Google recently released a brief reminder on the Webmaster Central Blog regarding links in large-scale article campaigns. Google stated that they have recently seen an influx of spammy links that are found in contributor posts and guest posts. These types of syndicated posts are typically written by or on behalf of a particular website, but published on a different one. Within the blog post, Google reminded webmasters that they are not against these types of links, but that isn’t to say that webmasters shouldn’t be mindful when it comes to quality. What does become an issue and a violation of Google’s guidelines is when the primary intent of the content is to build links in a large-scale way to support the author’s site.

Here are a few factors Google named, that when taken to an extreme, can cause a violation.

  • 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

Once Google has detected a website that is publishing content that contains a number of spammy links, Google may begin to question the integrity of the website. If Google has reason to believe that a website is publishing spammy links that contain questionable content, it may begin to affect the website’s ranking signal. Google says that if link building is the main drive behind a piece of content, the quality of the piece can greatly suffer and can create a poor user experience. Google encourages webmasters to focus on the quality of the content they are producing for their website. By focusing on creating useful and informative content, links and other organic benefits will eventually follow.