google’s link scheme guidelines occurs when the main intention of the site owner is to build inbound links on a large scale. Hence Google’s recent warning about abusing guest posts. To clarify, contributing content to other sites is a perfectly fine link building tactic when done properly. Only when taken to extremes does it violate Google’s guidelines.
“Taken to the extremes” could include such tactics as:
- Submitting the same article to dozens or hundreds of different websites.
- Stuffing articles with keyword-rich links.
- Taking an article on your site and submitting it to another site.
When it comes to guest posts Google wants to see fresh, unique content that adds value to another site’s audience. Articles should only be submitted to one site, with one link back to your own site. In addition, the anchor text for the link should not include a keyword. Anchor text should include either your domain name, your company/brand name, or something generic like “click here.”
Not only could those abusing guest posts end up being penalized by Google, but sites publishing the posts could be penalized as well. With that said, you should exercise extreme caution if your site accepts guest contributions. If and when Google detects that a website is publishing articles containing spammy links, it may change how Google rates the quality of the site and thus affect its ranking.
Before accepting guest posts, Google advises:
Sites accepting and publishing such articles should carefully vet them, asking questions like: Do I know this person? Does this person’s message fit with my site’s audience? Does the article contain useful content? If there are links of questionable intent in the article, has the author used rel=”nofollow” on them?”
Now you know the ins and outs of guest posts. Let’s take a look at what else it says in Google’s link scheme guidelines.
Buying or Selling Links
With inbound links being among the top ranking factors for search engines, some site owners end up resorting to buying links in Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community