In one of its latest blog posts, Google has announced its intention to crack down on excessive use of links in guest or contributor posts, which are published on different websites to the brand they are promoting.
This comes following an “increase in spammy links contained in articles referred to as contributor posts, guest posts, partner posts, or syndicated posts,” according to Google, which stands in violation of their guidelines on link schemes.
According to Google, the following are actions which should be avoided when leveraging guest posts for link-building:
- 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)
Google says that when link-building is the main focus of an article, it is the quality of the content that suffers, thus shortchanging the reader. So in that respect, monitoring such articles and penalizing them accordingly is meant to improve the general quality to the internet for everyone.
But obviously, at the end of the day, content creators need to be more careful about how aggressive they choose to be when promoting their websites. Google says that if the content is user-focused, helpful, and consistent, the traffic will come.