What’s this about Link Building Articles and Spam?

This is an extract from The Week In Search SEO Update for w/e 26th May 2017.

Google reminds webmasters about using spammy tactics with article linking and whether the content is actually written with the sole intent of generating links.

#SEO #LinkBuilding #ContentMarketing #ArticleMarketing

Google Warns About Spammy Article Link Building


  • Google published a “reminder” about spammy links contained in articles on their webmaster blog.
  • It has seen an increase in these types of activities conducted at scale, either with the same or similar articles published across many different websites or multiple articles published on the same host.
  • The articles and links in question are those done with the sole intent of publishing, which is to create large-scale links back to the author’s site.
  • There is no algorithm change related to spammy article links yet.

TWIS 26 May 2017 Google Spammy Article Links

How to Avoid Spammy Article Link Building:

  1. If you are not publishing articles at scale, there is little to worry about. Keep on publishing.
  2. Avoid stuffing keyword-laden links into articles. Link naturally.
  3. Avoid re-publishing the same articles across many different sites – vary them, or use rel=canonical / rel=nofollow.
  4. Avoid writing exclusively for a small number of sites/traffic hubs.
  5. Write articles which add value to the user by informing or educating.
  6. Don’t write articles purely for the sake of garnering links.
  7. Contact me if you would like assistance creating a long-term article strategy.

Article Link Building Discussion:

Links are the bane of Google’s existence. They still play a primary role in algorithmically ranking Google’s index of webpages, but they are still way too easily gamed. Google, aside from knowing about high-profile names and systems, doesn’t really yet have an answer to this thorny issue. It prefers to err on the side of “not really spam” and in doing so allows the spammers a wedge to drive into the gap.

We’ve been through devaluations of Paid Links, Sitewide Links, PR & Directory Links and now we’re onto articles – which have been hijacked in the name of Content Marketing. A good guide to link-building is here: Basic SEO Link Building & Web Mentions

Article content should be just that. Expertly written articles which would get published, shared or linked to on their own merits, rather than as part of an artificial link-building process. Google has said: Most Sites Rank Without Link Building

The worrying thing when Google publishes an article like this is that it has a chilling effect on the creation and distribution of knowledge – people become too scared to write, share and publish their content, leaving a vacuum for the spammers to fill. The web is already filled with enough spam, and Google, as yet, doesn’t have an algorithmic answer to it.

Expect some sort of algorithm update in the future, which will devalue the content of the link-builders and the link-givers. It may take 12-18 months for them to have it ready for prime-time, or it may be three months away, but it will come.

More info:

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