If you’re still feeling dazed thanks to Google’s algorithm changes, then you’re not alone. Barry Schwartz at SEO Roundtable has drawn attention to a webmaster world thread about Google having made people afraid to create links. It seems that everyone is (understandably) deeply confused about which sites to link to due to fears about being penalised. Until the smoke clears, confusion reigns in terms of a definitive answer to that – so our advice would be to carry on creating links without SEO in mind – in other words, if you think it adds value for the reader and the page you’re linking too is a quality one, then link.
Google have updated the advice on their webmaster blog recently, with a new FAQ addressing questions relating to authorship. Authorship is useful in terms of establishing a search engine friendly reputation as a trusted provider of quality content. Again, however, using it to best effect needed clarifying. Amongst the FAQ’s, Google explain which pages can have authorship applied to them, warn against using a logo or mascot as an author photograph, and advise against using authorship to link to pages that don’t actually provide useful content. They also describe the importance of linking to an individual rather than a company +1 page, and explain the differences between rel=publisher and rel=author. Failure to follow this advice could result in a negative effect on your authorship results, so it’s worth reviewing your authorship profile just in case.