How Article Marketing, Widgets, Footer and Theme Links Become Unnatural for Google?

unnatural links

Last week I have discussed about the newest Google’s disavow tool which now serves as one solution to clear your site from unnatural and/or spammy links, and I also included therein its benefits to SEO. And such initiative from the search engine team simply implies that Google is taking 100% manual action against those sites that have continually violated the webmaster guidelines.

But one crucial point not clarified yet when the tool was launched was whether or not the search engine considers the links from article marketing, widgets, footers, and themes as unnatural? Thus, this is likewise where the critical question rooted from: Does article marketing still work for optimization purposes? Apparently, what we only knew then was there are a lot of article directories in which you can submit articles for free in exchange of added links or anchor text.

matt cutts question

Fortunately, the matter was clarified by Matt Cutts, head of webspam team of Google, on October 17, 2012 in a webmasterhelp video. Matt had clearly answered this question: What is Google’s thinking about links from article marketing, widgets, footers, themes, etc?


Matt Cutts on Footer, Widget and Theme Links

Google views the links from footer, widget and theme links as inorganic (1) if they were installed randomly, or (2) if you have put an anchor text on your footer. In such a case, you’ll notice sometimes that there are a lot of the same anchor texts because the widget has been embedded on a website, and therefore, they will more likely to appear on all the pages of your website.

Matt also explained that even if it is not an exact anchor text, it is still considered as inorganic because the person who created the widget decided first about the anchor text to be used in lieu of another person who can do the job automatically or voluntarily including, of course, the links in the widget.

It is, therefore, always necessary to bear in mind the webmaster guidelines, especially the provision that concerns about the distributed links in the footers of various sites for which Google considers as a violation and one form of link scheming (like the links embedded on widgets).

What Google Says About Article Marketing?

According to Matt, just like in the case of footer links which have been randomly inputted by an individual, and in which he chooses what anchor text is to be posted, the article marketing is likewise inorganic.

Why? Because if you write a low-quality article with only few hundred words and added therein 2 or 3 links using high keyword density anchor text, then that sort of content will typically not work and, in the end, will only appear as unnatural one, or , as Matt said, will only be grabbed or utilized by an individual who is not “quality” conscious.

However, the right query to ask is: What if the article is really good and compelling (that means that you will be motivated to link to that article or share it on your social media site), but someone is choosing what anchor text must be included, how will Google treat that?

Note: Too much links from low-quality article directories would truly end up to the dropping down of your site’s ranking, and increase in the possibility of its future penalty.

What Google is Looking for?

something good

Yes! It must be something good.

Google wants something which is likable and will make anyone to voluntarily link on it, or a reader to spend time reading or scanning it. That’s one sign of a good site for the search engine. Thus, with such view, it is undeniably true that they want us to focus on producing quality contents rather than feeding short articles just for the sake of getting links.

What does it imply? We need to acquire natural links through “hard work”, and not just by mere prayer or comfort!

It must be something that follows the webmaster guidelines.

No matter how excellent your article is, it will still gain no safe worth or credit from Google if it violates the guidelines. Hence, quality and obedience must always exist concurrently. That’s how plain and simple the rule can be.

Everything about article marketing and widgets seems to be clarified now, but just one last thing which you should always make as a personal guide: “Don’t think about quality only when you produce something for your links; make it a habit and you’ll certainly violate no rule and achieve the best for your success!”

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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.”