Google Makes Big SEO Changes to Webmaster Guidelines

Written by Nick Stamoulis

One of the biggest complaints many site owners have with Google is that when they need real direction Google’s go-to response is to refer to the Webmaster Guidelines, which can sometimes be rather vague. Every now and then Google makes updates to the Google Webmaster Guidelines in an attempt to better guide, teach, and explain SEO to site owners and recently the search giant made some major changes to the Link Scheme page (the kind of links that would trigger a Penguin or manual link penalty) that every site owner should be aware of immediately. These changes could dramatically influence the way you go about your link building from here on out.

Here are few of the changes site owners must take note of:

1. Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links

2. Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.

3. Low-quality directory or bookmark site links

4. Forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature

So what does this mean with regards to your link building? Search Engine Land reported that “John Mueller, said in general, it is best you nofollow links in stories you write, especially when those stories are guest blog posts for the purpose of link building.” Nofollow links can still be seen by the search engines and can send plenty of highly targeted visitors over to your site, but they don’t pass any link juice from one website to another. You may not be trying to actively manipulate the search results but you don’t want to give Google any reason whatsoever to doubt you. So for any site you guest write for, be sure to add nofollow tags to your author bios! If you are linking out from the post to another source, such as a blog post on your own site, also be vary not to use “anchor text” per se (meaning a keyword) and just use natural anchor text, like what I did when referencing the Search Engine Land post above.

When you send out a press release through any distribution service stick with direct and full http links (https://www.brickmarketing.com) and avoid keywords as anchor text usage. Branded anchor text should be fine but make sure they are nofollow links as well.

If you have a lot of low-quality directories in your link building past it might be worth trying to get your site removed from those directories. Contact the site owners individually and if you can’t get the link removed you can turn to the Link Disavow Tool as a last resort. Also take a good, hard look at any social bookmarking sites you might be submitting your content too. Which ones have actually driven real traffic over the years? For many sites StumbleUpon can be a great source of quality traffic but are the other bookmarking sites worth the risk?

With these changes to the Webmaster Guidelines Google is drawing an even firmer line in the sand when it comes to what is and what is not acceptable link building practices. You want to make sure your website is on the right side of the line. Now, more than ever, content marketing and social media are integral to your long-term success. It should be about EARNING links, not just building them.

As Google says, “The best way to get other sites to create high-quality, relevant links to yours is to create unique, relevant content that can naturally gain popularity in the Internet community. Creating good content pays off: Links are usually editorial votes given by choice, and the more useful content you have, the greater the chances someone else will find that content valuable to their readers and link to it.”

Categorized in:

Like what you've read? Please share this article


Read What Full Service SEO Clients Say About SEO Firm Brick Marketing

"highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients"

“After working with many other SEO firms and not being satisfied I finally was introduced to the Brick Marketing President and Founder, Nick Stamoulis. Nick Stamoulis has educated me about SEO and has provided me with a well rounded SEO package, not only does he offer top quality services he also educates his clients and spends the time to explain everything and their SEO pricing is competitive. I will highly recommend Brick Marketing to all of my clients. Brick Marketing is an A+ for SEO services.”

– Mike Cardella, Integrated Computer Services

"Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased"

“The Brick Marketing team, was critical to ensuring that our new Web site is optimized to drive maximum traffic. Our keyword rankings have improved and traffic has increased thanks to her assistance and advice. In addition, they executed a strategic link building program that helped further increase Web traffic.”

– Lauren LaFronz, Director of Marketing, enChoice, Inc.

"Brick Marketing is "solid" when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice"

“I had been impressed for a long time with the content that Brick Marketing was sharing in their informative blog posts and articles. I chatted with Nick Stamoulis a couple times and decided that he was the expert I wanted to work with. I have worked with Brick Marketing for about six months and they have helped us resolve several SEO related issues pertaining to our website. Our account rep is always just an email away with answers to any questions I have and suggestions for how we can improve what we’re doing. Brick Marketing is “solid” when it comes to support for SEO marketing advice. I definitely recommend them if you want to feel more secure about how your website is performing in searches and have the confidence that everything being done to improve your rank is white hat and legit.”

