Google have released a brand new article regarding the use of links in large scale article campaigns. The number of spam links has increased and Google decided to remind distributors and publishers about the risk. The types of articles these links appear in go by the following names:
- Syndicated posts
- Guest posts
- Contributor posts
- Partner posts
They are all basically the same thing. They are written by a person or in the name of one website and then published on a different website.
If you use these types of articles for genuine reasons you have no need to panic. Google doesn’t see them all in the same light. The articles that are being used to educate your audience or raise awareness of an organisation are fine. Provided they are not in violation of Google’s link scheme guidelines. The problems arise when the purpose of the articles is to generate a large number of links back to the author’s site.
Google shared some of the indicators of articles that are in violation of their guidelines when taken to the extreme:
- When the same or very similar articles are being used across multiple websites. If you decided to use the same article that you have on your own website the publisher needs to use no follow on the link or the canonical tag on the page. Canonical and no follow inform Google that you’re not endorsing the link.
- When the articles are used on multiple websites
- When lots of articles are shared on a few larger websites
- Stuffing your article full of keyword rich links back to your website
- Using article writers that don’t know about the topic they’re writing about
What Happens If Google Find Spam Links?
When Google finds websites that have spammy links in the content the website could lose their ranking in the search engine. The quality of the site will be questioned and therefore they are less likely to want to show the site in the SERPs. This is why you need to check the links and question the sender of all articles you might be considering publishing on your website. You need to work out:
- If the content of the article is relevant to your audience
- Is the content of use to your audience?
- Do you know the person who is sending the article to you?
- Are the links no follow?
Distributors and publishers risk having their ranking pushed down the search engine results pages when sharing spammy links. Consider your own link building campaign techniques and whether the articles you’re publishing on your own website are spammy. Using rel=nofollow on the links is one way you can prevent being penalised by Google.