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Google Allows Some Linking Schemes

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Barry caught that Google amended its webmaster guidelines (the holy bible of not getting banned from the search engine), changing the wording on reciprocal linking schemes in a small but very significant way. Before, it said:

Examples of link schemes can include:

Link exchange and reciprocal links schemes (”Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)

Now it says (emphasis mine):

Examples of link schemes can include:

Excessive reciprocal links or excessive link exchanging (”Link to me and I’ll link to you.”)

The change, especially because of the specificity of it, represents a change in policy by Google. While Google would like to ban all linking schemes, it has certainly lost the battle in that regard to all the hungry SEOs (and evil spammers), so it’s allowing the more innocent. Many SEOs say that there are certain supposedly “black hat” techniques that only an idiot wouldn’t use, since staying competitive is impossible without them, and Google is being a little more reasonable for the good guys.
(via EndGamePR)

Michael Gray took on Matt Cutts at SES last week, making a great case that Google’s fight against paid links is more greedy in nature. See, natural SEO benefits non-commercial sites, like blogs and other informational content, while commercial sites tend not to get links. By using paid links, commercial sites regain their positions in the search engines, and thus they no longer have to use Google AdWords.

It’s a compelling argument.

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Google Allows Some Linking Schemes
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