Weekly SEO news: 23 June 2015
Welcome to the latest issue of the Search Engine Facts newsletter.

The more of your competitors believe that link building is dead, the better for your own company. The truth is that links are still the most important factor for Google's ranking algorithm. However, the type of link that points to your website makes a huge difference.

In the news: Bing is going to remove keyword referrer data, there was another Google algorithm update, Google drops the penalty of a Google-backed website, and more.

Table of contents:

We hope that you enjoy this newsletter and that it helps you to get more out of your website. Please pass this newsletter on to your friends.

Best regards,
Andre Voget, Johannes Selbach, Axandra CEO

1. Link scheming vs. link building: how to decide where to get links

The more of your competitors believe that link building is dead, the better for your own company. The truth is that links are still the most important factor for Google's ranking algorithm. However, the type of link that points to your website makes a huge difference.

link building vs link scheming

Don't be fooled by Google's smoke and mirror game

When it comes to backlinks, Google is giving advice that confuses a lot of people. In addition, Google's Penguin updates have created the impression that Google doesn't like backlinks. Actually, Google only dislikes artificial backlinks.

The problem is that many people do not understand the difference between link scheming and link building. Link scheming leads to penalties. Link building can greatly improve the rankings of your website.

The difference between link building and link scheming

Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site's ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Google penalizes websites that have link scheming links.

The following link types are a red flag for Google and it's likely that your website will be penalized if you use these links:

  • Paid links that do not use the rel=nofollow attribute, including advertorials, paid blog posts and paid footer links.
  • Links from article sites or press releases with over-optimized anchor texts.
  • Backlinks that have been created by tools that create backlinks in bulk.
  • Links from low-quality directory or bookmark sites that only exist to create links.
  • Keyword-rich or hidden links embedded in widgets that are distributed across various sites.
  • Links from forum comments with optimized anchor texts in the post or signature.

How to decide where to get links

So which type of backlink is okay with Google? Just ask yourself: would that link make sense if there were no search engines? If the answer is yes, then the link is a good link that will have a positive influence on the rankings of your website on search engines.

You do not need special metrics to judge the quality of a web page. When you find a web page that could link to your site, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the linking page look good to the average web surfer?
  • Does the page have interesting content?
  • Is the content somewhat related to my website?
  • Does it make sense if the web page links to your site?

If you can answer all questions with "yes," then you should try to get a backlink from that page. It doesn't matter if that page has a low PageRank.

Google tries to imitate common sense with its algorithm. If you use common sense to build your links and follow the tips above, you make sure that the backlinks to your website will count in all future updates of Google's algorithm.

SEOprofiler offers many powerful tools such as the Link Profiler, the Link Manager or the Hub Finder tool that help you to get good backlinks that will have a positive influence on the rankings of your website. If you haven't done it yet, try SEOprofiler now:

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2. Search engine news and articles of the week
Bing going to remove keyword referrer data

"With the move to encrypted search by default we will continue to pass along a referrer string so that marketers and webmasters will be able to identify traffic as coming from Bing. However, to further protect our users’ privacy, we will not include the used query terms."

GoogleGoogle: don't nofollow good links on your web site 

"Google's John Mueller is cleaning out his inbox by answering some generic SEO questions on Google+.

The latest Google+ post answers the question, 'should I use the nofollow attribute on links on my web site to try to harvest the link equity to stay within my own web site' (PageRank sculpting).

We discussed this before and the answer from Google remains the same, do not do that."

Quotes Card in Google Search (without link to source)

"Google shows a card with a long list of quotes for searches like [Einstein quotes]. This works in the desktop interface and the mobile site and it's a quick way to find some quotations without visiting any search result. [...]

It's worth pointing out that Google doesn't link to the sources. Quotes are extracted from various web pages and attribution seemed unnecessary for Google."

BingNot Panda: Google confirms another core search algorithm update

"The Google update from yesterday was a core ranking change, something Google does throughout the year. This was not Panda-, Penguin- or HTTPS-related. [...]

This is not a Panda update. As you know, we’re always making improvements to our search algorithms and the web is constantly evolving. We’re going to continue to work on improvements across the board."

Google drops the Thumbtack link penalty less than a week after it was issued

"Google Capital backed Thumbtack's link penalty only lasted a week and now they are ranking just as well in Google. [...]

The SEO and webmaster community is asking, was it fair? Most manual actions takes months to recover and rebound from. But in this case, it took less than a week?

Plus did Thumbtack have to do as much as any other non Google Capital backed company to recover from a manual action?"

Search engine newslets

  • Google UK: more than half of all UK searches and YouTube video views now happen on mobile.
  • Google Search now shows “Slow to load” note for video results when you’ve slow internet connection.
  • The new Breadcrumbs documentation is now live on Google Developers.
3. Recommended resources

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