Marketers should think human when building links in the pre- and post-Penguin update era.

Marketers are anxiously awaiting Google’s upcoming Penguin algorithm updates, which are expected to be some of the most drastic changes for the SEO content world in 2013. Brafton reported that since it was introduced last year, the Penguin algorithm has cracked down more severely on spammy link profiles. First targeting sites with link profiles comprised with 80 percent bad links, the algorithm increased its efforts and punished sites with even 50 percent manipulative links, according to a Portent study.

This might have scared marketers away from guest blogging and other strategies that were once deemed SEO-safe. However, posting news content on other blog sites and media outlets can still be part of a strategic content marketing plan.

The key to success is to use feature pieces to establish authority, connect with influencers and build a better reputation, rather than use a guest column as an opportunity to insert backlinks.

Google Penguin has changed the way marketers should focus on link building.

Writing a guest column might be one of the better ways to build credible organic links and attract the attention of influential bloggers and brands. Most people would be impressed to learn that a colleague or competitor had received a recurring spot with an esteemed news provider, and even Matt Cutts has said unique content from an Author across the web can have a positive impact on link building (emphasis on unique). With the new Penguin update looming, industry experts advise webmasters to view all of their SEO strategies with a human lens – the things are most impressive to people might also be the elements that earn the most esteem with web crawlers.

Brafton has also noted that custom content creation is an effective way for companies to demonstrate their authority across industries, engage customers and generate clicks organically.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.