According to Google’s own webmaster guidelines on link schemes, there’s very little one can do when it comes to building links to your site. Since Google’s penguin updates, most SEOs have been turning to guest posts as the “next big thing” for launching a “white hat” SEO campaign.
However, there’s already been a lot of talk on the major SEO forums and speakers about how Google will inevitably reduce the value of guest posts in SEO son. In this article I want to explain exactly how they will do that. I also think that we will see these changes happen this year in 2013, and not be delayed 1-3 years like many people believe
How Google is going to Devalue Guest Posts in 2013?
- Devalue links from articles with “guest post” in the title, category or content of the page: This would be extremely easy for Google to do. Regardless of if you’re a high authority guest poster, link from these articles will probably be devalued as they are not editorially given. It’s far too easy for Google to read the term “this is a guest post” and subsequently reduce the value.
- Devalue Links from Guest Post Sites: Even if a site is high quality, I think links will be devalued if the majority of articles are guest posts (which can be verified above) since these will no longer count as editorial links.
- Google is going to Analyze the Author of Articles and Pages more in 2012: Forget Google Authorship, Google can already assign all of the articles on a site to the WP Author (or other CMS). If an author has written the majority of content on a website than clearly he is the editor and his links can be given more weight as editorial links. On the other hand, if someone is allowed to guest post under a new Author tag, and only has one article to their name on the site, then he/she will probably be devalued along with any links in the article.
- Devalue Author Bio Links: A number of authority sites provide an author bio, where authors can describe themselves and link to their own websites (e.g. SearchEngineJournal.com, SEOMoz.org). It wouldn’t be hard for Google to a) devalue links in an author bio since they are not considered editorial links and b) analyze the author’s name and link him to the company he works for, devaluing the majority of his guest posts. For example, if Mike Tyson was writing a number of guest posts linking to MuscleBuilding.com on various sites, Google could easily devalue those
- Make Low Quality Guest Posts Against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines: Come on guys, this is inevitable. Google recently added “forum comments with optimized links in the signature” to their forbidden link schemes. The same is going to happen with guest posts very soon.
- Google Plus Authorship and Markup. While I don’t think Google Plus Authorship will ever be universally integrated across websites and blogs (probably 10-20% at most), it does point us in the same direction of assessing the agent who added the link to the article.
Finally, it is worth stating that I DON’T think Google is going to devalue links just because that are at the end of an article, as many news sites naturally include sources or references at the bottom of a page.