It’s time for part two of our list of link types that Google is officially sick of. You can read the first part here. Many of you may already know about these links, but many more are still using them as a part of an everyday strategy and expecting them to be sustainable. Don’t let this happen to you! Avoid these links, and make sure your SEO link building is on the up and up.
Here’s the second half of the list:
- Over Optimized Anchor Text
- Low Quality Directories
- Footer Links
- Widget Links
- Forum Comments/Signatures
Now, let’s take a look at what these mean.
1. Over Optimized Anchor Text
Anchor text used to be the best way to rank. You simply needed to find a good keyword and run with it. For example, a car dealership might select “used cars Boston” and use it on literally every link they create. Before you know it, voila! They rank for “used car Boston” searches.
Those days are gone though. You need to diversify your anchor text as much as possible to create an organic link profile. Try keyword variations, branded variations, and even use no keywords at all occasionally. It seems counterintuitive, but it’s the reality of modern SEO.
2. Low Quality Directories
Unless you’re submitting to a directory that is very, very picky about what they publish, don’t use directories. Anything that allows anyone to publish content is going to end up as a haven for spammers, and you’ll be hammered right along with them when the penalties come.
3. Footer Links
These worked until recently, but the latest rounds of Penguin and Panda updates have removed any usefulness they once had. The only thing you should be using footer links for now is practical navigation.
4. Widget Links
Many companies have been releasing widgets for platforms like WordPress. These widgets perform some basic task, but also have a link back to the creating company embedded in the code. Google has caught on to this, and they don’t like it. In their eyes, it’s another sneaky way to get links, which is exactly what they don’t want to happen.
5. Forum Comments/Signatures.
These have been out of vogue for awhile, but people still use them. They may work for a small amount of time, but they will eventually result in a penalty. Not to mention that forum users have caught on and HATE this kind of thing spamming up your forum. You’ll get a penalty from Google, banned from the forum, and everyone who sees the link associate your brand with spam.
So these are the top 10 links that Google has grown to hate. Do you know any others?