Google's Matt Cutts has released a new Webmaster Help video. In this one, he is answering a question submitted by himself:
What is Google's current thinking about getting links from article marketing, widgets, footers, themes, etc.?
The current thinking, he says, is pretty much the same as the past thinking, but he wants to be a little more "explicit" about it. There's not a lot of surprising info here, or anything most in the industry don't know, but it does serve as a reminder that trying to get links in easy (or lazy) ways is usually not the best decision.
"Whenever you get a link from just a WordPress footer or a random footer or, you know, when someone installs a widget, or they install some theme on their content management system, it's often the case that they're not editorially choosing to a link with that anchor text," says Cutts. "And so you sometimes see a lot of links all with the exact some anchor text because, you know, that's what the widget happened to have embedded in it, or something like that. And even if it's not the exact same anchor text, it's relatively inorganic in the sense that the person who made the widget decided what the anchor text should be rather than the person who is actually doing the link by including the widget."
"It's the same sort of thing with article marketing," he continues. "If you write a relatively low quality article, you know, just a few hundred words, then at the bottom is two or three links of, you know, specifically high keyword density anchor text, then the sort of guy who just wants some content and doesn't really care about the quality might grab that article from an article bank or something, and he's not really editorially choosing to give that anchor text. So, as opposed to something that's really compelling, when he really likes something, and linking to it organically...that's the sort of links that we really want to count more."
"It's always been the case that these sorts of links that are almost like boiler plate - it's like not really a person's real choice to really endorse that particular link or that particular anchor text," Cutts says. "Those are links that typically we would not want to count as much, so either our algorithms or we do have manual ways of saying, 'OK, at a very granular level, you know, this is the sort of link that we don't want to trust.'"
Google did just release a new Link Disavow tool that will let webmasters tell Google links they want it to ignore. Cutts says, however, that you really shouldn't use the tool in most cases, painting it kind of more as a last resort measure.