• http://economicmythsandlies.com/ economicmythsandlies

    If we did that then Google would be forced to rank sites by keyword usage in webpage copy, just like all the search engines they replaced. Either they will have to embrace that people will be building links to improve their rankings or go back to the stone age of search engines when people were trying to manipulate rankings by keyword stuffing. They can’t have it both ways.

  • http://economicmythsandlies.com/ economicmythsandlies

    This is the attitude that people who use spintax, automated commenting on my blogs have. Frankly, I hate people who spam my website with garbage like that for the purpose of building a few links. I am an SEO myself, but glad that Google is doing something to rid the web of garbage that so many companies put out. If people just focused on creating something of value instead of spamming then this wouldn’t be such an issue.

  • PM Fiorini

    The problem with John Mueller, Matt Cutts is that they are ENGINEERS. They don’t understand business and how it works. Links and link-building are folks engaged in “marketing” their websites (within reason). It is apparent the SPAM team – E.g., Cutts, Mueller, etc. – have little understanding of business and marketing and that’s why they say retarded things. Everybody has their limitations.

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    You don’t have to be a big site to earn links. You just have to make it link-worthy and do some if the hundreds of things you can do to make people who might link to it aware if the site.
    Do you think SEL or SEJ started out as well known sites or did they do something that made them big? Gotta start somewhere.

  • http://mattfieldingseo.co.uk/ Matt Fielding

    I don’t necessarily agree, Nick. There are sites with huge followings who “build links by hitting publish” but smaller sites who are just getting started need some serious promotion, however good the content is. Most content promotion techniques are unnatural (suddenly guest blogging becomes OK) – Google need to penalise spammers, yes, but let people market their products/services.

  • http://kercommunications.com/ Nick Ker

    Of course a site needs promotion. I didnt say anything about “just hit publish” but I did say “do some of the hundreds of things you can do… (to make people aware if the site)”.
    If you can’t think of ways to do that without violating Google’s guidelines, you are just not giving it enough thought, or maybe just want it all to happen faster without the work it requires.
    It does take time and effort. A lot of people seem to believe they should be ranked the same as well-established sites & businesses – just because they built a website. Overnight success is not common offline, so why should online growth be much different?
    Google is not stopping anyone from marketing a website, unless your definition of marketing is little more than trying to exploit the algorithm.

  • Steve

    And, so starts the downfall of Google. They’re telling people not to over-optimize anchor text. Now the water is getting very murky.

    What is considered an over-optimized anchor text? If you asked different SEOs, I’m pretty sure you’d get several different answers because this is really a matter of opinion. And, last time I checked computers don’t have opinions.

    So, if I have a forum sig, and I added a link to http://www.searchengineland.com, which anchor text is suitable for Google: Search Engine Land, SEO News, Search Engine Articles, or http://www.searchengineland.com ? All of those seem reasonable to me, and all fit the description of SEL. And, if you asked which one could be natural – I would tell you all could be natural. But, guess what, Google can disagree with you (algorithmically) and say, the URL version looks natural and the rest looks “over-optimized”. Now, you’re screwed!

    I think Google is over-optimizing their profit strategy. You’re asking people to alter their natural way of thinking to make sure their anchor text fall within your guideline. So, “natural” isn’t really what you’re after!

  • http://www.affilorama.com/ Mary Tordecilla

    Looks like it’s time to hunt out everyone I’ve guest posted for in the past, and see if they can change the outbound links to no-follow. I think this is a bit low from Google, considering that so many guest posts do add value. I guess it’s because “go ye forth and guest post” became the anthem of a link building generation, and now we’re going to pay the price for it.


    Mary from Affilorama (http://www.affilorama.com)

  • http://www.skiusainc.com/ SKI USA

    Its a simple answer, if the article has been solely done for the purpose of promotion and not for adding value to the user, then it should be no followed.

    Google has had to take this stand because guest posts have now become the new article directories. If article directories have been penalized, then so should guest posts which don’t add value fall under the radar also.

  • http://www.eukhost.com/ eUKhost

    I think natural linking is related to user search and nothing else.

  • http://www.rankya.com.au/ rankyacomau

    Quite interesting, in fact I feel that this is one area Google will really have hard time modifying their algorithms. There are many guest posts for sale now days, and some of these offers tend to be coming from individual webmasters, and as far as the content is concerned, it just is natural (there is no question about it).

