Linking Practices – Are You Scared?

Do the new linking practices make you scared? Do you avoid linking to other websites? Has Google made you unsure about using “nofollow” instead of  “do follow”? Well, you’re not alone. And you’re absolutely right if you think that SEO is getting harder. But…

What makes linking practices scaring?

I’ve just read an article on Linking Practices - Are You Scared?WebProNews stating that Google’s changing rules, warnings and policy-rewordings scared people away from linking
to legitimate content in a legitimate way”.

Truth is, the amount of changes and warnings have led to deep confusion. Everyone, webmaster or not, got confused about what the most recent linking practices were. And all the videos and warnings made people even more unsure about what rules to apply, when and how.
Perhaps Google should consider fixing everything and putting everything
in place (including their guidelines) before they go public with the next big changes or releasing the next “animals”… Right now, it looks like the confusion about SEO in general and especially about link building cannot get bigger than it has already got.

Linking practices to recommend

Truth be told, it’s difficult to recommend any linking practices at the moment. There are too many contradicting information out there. That’s why I think that sharing what comes from BigG directly makes the most sense.
So I’ve put together the most recent pieces of  the current linking practices letting Matt Cutts explain what they are looking for, what people should consider and what they should avoid doing.
In this first video, you’ll find Google’s advice to add a rel=”nofollow” to widgets or infographics:

However… Following what Google said about positive user experience and giving credit to the original source of content, people used to add infographics and widgets to their sites not only for getting links, but to provide good content, make the site more user-friendly and more outstanding. Now you decide…

“Nick Stamoulis from Brick Marketing makes a great point in the comments: “It seems like pretty much any content you create, in whatever form that may be, the new ‘best practice’ is to add a nofollow tag to it.”
(Source: WebProNews)

What else makes the new linking practices confusing?

Another issue is the natural and unnatural links. What is a natural link in Google’s eyes and what is unnatural? Even if you have not received any warning about link spam from Google yet, pay close attention.

In the first of the two videos about unnatural links, they talk about unnatural links to your site. Remember the Google Disavow Links tool…

The second video explains how to deal with links from your site that look unnatural to Google:

To close this overview about linking practices, let’s recap some of the most important things about unnatural links to consider when linking to other sites’ content:

– Paying money for links or posts that contain links
– Offering goods or services for links
– Sending a “free” product to individuals or groups of people in exchange for them writing about it
and including a link
– Link exchanges (link to me, I link to you) or partner pages especially for getting links (cross-linking)
– Guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
– Using linkwheels or automated programs to build links to your site
– Using link building services to get links to your site
– Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.


Hope this article helps to get a bit more clarity about the linking practices within SEO and also about what Google expects all of us do on our websites. If you’ve found it helpful please share it with your friends.


Related article:
What is unnatural link

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