Yesterday, Google launched auto insurance comparison ads and in their announcement, Google used what SEOs would call keyword rich anchor text to link to both the new auto insurance comparison portal and the old credit card comparison portal.
While only “large-scale article marketing” keyword rich anchor text is considered a “link scheme” by Google, some SEOs felt Google using these keyword rich anchor text links was “unnatural” and a way to manipulate their own organic search algorithms.
Google did not comment on the use of those keyword rich anchor text links but shortly after I posted a story on the Search Engine Roundtable, Google removed the keyword rich anchor text links.
Here is a before and after screen shot:
Before screen shot with use of anchor text such as “credit card” and “car insurance”:
After screen shot removing those keywords:
Google has in the past violated their own guidelines and sometimes have ended up penalizing themselves in the search results. In this case, I don’t think it warranted them penalizing themselves because what they did was not in direct violation of their guidelines but they decided to remove the keyword specific links to avoid any confusion and controversy in the industry.