Google has issued a warning to remind site owners about the dangers of publishing content on other sites for the purpose of building inbound links.
The company doesn’t frown on guest posts or syndicated posts in general, but lately there has been an increase in spammy links stuffed into these types of posts. That’s the reason behind this sudden warning from Google.
Distributing content on a large scale when the main intention is to build links back to your own site is strictly prohibited under Google’s guidelines on link schemes.
What Google does allow are guest posts and syndicated posts which “inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company.”
Google goes on to explain other article writing and distribution practices that are against its 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 probably goes without saying, but Google reminds being caught publishing articles with spammy links could affect the perceived quality of a site and thus affect search rankings. Site owners should be vigilant in their vetting of guest posts, and nofollow any links that appear questionable.
Google will also take action on websites creating the content in violation of Google’s guidelines. The company points out to site owners being harassed about publish content they can submit a complaint via Google’s spam report form.