Google Tightens Noose Around SEO Link Building [TIPS]

google logo noose

Google has further tightened its noose around manipulative link building techniques/schemes aimed at influencing its “SERPS”.

If you haven’t already, go through Google’s recently updated “Link Schemes” page (highly recommended reading!)

What doesn’t work

What once used to be considered semi-kosher may now seriously hinder your ranking efforts.  Examples include:

  • Over optimized press release distribution.
  • Mass-scale, low quality/over optimized guest blogs.
  • Advertorials/native ads with “followed” links.

The above may still work if…

The above three examples may still work if well-intentioned, as follows:

  • If you’re distributing press releases, make sure they’re news-worthy and avoid the exact match anchor text!  You’ll know if your pr efforts are benefiting your SEO if your releases get picked up by major publications and shared by influencers in your niche.
  • By all means keep on guest blogging but ensure that you only contribute to authoritative publications in your field and that your blog posts are actually adding value to said publications.  Moreover, ensure that any self serving links are branded ones and reserved to your profile box (think co-citation). Also ensure that any links within your blog post are reserved to authoritative sources that add value to your post (your own site may be one of these if it actually adds value to your post!).  You’ll know you’ve been successful if your guest blogging contributions generate discussions, social media shares, and links!
  • Advertorials and native advertising campaigns are not all that bad as long as they are well-intentioned (ie. done to boost brand awareness).  If this is the case, insist on a nofollow link. If the advertorial is as good as you intended it to be, it will indirectly provide you with SEO value via links and shares resulting from the buzz around your content.

Now over to you

With Google’s ever increasing strictness on SEOs, how do you go about link building?  Share your thoughts below…

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Omar Kattan is Chief Strategy Officer at Sandstorm Digital, the MENA region's first specialist content marketing agency headquartered in Dubai. His experience includes 10 years in traditional marketing and advertising in the Middle East and a further 10 years at two of the largest media agencies in the UK. Follow Omar on Twitter for updates on the latest in digital, branding, advertising and marketing.

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