In a post on Google’s webmaster central blog, Google reminded webmasters that they can get in trouble if they syndicate articles just to get links.
Lately we’ve seen an increase in spammy links contained in articles referred to as contributor posts, guest posts, partner posts, or syndicated posts. These articles are generally written by or in the name of one website, and published on a different one.
Google does not discourage these types of articles in the cases when they inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company.
However, what does violate Google’s guidelines on link schemes is when the main intent is to build links in a large-scale way back to the author’s site.
Google also explained which factors can indicate that an article is in violation of Google’s guidelines:
- Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles
- Having the articles published across many different sites; alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites
- Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on
- Using the same or similar content across these articles; alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical”, in addition to rel=”nofollow”, is advised)
This can have a negative impact on your website rankings
When Google detects that a website is publishing articles that contain spammy links, this may change Google’s perception of the quality of the site and could affect its ranking. Sites accepting and publishing such articles should carefully vet them, asking questions like: Do I know this person? Does this person’s message fit with my site’s audience? Does the article contain useful content? If there are links of questionable intent in the article, has the author used rel=”nofollow” on them?
For websites creating articles made for links, Google takes action on this behavior because it’s bad for the Web as a whole. When link building comes first, the quality of the articles can suffer and create a bad experience for users.
Better use white-hat SEO methods
Artificial links can get your website into trouble. Better use SEO methods that play by the rules. Details on how to optimize your web pages can be found in our step-by-step SEO guide.