Content marketers know Google’s webmaster guides, including the Link Exchange Schemes section. This helps them to promote projects without breaking the rules of the largest search engine in the world and avoiding sanctions for manipulating search results.
Knowing Google's guides, content marketers use several “white” link building methods, the main ones of which are the creation of useful content that users naturally refer to, as well as guest posting or guest blogging. We talked about this method in the article "37 stunning secrets of guest blogging."Guest posting - publishing content on third-party reputable sites, the main purpose of which is to get backlinks, drive traffic and increase brand awareness by increasing the reach of the audience.
However, at the end of July of this year, Google, in the person of Matt Kats, commented on the existing popular methods for obtaining backlinks, after which it became clear that some previously white methods of obtaining external links have now lost their whiteness. In particular, Matt Kats made recommendations when using guest blogging to close direct links with the "nofollow" attribute. Literally several days after this, the section “Link exchange schemes” was updated, where now it is directly indicated that the publication of “links with text optimized for search engines placed in articles published on third-party sites”
Has the content marketers lost one of the legal tools from the point of view of the search building link building systems? Let's figure it out.
Do not go to extremes: panic and denial harm
Internet marketers split into two camps in the first days after updating the definition of Google's link exchange schemes. Some experts believe that nothing happened. They argue that it is possible to work "as before", without worrying about sanctions from the search engines. The second part rushes around the offices shouting “I told you so!”, Nulling all consecutive links with the help of the backlinks neutralization tool from Google.
The truth, as usual, is somewhere between the two camps. Content marketers will be able to work "as before" if they take into account the new requirements of Google. And for this you need to figure out what all the same requires a search engine. A calm study of the definition of link exchange schemes will help to do this.
Fundamentals of defining Google's link exchange schemes
To analyze the impact of the updated definition of the link exchange linking scheme, it is necessary to briefly review its content.
The Google search engine and its honored engineer and search spam fighter Matt Cutts are renowned for their ability to make open call lists. This is not surprising, since optimizers are constantly finding new ways to bypass bans and manipulate search results. As soon as any manipulation scheme becomes popular, Google notices it and updates the algorithms and rules.By the way, this once again underlines the advantages of content marketing over traditional SEO. While optimizers are looking for loopholes in search engine algorithms, marketers are focusing on creating useful content that ensures long-term success.
So, the section "Link Exchange Schemes" contains a list of schemes, participation in which puts the site at risk of sanctions from Google. Here is the list:
- Buying and selling links to influence the PR index of sites.
- Redundant link exchange.
- Publication of guest articles and posts on third-party resources, which include anchors with keywords.
- Automatic link building with programs.
- Ads whose links affect PR.
- Re-optimized press releases.
- Links embedded in widgets.
- Spam on the forums.
Also in the “Link Exchange Schemes” section, it says that Google values natural inbound links. The search engine recommends that marketers publish high-quality and useful content to get such links.
Are you still in doubt about the prospects of content marketing?
What does google say
The inclusion of guest posts in the list of link exchange schemes caused the strongest discussions among marketers. Therefore, this item requires detailed consideration.
Of course, the natural links received due to the high quality of the content are always in the price. However, the publication of good materials does not always guarantee you the receipt of external links. Guest blogging is why. It also assumes getting links using useful content that is published on authoritative third-party resources.
Marketers who avoid publishing guest posts after updating the definition of link exchange schemes blow water. Indeed, in the section “Link Exchange Schemes” it is directly written that in order to receive external links it is necessary to publish good content. At the same time, Google does not directly prohibit the publication of materials on third-party resources.
In the article “How to get external links,” we talked about Matt Cutts’s views on links. In particular, Mr. Cutts does not deny that links play an important role in website promotion. He admits that these links can be obtained by thinking about the interests of users, and not about search engine algorithms. Is publishing a guest post does not satisfy the interests of the user?
Matt Cutts also argues that for successful promotion of projects it is necessary to think in terms of marketing, and not search engine optimization. In this case, you will receive natural external links that will never be the cause of sanctions by Google.
What happens with guest posting
Guest posting will exist and bring new quality links to projects. Check out the following quote from the Link Exchange Scheme section, in which Google supposedly outlaws guest blogging: “Large-scale advertising with articles or comments with text links that are full of keywords.”
Of course, Matt Cutts and his colleagues do not write what “large-scale advertising” means. And do not write in the near future. But after all, every content marketer knows well that 10 quality links are better than 1000 spam links obtained using articles promotion systems. It can be assumed that the definition of “large-scale advertising” refers to campaigns during which optimizers generate thousands of articles using rewriting or software and publish them on linkwashing machines.
Content marketers need to be picky when posting content on third-party resources. Think about where you put your content and whether it will be read by live people. After all, you put a lot of effort creating guest posts.
So, if you do guest posting correctly, it will remain useful for your projects and will not cause sanctions from the search engines. To create good content, you need to make significant efforts and spend a lot of time. Then you need to find reputable sites and agree with their owners on the publication of materials. Now think about how much time and effort it will take for Google to count your guest blogging as “large-scale advertising with articles and comments”?
Adaptation of the material What does Google's Link Scheme?