“Buying links from websites that sell blog posts for guest posting is like throwing money out the window,” says Gary Illeys of Google at the most recent SMX Advanced talk. Google does not like these links nor does it count them.
Google has perfected its strategy of ignoring these manipulated links. The leading search engine does not always penalize these manipulated links as harshly as it used to.
According to the latest article from Google, there has been a massive increase in the number of spammy links in articles aka guest posts, contributor posts, and partner posts. There is no confirmation about the source of these articles. While one author writes these, another can post it on multiple other websites.
When these articles state the source, Google does not discourage these types of articles. However, when the primary intention shifts to link-building as a large-scale process, it violates Google’s basic link-building guidelines. This is terrible for site SEO.
Google goes out to penalize a site when it sees the following violations:-
- Stuffing links with high-density of keywords into your articles on your website.
- Have the same article on several websites or have a large number of linked articles on a select number of different sites.
- Using ghostwriting techniques where the author is unaware of the purpose or topics of the articles.
- Using the same content theme across all your articles creates artificial duplication of content found on your website.
What causes Google to do a double-take?
When Google senses the presence of spammy links that changes its perceptions of the quality of the site. This can seriously threaten the ranking of these websites. In case you are publishing articles from unknown or little-known sources, you should reconsider.
The best SEO Company in Toronto says you should ask the following questions every time you are publishing new articles:-
- Do you know the author or source of the article?
- Does the article cater to your website audience?
- Does the article offer useful content?
- Does it bear verifiable links? Has the author used any rel=”nofollow” on any of the articles?
Google does not encourage the creation of articles for the sole purpose of link-building. This is not good for the internet, as a whole. When link-building comes first, penmanship takes a back seat. This will compromise the quality of the article. This highlights the disconnect between optimization of content for bots and human readers, that Hummingbird tried to remove. The nofollow on specific links or canonical tags will prevent passing the credit down the line.
Ever since this “reminder post” came from Google people are expecting a new update that will massively penalize the posts that are solely for the purpose of link building. No one can remember the last time Google published such a reminder for users and bloggers.
Publishers are not safe either
Google can detect websites that post articles with spammy links. This will cause Google to see your site as less reliable and less trustworthy. Any site accepting and publishing these articles should consider the sources, backlinks, and author’s profile before posting third-party articles.
Is it something new?
This is quite similar to the warnings Google issued back in July 2013. It warned about links at a large scale, guest posting from unverified sources, and advertorials. It is very specific regarding syndication, and that is something new from the house of the greatest search engine.
Most of the articles that point towards syndication include keyword-rich snippets, distribution across multiple platforms, and no “nofollow” tags to stop the passing of credit.
What is the to-do?
It is widely known that these reminder posts are more of a warning than affable reminders when the posting party is Google. Take, for example, the post on guest blogging from January 2014. These posts often precede strict actions against the violators in the next couple of months.
A link is a form of advertising. If you are creating most of the links for your site, is it smart to advertise for it too? According to Google’s latest “reminder,” focus more on the quality of your content, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. The endorsement will follow suit.
If you are putting out low-quality posts to garner more links, Google already knows. At the moment, you might see a slight drop in traffic since Google is ignoring the links. Very soon, you might see a significant plunge in incoming traffic since Google might start penalizing your website or blog for syndicating.
This will lead to confusion
When we say that Google will disallow syndication, we do not mean that you should not distribute content at all. You need to select or create original content if you want to spread it across multiple platforms. Quality is always of great importance to Google.
Use links that are necessary for a particular story. We all need to link juice to survive on the web. However, you cannot hope to give your links a steroid boost by using links that are irrelevant or of low quality.
Google is not discouraging guest blogging either. Matt Cutts said, “Stick a fork in it, guest blogging is done” back in January 2014. Although this SEO genius is not with Google anymore. His statement still stands high.
Guest blogging became the radioactive frog no one wanted to kiss to see if it would turn into a prince. Google’s opinions about policing links have not changed even though offices have changed over the last three years.
When you are trying to keep your ranks high, you should tread safely with Google. This search engine giant is quite the snob when it comes to content quality and link quality. Stay safe with original content and only the most necessary links. Stay safe, and stay on top!
Jason Sullivan is an SEO expert working with the leading digital marketing firms in the US. He owns the best SEO Company in Toronto that caters to several business enterprises in the northern states of the US as well.