– Paul Rarick, Debbiegrattan.com

"dependable, professional SEO company"

“Brick Marketing has been a dependable, professional SEO company that has helped us get results. In the last 6 months of using their services, visits to our website have increased by almost 30%. Our dedicated SEO Specialist was pleasant to deal with. Her suggestions for articles and press releases were industry specific. Brick Marketing always answered our phone calls and emails within an hour which made us feel valued as a client. I would recommend Brick Marketing to all businesses to handle their SEO needs.”

– JoAnne Loftus, Archival Designs, Inc.

"Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation."

“Brick Marketing is extremely valuable for feedback and advice in many aspects of marketing, not just SEO and I look forward to continuing to work with them over the long term to continually improve our business and increase sales. That’s what it’s all about. Just like their name implies, Brick Marketing is rock solid and essential in building a strong marketing foundation.”

– Jeff Nicholson, President Freely Creative, Inc. / Websticker.com

"superior knowledge of marketing on the internet"

“I have had the good fortune to work with SEO expert Nick Stamoulis and his team at Brick Marketing and it was clear form the get go that Nick had superior knowledge of marketing on the internet. The SEO campaign and technical writing that Brick Marketing provides has been impressive, where in the past we struggled to find the high levels of competence in these two skill sets. Were only just beginning with Brick Marketing and look forward to growing with their expert guidance. Thank you Nick Stamoulis and the Brick Marketing team!”

– Craig Raubenheimer, President, Roan Solutions, Inc.

"Brick Marketing is levels above all others...an integral part of my team"

“I have formed an invaluable marketing partnership with Brick Marketing. Nick Stamoulis and the rest of the Brick Marketing team are professional, timely, thorough and take time to, not only succeed at the tasks, but also educate myself and my team on the strategies in the process. Since my first encounter working with Brick, I’ve changed organizations and have taken them along with me…they are that good! In my experience in working with many outside agencies who over-promise and under-communicate, I can truly state that Brick Marketing is levels above all others and vested in our relationship. They are not just an SEO consultant, but an integral part of my team. I highly recommend Brick Marketing for any company looking to significantly increase search engine competitiveness and internet presence.​”

– Jodi Murphy, Marketing Director EUXmedia

"traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year"

“When we started working with Brick Marketing, we had just been subjected to a Google algorithm update and our websites both took substantial hits to traffic. Within a few months, Brick has taken both of our websites to pre-algorithm traffic and conversion levels, and for the CallFinder site, the traffic has increased over 80% year-over-year. Their expertise in SEO, responsive design, and content marketing helped us turn the situation around, and we could not be happier with the results we’ve seen in just our first four months of working with them. The team we work with at Brick Marketing is always available for off-the-cuff consultations and are at the ready to provide recommendations and suggestions to improve our site’s appearance and performance. They are truly a hands-on partner, which is immensely valuable to our business.​”

– Jeanne Landau, Director of Marketing www.800response.com | www.mycallfinder.com

"went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues"

“We hired Brick Marketing to manage our SEO, but they ended up also managing our company blog, social media marketing, helped us launch a pay per click advertising campaign, migrated our website to a new domain and so much more! Our SEO Specialist is always quick to respond whenever we had a question and went above and beyond to help us with any SEO issues.”

– Mory Creighton, CEO, Pinpoint Laser Systems

"Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business"

“Brick Marketing has been a tremendous resource for our business. Through their expertise with the ever changing world of SEO, our web presence is as strong as ever. Our working relationship with Nick Stamoulis and Danielle Bachini has been outstanding. In collaboration with web designer Chris Roberts, we were also able to develop the perfect responsive website that truly reflects our business. Thank you Brick Marketing!​”

– Ellen Parlee, Parlee Farms

Contact Us about brick marketing Industries We Serve Case Studies

Need Assistance? Please Contact Us Below: