Comment Spammers and Autobloggers, Beware
by Antone Roundy | 5 Comments | Blogging, SEO
Over at the Official Google Blog today, Matt Cutts wrote a little about what they're focusing on in his neck of the woods:
...we recently launched a redesigned document-level classifier that makes it harder for spammy on-page content to rank highly. The new classifier is better at detecting spam on individual web pages, e.g., repeated spammy words"”the sort of phrases you tend to see in junky, automated, self-promoting blog comments.
As "pure webspam" has decreased over time, attention has shifted instead to "content farms," which are sites with shallow or low-quality content. In 2010, we launched two major algorithmic changes focused on low-quality sites. Nonetheless, we hear the feedback from the web loud and clear: people are asking for even stronger action on content farms and sites that consist primarily of spammy or low-quality content.
Does that mean you might as well stop cranking out content in hopes of getting it ranked high in Google?
No. It just means that you need to be sure that the content you're cranking out is not "shallow or low-quality". If that means cranking a little slower and putting a more effort into the quality of each piece you publish, it sounds like that's what you need to do.
The way I read Matt's post, it sounds like sites and practices that might be at risk include:
- autoblogs that simply rip content from somebody else's feed and republish it.
- autoblogs that spin content to try to make it look unique when it really duplicates content that can be found elsewhere.
- low-quality articles written by people who don't really know the subject -- who just did some quick online research and regurgitated what they found.
- comment spammers.
If you're Blog Riffing, be sure to contribute something of value -- not just grab a quote and link to the original. That's what I've always recommended. But it sounds like it's getting more important than ever.
If you're curating good content that you find elsewhere, but not adding your own commentary, are you at risk of looking like an autoblogger to Google? Perhaps. If you have a strong following that actively comments on your blog, that may give you enough original content to keep you out of the dog house. If not, adding more comments of your own would be a smart move.
January 21st, 2011 at 10:21 pm
Regarding content, how about something like what WPEasy Content offers, where by adding a header and a footer to an article reposted from an article directory that is specific to certain keywords and the sigbox and original content is totally untampered with? And I guess by adding your own sound comments to remarks left by visitors that merely say how nice your blog is then, well, is that what you mean by "a smart move"? I have been using these strategies recently in hopes that it is adding something to one of my WordPress blogsites.
January 21st, 2011 at 11:19 pm
Ah, I was a bit unclear there. What I was saying would be "a smart move" was to add more of your own comments into the content when you post it, not just in the comments after the fact.
For example, if you look at many of my recent posts on this blog, you'll see that I've copied a quote from someone else's blog. But I didn't just post the quote and leave it at that. Instead, I built an entire, original post around it. The majority of the content of nearly all of the posts I create this way is my own original comments, not duplicated content.
So if you have a lot of people commenting on your blog, you may be able to get away with posting quotes with just a little added content of your own, because the commenters will generate unique content for you. But if you're not getting a lot of comments, your original post needs to contain more unique content.
January 22nd, 2011 at 12:04 am
Antone, thanx for the quick response. I guess you mean like I did with my first comment by grabbing a phrase from your post and inserting it between quotation marks (â€œa smart moveâ€). I like this notion because I am actually now "getting a lot of comments". By the way, I started earlier today unsubscribing from various mailing lists, mostly because I am just on too many of them, but yours I'm keeping because you provide me with valuable info I can act on. Cheers, mate. Doug fr OR in TW.
January 23rd, 2011 at 8:21 am
I agree with your conclusions, Antone. What I always wonder is, "How does Google spot a spun article? How do they determine whether the article is shallow or not without a human reviewer?"
After all, eHow.com is basically a massive site of often shallow articles written by non-experts for cash. But eHow.com seems to rank fairly well in Google.
February 16th, 2011 at 10:16 am
As Jerry West reports:
Google has released an extension for Chrome that'll let people remove pages from their own search results. Google will use the information gathered from the extension in some way to weed out spammy sites.
Personally, I see a big WIIFM problem with this -- sure, I can remove a page from my search results, but am I ever going to search for that same thing again? As afar as what's in it for ME, it just doesn't seem worth the trouble.
I suppose there are people who simply like to trash on others, or who'll be motivated to do their bit to help improve Google's results. Hopefully there'll be more of those than of people who are trying to get the competition banned!