Category Archives: searchenginewatch

Google asks bloggers to nofollow links for free gifts: expert view

As we reported on Friday, Google has issued guidelines for bloggers who receive free products from companies. 

Google’s advice is for bloggers to nofollow any links that they add to products they’ve received as ‘these links didn’t come about organically’.

It may sound simple enough, but it raises a number of issues. These include:

  • Is there a problem with bloggers providing links in return for free products?
  • If so, is this the fault of the bloggers or the brands/agencies applying pressure?
  • How can Google tell the difference between a link added in return for a freebie and a natural link?
  • Should bloggers be worried? Will Google make an example of one or two sites as it did with guest blogging?

I’ve been talking to some search experts about the issue.

Why does Google feel the need to ask bloggers to nofollow links? Is there a problem with links for freebies? 

Henry Ellis:

Influencer engagement isn’t necessarily about receiving links but more about reaching the audience of a particular blogger or online ‘personality’. The halo effect is that these engagements produce links, but that is often secondary.

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Rob Kerry on the future of search: 2016 and beyond

At the inaugural Ayima Insights digital marketing conference, Ayima co-founder Rob Kerry gave us his insights into how the field of search is currently developing, and what the future may hold in 2016 and beyond.

Things were simpler back in the early days of online search. Or so I’m told – I wasn’t actually there, but Rob Kerry painted a vivid picture during his presentation at Ayima Insights Conference last Thursday.

Google’s slogan of “Don’t be evil” actually seemed like something that the company still believed in; ads and sponsored links were much more clearly delineated; and all you needed to do to make your site rank well in search results was to insert a keyword in the right places.

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Google issues guidelines on bloggers and links for freebies

The practice of brands engaging with popular bloggers seems to have caught Google’s attention, with the search engine offering some advice on what bloggers should do in this situation.

Or, as it’s very easy to interpret, Google is suggesting it may take action if it deems that links have been added to posts in return for free goods.

In its post, Google advises bloggers to nofollow links to company’s sites, social pages and any sites selling the product in question.

The advice:

Bloggers should use the nofollow tag on all such links because these links didn’t come about organically (i.e., the links wouldn’t exist if the company hadn’t offered to provide a free good or service in exchange for a link).

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Seven of the most interesting SEM news stories of the week

Welcome to our weekly round-up of all the latest news and research from around the world of search marketing and beyond.

This week we have a ton of updates from Google, who just can’t take a week off apparently, and a few interesting studies on content marketing and mobile search.

Google has removed PageRank from public view

If you’ve been using a PageRank tool in your browser than I’m afraid I have some bad news. It’s probably already gone.

As confirmed by Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, Google is removing PageRank from its Toolbar.

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Five tips to achieve content marketing success

Content marketing has seen an impressive growth during the past few years and this has made an increasing number of brands examine the best tactics to invest in content and boost sales.

We attended Ayima’s Insights Conference in London this week, and here’s what we learned from Danny Chadburn, Head of Content at Ayima and SEW contributor, on how to create a successful content marketing strategy.

1) Ambiguity is your mortal enemy


It is important to create content that is clear and specific. As Danny Chadburn said, “aim for one single goal and do it well.”

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