Weekly SEO news: 30 July 2013
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

Google has updated the link schemes web page that shows examples of backlinks that Google considers spam.

New to the list are article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword rich anchor text links, advertorials that contain paid links, and links with optimized anchor text in press releases and articles. This week's article has the complete list of backlinks that Google does not like.

In the news: don't use .cc domains if your website does not target that country, Google changes how AdWords Quality Score is reported, Google patents anchor text snippets, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Official: 11 types of backlinks that Google does not like

Google has updated the link schemes web page that shows examples of backlinks that Google considers spam. New to the list are article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword rich anchor text links, advertorials that contain paid links, and links with optimized anchor text in press releases and articles.

Wrath of Google

There are more backlink types that might get your website in trouble. Here's the list:

1. Google does not like paid links

Buying or selling links that pass PageRank can negatively impact your website's ranking in search results. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a 'free' product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link.

Do not buy or sell backlinks if you don't want to risk your rankings.

2. Google does not like excessive link exchanges

Exchanging links with other websites is fine. Actually, it is normal for most websites. For example, websites about dolphin research can cross-link to all other websites about dolphin research without getting in trouble.

If the cross-linking looks unnatural (the dolphin research websites links to a shoe shop and vice versa), Google might think that you're trying to build unnatural links.

Use common sense when exchanging links with other sites. As long as the link exchange makes sense for a human website visitor, everything is okay.

3. Google does not like large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns

It's okay to publish your articles and guest posts on other websites as long as you don't do it in bulk. If you do guest posts just to get keyword rich backlinks, your website might get penalized.

Only publish articles and guest posts on other websites if you really want to contribute a valuable article.

4. Google does not like automated programs or services that create backlinks to your site

You've probably seen the ads for tools and services that promise hundreds (if not thousands) of backlinks with very little work. These tools that help you to 'dominate' the search results are a sure way to get your website banned from Google.

Avoid tools and services that automatically build backlinks to your website. If you were able to find these services, Google's spam team can find them, too.

5. Google does not like text ads that pass PageRank

If you run a text ad on another website, make sure that is uses the rel=nofollow attribute in the link. Otherwise, Google might think that it is a manipulative backlink.

6. Google does not like advertorials and ads that include links that pass PageRank

As are rule of thumb, always use links with the rel=nofollow attribute if you pay for an article or an ad. If the ad includes a paid link that passes PageRank, it might trigger a penalty.

7. Google does not like links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases

If your article contains paragraphs that look like the following, you might invite Google's spam algorithm to take a closer look at your website:

"There are many wedding rings on the market. If you want to have a wedding, you will have to pick the best ring. You will also need to buy flowers and a wedding dress."

8. Google does not like links from low quality directories or bookmark sites

If you're submitting your website to hundreds of Internet directories that will never send you a single visitor, you don't need to bother. These links won't help your Google rankings.

If a directory sends your website visitors, it's worth getting the link. You can ignore other directories.

9. Google does not like widely distributed links in the footers of various websites

Some websites put keyword rich links to other websites in their footers. These links are always paid links and you should not use them to promote your website.

This does not apply to 'About us' or 'Privacy policy' footer links but to backlinks such as 'buy flowers' or 'buy wedding rings.'

10. Google does not like links that are embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites

Some widget developers offer free widgets that contain links to other websites: "Visitors to this page: 1,234 - buy wedding rings"

If a widget developers offers you to advertise your site through these widgets, make sure that the links use the nofollow attribute or do not use the links at all.

11. Google does not like forum comments with optimized links in the post or signature

Some tools automatically post comments in forums:

"That's really great information! Thanks a lot!
Peter
buy wedding rings buy flowers best wedding"

Do not use this method to promote your website. Google does not like it. Avoid tools that automatically post your links to forums.

It's really simple: Google does not like bulk links and they also don't like artificial links. To get good backlinks that lead to lasting results, use the link building tools in SEOprofiler.

The link building tools in SEOprofiler help you to find related websites from which a backlink actually makes sense to real visitors. In addition to the link building tools, SEOprofiler offers many more website optimization tools that help you to get better search engines rankings for your web pages.

If you haven't done it yet, create your SEOprofiler account now:

Free trial Test full version for $1


Create a free trial account now or test the full version for only $1.

2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Matt CuttsMatt Cutts: only use .cc domains if the content is relevant to that country
In a video on YouTube, Google's Matt Cutts said that you shouldn't use .cc domains for international websites:

"If you go and pick a really weird novelty domain that nobody else really uses, and mostly is used by this other country, we’re still probably going to assume it’s most relevant to that particular country."

Editor's note: Top level domains that are treated as generic top level domains by Google can be found here.


Google changes how AdWords Quality Score is reported

"Under the hood, this reporting update will tie your 1-10 numeric Quality Score more closely to its three key sub factors -- expected clickthrough rate, ad relevance, and landing page experience. We expect this update to reach all advertisers globally within the next several days."



GoogleGoogle patents anchor text snippets

"Does that last one mean that its more likely that a Web Quote with a link pointed to a page is more likely to be a snippet for that page if it’s on the front page of the New York Times, than if it were on the the front page of my local paper’s website (The Fauquier Times)? Maybe. The patent does tell us that how relevant a Web Quote is to the search terms used be a stronger consideration than a quality value like PageRank."


Google searches mined to uncover our true opinions

"Every time you ask Google to help solve your personal problems, you are taking part in one of the largest social science experiments ever conducted. [...] People are more likely to be honest in searches than in polls."


Search engine newslets

  • Google+ Local iOS App to be retired August 7.
  • Yandex reports revenues of RUR 9.2 billion ($281.2 million), up 35% compared with Q2 2012.
  • Changes in Yandex.Direct design positively reflected in company revenues.
  • Yandex co-founder dies at 48 in London.
  • Discussion: was there a Google update over the weekend?
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3. Recommended resources

How to get an in-depth review of your website

Doing a regular audit of your web pages is important if you want to make sure that search engines can index all of your pages. The more pages your website has, the more likely it is that there are many errors that have to be corrected.

The website audit tool in SEOprofiler automatically checks your web pages once per week. Then you get a report that shows all the issues that should be corrected. By correcting these issues, you make sure that search engines can index all of your pages correctly. Here’s a screenshot of the overview page:

seoprofiler

You can get the website audit tool and all other tools in SEOprofiler for our special offer price:

Free trial Test full version for $1


Create a free trial account now or test the full version for only $1.

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