In the past few weeks, Google has come out with fists flying, especially when it comes to nofollow links. At the end of last month, Google’s John Mueller mentioned that links from press releases should be nofollowed. Two days ago, Matt Cutts appeared in a video recommending nofollow links on widgets. What does Google have planned next?
While it might make website owners annoyed, this move is inline with what Google has been doing with targeting unnatural links. Remember our golden rule for link building? “Would I still use/add this link if it were nofollow?” This rule still applies if you’re still going to use press releases and widgets going forward.
The goal of creating a submitting a press release is to spread the word out to different media outlets about something newsworthy about your business. Essentially, the bottom line shouldn’t be about purchasing links. These outlets can then decide if they want to link to or write about your news on their site. Press releases are all about distribution and reach and links should come after.
The next important factor is the why factor. If you’re on a regular press release schedule, you have to ask yourself why? A business might not have anything press release worthy to publish every month. And if nofollow links are becoming a regular thing, you might reconsider paying a hefty price for those nofollow links. Instead, put your business and potential customers first. Release things that they actually care about reading and writing about.
Infographics and widgets have been the “go to” for creative link building recently. So it’s sort of a bummer to hear the Google wants these links nofollowed. Again, although it makes sense to see why they want to do it, it also makes sense to follow their best practices. Infographics are meant to be shared and linked to. But with many infographic sites and automated sharing services, your infographic or widget might get scraped or shared on an undesirable site. What happens when this happens on dozens or even hundreds of sites? At this point, you’ll probably wish you included a nofollow link in the embed in the first place.
Will You NoFollow?
These are merely suggestions from Google but they’re not to be taken lightly. Some of the more cynical webmasters have suggested that Google won’t be happy until you nofollow ALL your links! Google’s goal in all this isn’t to be evil (hopefully), but to help searchers by providing relevant quality content. And they want webmasters to create that content and link juice via natural and non-manipulative efforts. For now, nofollow links seem to be the answer.