    Interesting indeed, because I can only think of Google devaluing backlinks all together to combat this emerging market (guest post for sale)

  • Cherrell Tarantino

    Can we please stop spinning this out of control? Google hasn’t told us to no follow guest posts at all. They’ve merely (see Matt Cutt’s video) reminded us to call an AD an AD (or Sponsored Post) and no follow all PAID post backlinks – so they won’t skew the organic search results. What’s all the crazy about?

  • Chris Rempel

    Yeah… Matt – maybe you should read my comment again. My point is that it’s all ambiguous, and the rules are subjective.

    Google’s ultimate goal is to sell ads. They don’t care about your client’s market data. If that works, great. But the other side of the coin is that some SEO’s (probably Mr. Martinez included) would accuse your client of “linkbaiting”.

    It never ends.

    The other reality is that one of their competitors could go to Fiverr right now and put your client out of business with a $20 negative SEO axe job. (So much for all that natural publicity).

    I’m not arguing one way or the other. My point is that SEO is not some legal system with clear boundaries. You are only on Google’s “team” if you’re spending on Adwords, and only with respect to those campaigns.

    Welcome to the real world.

  • http://mattfieldingseo.co.uk/ Matt Fielding

    Thanks for welcoming me to the real world :)

    Is linkbaiting a bad thing? If you put better content on your site than your competitors, you deserve to outrank them regardless of why you did it.

    Does anyone provide the best content just for the fun of it? Of course not. It’s for profit. But if the user wins at the same time, I don’t see what’s so evil about it, and it certainly wouldn’t count as spam.

  • santhoshhh yuvan
  • santhoshhh yuvan
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  • http://www.tech2fetch.com/ Allii Allee

    i was having some confusion but after reading this article i reach at result that guest post should have no-follow links

  • Christopher Shaffer

    Matt I think the point is, you shouldn’t be guest posting just for the link (not to mention that nofollow links still have value and a part of a natural link profile). You should be guest posting to spread quality content and elevate your “perceived” expertise. The link and associated traffic is just an added bonus. I think this move is targeted more towards the “dross” posts that people post on every site that will accept their content, than actual good posts.

  • Christopher Shaffer

    Thank you Mike!

  • http://www.edwindearborn.com/ Edwin Dearborn

    What I get from this is: Be genuine. Authenticity always wins over more people in the long run. If you have a creative and ethical approach, this will come across. Moreover, those blog posts will be shared more and so their social signals will indicate to Google that you are doing it right.

  • Adam Prattler

    If we are guest blogging why would we have to nofollow links?

  • Matt

    Funny how the author bio is full of dofollow backlinks when the article is telling us to nofollow these exact links :)

  • http://dragonsearchmarketing.com/ Ric Dragon

    This may have some commonality with the judicial concept of “avoid the appearance of impropriety.”

  • http://withnoble.com/ Bryant Lack Jaquez

    Off the top of my head I can think of 10 ways around these issues… and that’s just without spending any time thinking abou them.

    #1: Sponsor bloggers (not blogs) and they can write about you organically.
    #2: Get on “top 10” lists. These are not written by you and therefor are editorially in nature.
    #3: Write as a persona :) This takes work to do well, but it works.
    #4: Don’t do “massive link building campaigns.” Keep the guest posting realistic. Maybe 1-4 a month. Do most of your blogging on your own website.
    #5: …. Put links in your article, not your author bio and link to a page other than your homepage.
    Ok. I could only think of 4 off the top of my head but I’m fairly confident that our intelligent industry can figure something out.

  • http://www.binaryoptionsprofits.net/ Phil Moore

    I love reading these comments.. the self righteous and the not so self righteous. The long and the short of it is to write the best content that you can and then let Google decide if it is worthy. Don’t write link bait and definitely don’t try to build links to it to get it noticed. Buy ads though. That is good. :-) The big problem of course that this all assumes that Google can detect good content. Unfortunately algorithmic metrics have no bearing on actually how useful the content is in reality. And for all those that will now jump in singing about ‘on site metrics’ – ever thought that low onsite time might actually show that the site was well designed, didn’t have unnecessary padded out content and the visitor found what they were looking for and moved on?

  • https://twitter.com/#!/kmadhav Sourabh Rana

    how is this possible for small & midsized business ? Links earned by SEland, bbc, reuters, moz these sites earns links if somebody is opened a business one month back how he can create links ?

  • Malicious

    If an idea that a link that you added somewhere can help you rank better crosses your mind even for a split second – you are a criminal and should be penalized immediately.