How many times have you Googled for information on a topic only to be directed to an article that wouldn’t pass muster for a 7th grade 5-paragraph essay? Essentially no details. Often poorly written. Who writes this crap and why, you ask yourself, as you click away.
Welcome to the land of Trash SEO content, articles that have been written and uploaded onto article databases and random websites for the sole purpose of creating link-backs to an altogether different, and often unnamed site, in an attempt to raise Google Rankings for that other site.
It’s a backlink building game.
We spend a lot of time in the social media world talking about the need to create “remarkable content” to attract attention, so it’s hard to stomach the idea of putting up D-minus work just to earn links. And yet I found myself recently being asked to approve a clearly sub par article.
True quote from an “SEO expert” who works for a large firm selling SEO services to companies, large and small: “These articles are not read by many people and your client is not mentioned in them at all. They are simply used for links.”
Gasp. Shouldn’t we help clean up online trash, not litter the Google universe with more? Does it really make sense to throw something on the virtual online blackboard that is clearly sub par and hope that no one notices?
Try again, I said. If you want to build links at least provide good content, too.
Google thankfully continues to alter its ranking formula. Follow along with Matt Cutts and the Official Google Webmaster Blog to keep up with the changes. We see Google trying to clean up opportunities to game rankings, including decreasing webspam. Of course, it is a daunting task and likely, Google will never fully succeed. It is, though, nice to know that they at least try. So Google I’m asking — please disband the links from article data bases. There is likely more spam than good. Make us post the content on our sites instead or at least clearly add visible author links to the articles on those other databases. That level of accountability could go a long way in terms of content quality improvement.
Making Online Content Litterbugs Accountable
Instead of encouraging companies to post sub par hope-no-one-ever-reads-this articles for the related links websites would then only benefit from back links for articles they’re proud to publicly acknowledge.
Remember back when your Mom told you to never do or say anything you wouldn’t want on the blackboard at school come Monday morning. What if this “someone will notice” clause could apply to online link-building spammers? Businesses who pay others to create low value articles they never even read might self-police better if they knew that their clients might find out who posted the article they just clicked away from.
Some of us are holding online articles to a higher bar. Others will police articles better if they knew people they know might find out who posted them. It’s human nature: People edit more when they know someone you know might read what you wrote.
Honestly, I don’t care which group you fall into as long as we stop the bad article landfill from growing so fast.