Google’s Newest Update: Beware of Link Schemes and Unnatural Links

google new link scheme guidelines

Since its update on October 2012, recently last July 18, 2013 Google updated its Link Schemes Guidelines to answer the devaluing issue of guest post, article marketing and press-release.

Links are used to manipulate page ranks and definitely organic rankings. Google can’t simply let the culprits pass and again it updated link schemes document on its webmaster guidelines. A behavior aiming to deceive the users is prohibited by Google. Link schemes as one of the most popularly used tactic will soon be eradicated.

Google doesn’t want links to be used to manipulate ranks. Buying or selling links is indeed an under the table scheme. Whether you pay for the link, sent gift or an exchange for something, that link is still considered inorganic by Google.

The “link to me, I’ll link to you” partnership is never exempted for Google’s guidelines. Cross-linking is not a getaway; it will make you fall even more. Also, using keyword-rich anchor text links for large scale article marketing and guest posting is a violation to Google’s guidelines. Lastly, you know but still maybe guilty of automatic link creation. Beware of this because Google is now more intelligent than before.

On the other hand, there are unnatural links that were not intentionally built by the site owner but still counted it as a liability on the website’s accounts. Sad to say, you may have little or no control over it but if you are monitoring your website’s link scale, you can probably remove it through Google Disavow Tool.

What are added on New Link Schemes Guidelines ?

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

On Unnatural Links it added Links with Optimized Anchor Text in articles and press-releases distributed on other sites and Advertorials or Native Advertising with Payment for Articles having links that pass Page Rank.

The previous content for unnatural links…

previous example on unnatural links

 And recently(the updated content)…

recent example on unnatural links

What did Google does to this link schemes?

Large Scale Article Marketing and Guest Posting

In this video, Matt Cutts explained that if you would just do Guest Blogging for links better not do it at all, unless your links are deemed necessary on it. So, he even advised that it is better to nofollow your links so that when worse comes to worst your website will not be affected. Google will take action or penalized websites having low quality guest posts or an irrelevant one or having dofollow anchor text links.


Not much of a surprise because Google has rolled out a sample on the case of Interflora. You can do advertorials in a minimum level or better yet no follow your links. Better safe than sorry.

Anchor Text in Press Releases

Press releases are announcements from your company however putting many anchor texts will alarm Google that you are into building unnatural links. If you think that it is necessary, simply no follow your links.

Other Link Schemes

• Low-quality directory or bookmark site links
• Links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites
• Site-wide links
• Forum comments with optimized links

Doing this type of link building will surely make your website fall off the ranks, or worse Google will penalize your website. Google definitely removes link schemes and unnatural links. To spare yourself from penalties, Google suggests to add rel=nofollow tag.

As an update for this scope, recently John Mueller of Google give his clarification about links on press releases. And here is the video:

Although he sees that Press Release do have value but just like paid links all its links (even those not optimized anchor text)  must have nofollow tag.

If your aim is to give information to users more than aiming for links, Google would be happy about that. However, it seems that everything you do about link building is against Google’s guidelines, what else do you think can you do about Google’s rules? Please Share it below. 

Need some help on your campaign? Don’t to drop a message here.

Al Gomez

SEO Consultant, Online Marketer & Blogger, Web Developer & DLINKERS Founder.

“Chose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”