by Luke Johnson on July 30, 2012

With recent changes in Google’s algorithm and the new way it send out notifications I feel we need to revisit the topic of links.

Links are good right?

Yes they are a good thing but have an evil side to them. Google looks at links as signs. The anchor text (keyword) helps all search engines tell what in the world your site is about. Search engines also use keywords located on your pages to tell what your site is about. Links are so important because of the weight they carry when it comes to rankings.

An unnatural-link penalty is Google’s way of punishing websites for getting bad/spammy links. These penalty notifications have changed. Matt Cuts put on Google plus a little blurb about the changes. Basically he said they are trying to be more transparent in the notifications which gives more actionable steps for webmasters to take. Aww I’m going to miss the vague emails with no instructions on what I did wrong or how to fix it…oh wait… that has not changed.

Why Change?

I can only wonder if this algorithm change, which was not supposed to be about quality of search, affected search. Maybe the mother ship was thinking the webmasters would make changes to their website to fix rankings quicker then they did. Maybe when they didn’t the search quality dropped. Now users are switching to Bing and Yahoo. This is just my opinion but we have noticed an increase in traffic from Bing since the changes.

Enough speculation about what and why Google does things. Let’s get back to what really matters; improving rankings. We have noticed some things you may have been doing that you should change. Site wide links are a big no no! You might be thinking “but what if they add to the user experience?” Great if they add to the user experience but they better not have keywords stuffed in them.

Make sure what the user is most interested in is on the page. Yes if you run a business that operates in multiple states you would want to have pages/lists of those states. You don’t want to have a big footer with links to those pages with “Keyword Houston Texas” and “Keyword New York NY” though.

Let’s face the facts the link frontier is changing. Search engines are at the point you can’t fool them with internal links.

Google has presented all SEOs with a “new” challenge; provide great content and an awesome user experience.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. If you have anything you want to add/ask please comment.

About Luke Johnson

Luke has been writing about SEO since early 2010. He lives in Tyler, Texas. Luke is studying marketing at University of Texas at Tyler. His education also includes two years at Tyler Junior College. Connect with Luke on Google+.

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