The End of Link Building as we Know It

By Gryffin.com

Posted by Gryffin.com

The entire online marketing industry is still up in arms after Matt Cutt’s post on his blog title: The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO. Guest Blogging was one of the last horizons that people considered safe for “White Hat� link building. So what now? Is guest blogging truly dead?

Part One

What I’ve learned from being a Link Audit Junkie

Before we can talk about guest blogging, I have to share with you what I’ve learned from two years of deep-diving into link audits and detailed competitive research.

After the first Penguin hit on April 24, 2012, I focused on performing in-depth research to identify patterns in penalized sites. What I quickly noticed was that most people who were penalized had very clear footprints in their backlink profiles. These were not easy to detect if you only looked at the profile of the individual sites, but when you ran a competitive link audit and established averages for the keyword sector as a whole, this became a “meter� from which to judge a specific site’s link footprints.

Later I incorporated private tools that allow you to search for patterns within a site’s backlink profile. These patterns include links on the same IP address or C class, links with similar or duplicate text, links with the same anchor text, links with the words “articles� in the URL, even link patterns that are two levels removed (the links to the links).

For the last 12 months or so, most of the sites that I looked at that were penalized had the following in common:

  • High density of money keywords in anchor text
  • Unnatural anchor text profile
  • Many links from article marketing directories
  • Many links from …read more