Google Penguin 2.0 rolled out recently and Matt Cutts‘ assertion that it’s targeting black-hat SEO seems to be viable. The first Google Penguin caused a lot of collateral damage for websites that inadvertently crossed the ethical link-building line. Thus far, Google Penguin 2.0 appears to be more discriminate, hitting websites that knowingly and willingly acted unethically to achieve links.
But, what if links were on their way out of the realm of relevance? That’s what Dave Langdale believes as outlined in his article on Youmoz titled, "SEO: The Future Is Bright, The Future Is Linkless".
In his article, Langdale explains how Google has evolved beyond the need for links; it can match relevance of a brand by reviewing the content around the brand and associate profiles such as Google Authorship.
Here is how Google used to review relevance:
Your law firm’s website is http://lawexample.com/, and you are a personal injury lawyer in Chicago.
In order for Google to know that your website is relevant to injury law in the windy city, you would need to have a bunch of third-party links pointing back to http://lawexample.com/ using anchor text of “Personal injury lawyer” or “Chicago personal injury attorney.”
With a bunch of respectable websites linking to http://lawexample.com/ with the keyword, Chicago personal injury lawyer (along with a number of other elements), Google will determine that your website is relevant to the keywords “Chicago personal injury lawyer” and theoretically rank your website higher in their index.
Times have changed.
Say your law firm’s name is the Smith & Smith Law Center. You have a Google+ Local profile for the Smith & Smith Law Center, which tells Google that the Smith & Smith Law Center’s office is in Chicago and your website is http://lawexample.com/
Founding partner John Smith has used Google Authorship to associate his firm’s website and blog with his name.
Now, John Smith can talk to a local news reporter... [CONTINUE READING]