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Are Your PR Anchors Dead Weight?

anchor text linksWhen it comes to search engine optimized press releases, the value of anchor text links has been a little murky as of late. Anchor text links were once the staple of search engine optimization. Marketers believed that these links were reaping them incredible benefits. Then Google started to wise up to unnatural links and made some algorithm changes.

Now, Google is combing through the links to your site carefully and penalizing sites with too many unnatural links.  Furthermore, as of late, optimized anchor text links in press releases are starting to fall into this category far too often. So, what’s the deal? To link or not to link?

It turns out that it is not so much a question of whether to use anchor text links in press releases, but WHAT to use as your anchors. We all know about keyword spamming and are diligently avoiding that pitfall. But, what are the less obvious traps? As a general rule of thumb, Google has become extraordinarily wary of optimized (i.e: keyword-rich) links. This means that you will get much further with your efforts with phrases like “product launch” or “click here to find out more” than those that are full of keywords (i.e: “glass chandeliers,” “social media marketing”). Google will assign more inherent value to the former and will penalize for the latter.

More is sure to be revealed as marketers learn the ins and outs of Google’s new algorithm updates. But, for now, aiming to following the guidelines above will keep your links safe from Google’s watchful eye.

Introducing The Google Social Network

Google is launching it’s very own Social Network, called The Google+ Project. Dubbed by many as “Google’s Facebook,” the Google+ Project is the newest social network, and like any social network its main goal is helping people connect online.

One of the highlights of this new Google Social Network is something called “circles,” which allows you to share specific things with specific people. This appears to be a response to the Facebook Wall, which allows you to share specific links, music, images, articles, etc. with a “friend,”… just so long as you’re okay with all of yours and their other friends seeing it as well.

With the Google+ Circles, you’ll be able to place specific contacts in specific groups, making it easier to limit and control what information your sharing and with whom. For example, you want everyone and anyone to be able to watch the video of your youngest niece’s first steps you recorded on your iPhone… but you may only want your closest of buds to hear the new musical recording you made in your basement. Google+ Circles make this control over the flow of your information easier than ever before.

Interested? Well you’re gonna have to hold off a sec. Google has only launched their new social network to a limited amount of people, as some of the “rough edges” of their new software has convinced them that, for now, the Google Social Network is by invitation only… not that we expect that to last for very long. Of course, patience is a virtue.

However, if you’re just dying to get on the “GoogleBook” as quickly as possible, you can request an invitation. For all the newest updates and announcements on The Google+ Project, check out the GooglePlus Twitter page.