Google has quietly updated the link schemes document under their Webmaster guidelines to add large-scale guest posting, advertorials and optimized anchor text in articles or press releases to the list of types of links that violate their guidelines.The comments in this article are the best insights to the latest machinations. Online press releases have been used as a "white hat" solution for more then 10 years to build links to websites and thus, improve page rank. Some will allow keywords to be made into links - but as usual, too much of a good thing raises red flags at Google: too many keywords in one article linked to the same website = spam.
The new guideline examples that were added to this document include:
- Large-scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links
- Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank
- Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.
Read the comments: Google's attempts to force hand-crafted content and links may backfire and even the best-crafted, most well-intentioned content writing may end up in the abyss as collateral damage. Clearly, the struggle isn't over and both Bing and Yahoo are emerging as major players.
Your best bet: diversify your advertising. Search engine results are still critical to a website's visibility but the most successful enterprises use everything from radio and TV to billboards (large and small), coupon offers (Groupon, etc) and real-life in-person promotions. Make sure you have a QR or similar code to get visitors to your site via the exploding mobile use market.