How Optimized Links from Guest Posts and Press Releases can Hurt

Guest-BloggingGuest blogging and online press releases have long been two of the best weapons in the arsenal of any SEO professional, but things have changed a lot recently and you need to think twice before using them for link building purpose. Recently, Google updated the "Link Schemes documents" under its "Webmaster Guidelines". The search engine giant clearly stated the type of links that violate their guidelines.

  • Press releases published on third party sites with keyword optimized anchor text links.
  • Article marketing or guest posting with keyword rich anchor text links.

So, if you are trying to manipulate a website’s ranking on search engine result pages with the help of unnatural links placed in your guest post or press releases, you will be punished by Google.

What is the meaning of "unnatural links? Let’s show you an example to explain the matter. Suppose, you are writing a press release, and it has lines this these:

There are several web design companies in USA. If you want a website design, then you must hire the best website design company. In order to understand which company is really good, you should view the previous works done by the website designers and choose a company that created the most beautiful SEO optimized website designs.

# Use Press Releases to Target Real Readers

Does this mean you should not use keywords at all in press releases? Not really. The above example is a pure case of keyword stuffing and should not be done whether it’s an article or a press release. Google says that anchor text-rich press releases violate the rule if "placed on third party sites". However, if you are publishing a press release on your site and want to distribute it via a wire, don’t forget to "nofollow" the "optimized anchor text" links.

You can use links, but not for SEO purpose. Try to use links for readers’ awareness and make sure that the links bring readers back to your site. The content needs to be compelling, not keyword dense. Links should work as a means to get more information about the things you have discussed in the press release.

For example, if you are writing an article about a new smartphone launch, make sure that by clicking on the bold words, readers are redirected to the web page of that product for further information. Don’t forget that the content must be influential enough to encourage readers to click on the natural link.

For instance, you can say in the press release that the phone has high resolution display, but since you didn’t disclose the exact PPI of the screen, people will click on the new smartphone launch to know the PPI from the product page.

# Trouble with Guest Posting

Google also warned against guest posting campaigns which are done on a large scale with keyword-heavy anchor text, but that does not mean you should stop writing guest posts on third party sites. First of all, "large scale" means if you are posting too many articles to generate inbound links, it’s not something Google is going to support. Try to think about guest posting as a way to establish your superiority as a writer. A handful of high-quality articles on top blogs will help you build brand, reach out to a valuable audience and get valuable links.

Secondly, you should not use keyword optimized anchor texts. Give links, but not associated with a keyword. For example, if you are writing "read more about mobile website design by visiting our blog," don’t link "mobile website design, "instead link "read more" or "our blog." Google won’t consider these words as optimized keywords and you will still get an opportunity to direct readers to your website.

Wrapping up

We must change our attitude and concepts regarding optimization. Think of SEO as "search experience optimization." It’s not just about getting a higher rank on SERPs that matters, it’s about offering a great user experience to the visitors of your site or third party sites so that they willingly click through your content. Google hates link and content spamming and likes any content that shares useful information with web users. Follow the latest guidelines laid down by Google and you will be able to increase your website’s rank on SERPs.

Rajveer Singh Rathore works for, and he loves to follow every move the Google takes. He firmly believes the future of SEO lies in quality content that targets actual users and not just search engines. For questions or information regarding SEO services in India, please get in touch with him on [email protected].

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