Monday, August 11, 2014

Google Webmaster Guidelines Change on August 11, 2014 at 11:45PM

Last night Google added an item to it's list of Quality Guidelines (specific guidelines) of things to avoid. This guideline suggested we not create pages with little or no original content.

•Creating pages with little or no original content

We've known for a long time (Penguin was rolled-out a long time ago, in SEO terms) that Google doesn't like pages like this. When you view this page you'll learn what Google means by "little or no original content":

  • Auto-generated content
  • Doorway pages
  • Content from other sources. For example: Scraped content or low-quality guest blog posts
  • Thin affiliate sites
I think most of these are expected by the SEO community. What strikes me is the lumping of "scraped content" together with "low-quality guest blog posts." There's been a lot of talk about guest blogging for link building but this is not about getting links from guest blog posts- it's about using guest blogging to create content on your site. This is the first place (that I can recall) where Google is officially warning bloggers from accepting guest blog posts on their website. 

Not only that, it specifically modifies "guest blog posts" with "low-quality". Does that mean that "high-quality" or "moderate-quality" guest blog posts are acceptable? What make something "low-quality" vs. "high-quality" anyway? Could this be a response to the recent Moz article where they preemptively deny that they are violating Google's guidelines?

This page also equates this guideline with the possible need for a reconsideration request. Does this mean that a website that accepts guest blog posts to supplement their content could find itself banned? I think this is mostly referring to websites that only take-on poor content but not sites that accept any content or guest posts as part of their content.

What do you think?

  • What makes a guest blog post "low-quality"? 
  • Does this apply to "high-quality" guest blog posts?
  • Will accepting guest blog posts on your site get you banned?
Leave your thoughts in the comments, below.

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