It means that from now on officially any Article Marketing & Guest Blogging with “Optimised Anchor Text’ is considered as Link Scheme which may lead to penalties by Google. I am of the opinion that this is only a afterthought by Google. Google was already considering Article Marketing as spam and Matt Cutts has said on various videos as well as in seminars that Article Marketing does not add any value. This can also be seen with the downgrading of various Article Directories in the SERPs.
Guest Blogging is also not a surprise, Matt Cutts i.e. Google Spam Team Head, has on various occasions said that Spammy Guest Blogging is not welcome and Guest Blogging for links is going to get your website penalised.
Now, I do not believe everything that Mr. Matt Cutts says or what Google is saying but once that say that they are going to go after certain tactics, they do it pretty hard, even to the extent of loosing some good White Hat sites like the WPMU fiasco of Penguin update or the Hue and Cry when Panda was unleashed. So, if you have not heard the warning bells before, now its in black and white so stop linking to your Money Websites from Article Directories or Guest Blogging.
Many people will stop using Article Marketing & Guest Blogging now thinking that this is the end of SEO. That is even good for people like us who know how to use Article Directories & Guest Blogging now for good SEO effect without getting that dreaded penalty. This is the effects of the changes which we are likely to witness in both these fields
People will stop using them altogether from the fear of Google Penalties and moderators at the Article Directories will become hawkish leading to increase in quality articles at the directories. This will also reduce the number of submissions and reduce competition for people like us.
The Blog Owners are going to face a hard landing, they will not get the same premium on posts as they were demanding before this change. Also, Google may reduce the overall weight-age of Guest Blogging links. People will stop doing Guest Blogging altogether if they are doing for link building.
That is the burning question. Well its all common sense. Google algorithm classifies sites based on various criteria which is the core of Google Algorithm and has not changed since Google started. What has changed is the finesse with which Google now implements the criteria. All google updates be it Farmer, Panda, Penguin etc. are based on the same criteria to bring the user the best relevant search results. So if you follow the criteria and do not spam then you are good to go. Even WPMU was penalised due to existing footer links in their themes which is against Google TOS.
Lets come to the moot point. How to use these techniques for SEO Now?
I am providing below my strategy to use Article Marketing & Guest Blogging. This is the most common sense use without leading to future penalties and increasing your website authority. This strategy will help in increasing your Authority, Website Authority, Branding etc. Google is nowadays very conscious of brands, mentions and authority.
Optimised Anchor Text is using one or more keywords mainly in links coming to your website for e.g. if you are trying to rank for “blue widgets” and your landing page is optimised for “Blue Widgets” and you are also getting most of the links from “Blue Widgets” or related terms like “Blue Widgets Online”, “Blue Widgets for Sale” etc. then your website would be considered as having “Optimised Anchor Text” for your keyword “Blue Widgets”. This will in most cases attract Google Penguin Penalty.