If you’re already among our SEO resellers mid-February, you should be very much aware that we have improved our SEO methodologies and launched new SEO packages to provide better quality content and natural back links. In our product development meetings where our new SEO packages took shape, link schemes geared to trick search engines were a no-no. We completely shunned at considering advertorials and native advertising, over-optimization of anchor texts, spammy guest posting, spammy press releases and we even discontinued article marketing.
Now fast forward to 2 months ago, Google search spam chief Matt Cutts announced through a video some anticipated algorithm changes this year. Among the changes mentioned by Google Matt Cutts in that clip is the stricter policies on advertorials, and tips on getting better rankings.
Two months later, Google yet again released information on how webmasters can rank better in search results. This time, they updated their Webmaster Help page on “Link Schemes” or methods that aim to manipulate PageRank through links. The update further clarifies their stand on advertorials, and at the same time warns against overly optimized press releases and large-scale article marketing and guest posting.
We were right all along when we have updated our SEO link building methodologies! So here is the list of “Link Schemes” that Google is closely looking at:
Unnatural Links: Advertorials or Native Advertising
Cutts previously said that webmasters must have “clear and conspicuous disclosure” when it comes to publishing advertorials on their site. He stressed that users must be able to determine whether something is organic (editorial) or paid (advertorial). This same philosophy is reflected in the Link Schemes support page update. In the “unnatural links” section, which lists examples of links that violate its guidelines, Google included the following item:
“Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank”
This practice is now counted as a link scheme and can be considered a violation of Google Webmaster Guidelines. Before you ask more about this, hold your horses, and read the next item first.
Unnatural Links: Anchor Text from Articles, Press Releases
Another practice discouraged by Google is the unnatural use of anchor text links in articles and press releases. Google added the item “Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites” also under the section of unnatural links. It included an example wherein five varying anchor texts were inserted over two sentences, with all keywords linking to one URL.
SEO resellers and Internet marketers will surely wonder now. Does this mean press release and article submissions can no longer be used to build links? Of course not! Take note that this added item, as well as other items under the unnatural links section, will only be considered link schemes if they “weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page.” If the anchor text used in articles and press releases are “natural” or are editorially relevant, they can still pass PageRank and can be used for link building.
Large-Scale Article Marketing and Guest Posting’s Negative Impact
Apart from examples of unnatural links, the Link Schemes help page also contains a list of existing schemes. The latest addition to the list is:
“Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links.”
Remember, guest posting is one of the best ways to get a high quality back link from an authority website. It’s also a good way to widen one’s network. By guest posting, you are effectively broadcasting your message to the network of the website owner. By accepting guest posts, you are exposing your website to the network of your guest blogger/poster. It’s a win-win situation for bloggers and marketers. But if abused with keyword-rich anchor text links, on a massive scale at that, you know it’s a link scheme and you risk being slapped by Google.
Are Links Losing Value?
When Google updated its Link Schemes help page, it added at least three new violations as mentioned above: large-scale article marketing and guest posting; unnatural anchor texts from press releases and articles; and unnatural advertorials. However, it also removed an item—an entire paragraph actually:
“Your site’s ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to you. The quantity, quality, and relevance of links influence your ranking. The sites that link to you can provide context about the subject matter of your site, and can indicate its quality and popularity.”
To understand the removal of this item, which used to be the opening paragraph of the link scheme support page, we should go back to two months ago. In the same video mentioned earlier, Cutts mentioned that webmasters need to focus more on high quality content. “As long as you’re working hard for users, we’re working hard to try to show your high quality content to users as well,” he said. And then a month after that, Google updated its “Ranking” help page to reflect that focus with the following statement:
“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.”
Previously, that page emphasized the importance of getting high quality links to help websites rank better on search results. “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.” Sounds familiar? Of course, it’s basically the same statement removed by Google from its Link Schemes help page recently.
Takeaways for SEO Online Marketers
Indeed, Google is now paying more attention to high quality content that users can benefit from and want to share with other users – natural link building. So does this change signal the death of link building? Unlikely. Internet users, after all, depend on links to find the information they need and to share this to the world. What is changing is that SEO Online Marketers including site owners, web masters, content producers, and link builders will now inevitably raise the bar of their practices because they need to create quality sites and content that is actually relevant, useful and not spammy – with the target audience in mind.
And obviously, the important thing to remember here is that your white label SEO provider should not be committing these violations. Google has previously warned against these new link schemes but it is only now that such warnings were, so to speak, “put to paper.” The Webmasters Guide is considered the bible of search engine optimization for Google and once a warning is listed there, you’ll know it’s something Google is quite serious about and so it is something you should take seriously.
Create pure or original and fresh content. Content must be relevant, useful and valuable so that it will be shared around naturally – producing backlinks the natural way.
Endlessrise is Ahead of the Curve
Evidently, we have improved our SEO services way before Google made these announcements. The direction where we chose to go to is where Google is going to as well. Now, it’s very difficult not to suspect that Google is following our every move.
We put more focus on the following:
1. Content generation centered on the business, brand, products, services and what is of value to the target audience
2. Onsite blogging
– Press release
– Company updates
– Industry news
– Previous Owner Publications
3. Google+ authorship
4. Sitewide interlinking
5. Content sharing than building backlinks with keyword-rich anchor texts
6. Social content distribution
Our focus is on creating quality content, pure and fresh, for your client’s audience while building your client’s brand. We produce relevant and usable content which includes scheduled promotions. What type of content could be more usable and beneficial to target customers than content created around a sales promotion that your client is offering and that their target customers are looking for? This strategy merges the need to provide high quality content for users and search engines with the need to produce targeted traffic and actual sales for your clients. And because of this, among others, links to your site will happen naturally.
See related post: Coupon Marketing — Bridging the Gap between Content and Leads/Sales Generation in your Online Marketing Efforts
We setup an onsite blog with G+ authorship to strengthen your client’s Google footprint. We interlink blog pages with your client’s target pages. We create and publish their content, including press releases on their onsite blog – a place where it should primarily be – which is on your client’s website. We distribute content to your client’s social media accounts to boost their social signals. We do not put focus on unnatural link building and overly optimized keyword-rich anchor texts but on distributing content, along with your client’s brand, to be experienced by the users. We only publish press releases to the top 5 press release sites as our goal is not to produce backlinks from hundreds of press release or article submissions sites and practically spam the web, but to simply get the word out to the public and media people like what a real press release should really do.
Endlessrise is a white label online marketing and web design reseller provider. We only practice white hat link building and SEO, which by the way, comply with Google’s latest Panda and Penguin algorithms. If you’re an SEO reseller who wants to provide services that will truly help your clients’ websites today and in the long run, use only white hat methods. Use only Endlessrise. If you haven’t yet, sign up as our partner / reseller today and grow a profitable long-term business that does not depend on link schemes.