For many SEOs, classic guest posting theory focused on getting posts, with links, placed on as mamy domains as possible. This thinking was based on two major assumptions:
- The number of domains linking to you is more important than the number of links.
- Getting incremental links from a domain that already links to you results in diminishing returns.
These same SEOs probably also focused on including rich anchor text links within the body of the post. In theory, this would be hard to detect with a purely algorithmic approach.
Changes In the Wind
However, the world is-a-changing. Google’s Penguin update, and Panda a year earlier, marked the advent of a whole new approach to spam fighting. Google’s Distinguished Engineer Matt Cutts confirmed this with me in a recent interview:
I really can’t comment on it in any specific way, but you are right that these algorithms do represent new types of capabilities for us.
My view is that Google now can identify types of spammy practices offline from the main algo, either manually or algorithmically, do some analysis on them without having to wrap it into the main algo, and then use it as a factor in the results.
With Penguin, it is likely that they manually built a list of article directories they did not like, crawled them, identified sites in those directories, and then went and saw which of those sites were getting a significant portion of their link equity from them. This was all done offline from the main algo and then the output was plugged in as a ranking factor.
The capability that is new is the integration of the output from an offline process into the main algo.
Refocus Your Anchor Text Approach
Now let’s look at how this impacts the focus on keyword rich anchor text. In a world without link builders or SEOs, the natural distribution of anchor text to a site might look something like this:
However, if you have been focused on “classic guest posting”, you might have an anchor text profile that looks more like this:
The difference in the structure