Content Syndication, Webspam, and the Duplicity of Google
27 May 2017
27 May 2017,

Content Syndication, Webspam, and the Duplicity of Google

10 Contradictions in Google's New Syndication and Webspam Policy

This announcement came from Google's Webspam team “White House news dump” style, just before this big Memorial Day weekend. I dissected this post and found ten contradictions in Google's policy.

Referencing: A reminder about links in large-scale article campaigns.



Thursday, May 25, 2017

Lately we've seen an increase in spammy links contained in articles referred to as contributor posts, guest posts, partner posts, or syndicated posts. These articles are generally written by or in the name of one website, and published on a different one.
Google does not discourage these types of articles in the cases when they inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company. However, what does violate Google's guidelines on link schemes is when the main intent is to build links in a large-scale way back to the author’s site. Below are factors that, when taken to an extreme, can indicate when an article is in violation of these guidelines: >> FULL POST ON GOOGLE WEBMASTER BLOG.

1. Poor Quality Writing and Thin Content

One of the first things that came to mind is the recent Fred Update that hit text heavy sites with few images. Let's take google's new standards and apply them to this announcement.

  1. For one it is a plain text post without images or video. If this same post were published here, it would be “thin content.”
  2. I ran Google's announcement through Grammarly, at the most basic settings it flagged 90 errors.


grammary results of


Being king RULES! You don't need to follow your directives!  Is this English or did you bumble your Hreflang tag? “focus on improving your site’s content, and everything–including links–will follow (no pun intended)”

2. Google Not Heeding Its Advice? Say It Isn't So?


My read is, they don't have a problem with the syndication of content. They are taking issue with contextual “keyword rich” internal links in your posts, which create links if syndicated. By proxy, they are admitting they still can't discern “webspam” from quality content. This announcement is likely a thinly veiled advertisement for the disavow tool to frighten webmasters into submitting backlinks and giving false confessions.

Google's new policy is confusing and filled with contradictions.


Worth Noting:


3. Authors and Publishers Risk Penalty


Search Engine Roundtable states “This “both authors and publishers risk a Google penalty.” If you were to take Search Engine Roundtable at their word: This means you should use “not the keyword” and “nofollow” in INTERNAL LINKS! Talk about a bad UE! Aside from text in the links, how is the user to know where they're going while navigating your site? So if your article is about “x,” the text linking to your other pages should be “z,” if it is to appear anywhere else on the Internet. Fucking retarded.

4. Write High-Quality Content, But Don't Promote It


You are not allowed to promote your content. Yes, apparently Google still thinks it's 2002, and there are only 23 blogs on the Internet. So what we are supposed to do is stay up till 5 AM rewriting and working the kinks out of an epic 3000-word blog post and not go out and promoted? That makes no sense at all. In 2017, you are competing with millions of other blogs. As soon as you've made the decision to publish, that's where your job begins! It makes perfect sense as a marketer to have your killer content available to readers on his many platforms as possible. There are different users on Tumblr, WordPress, Medium, and Blogger. Why would you not want to reach out to all of them?


5. Primitive Man Was Afraid of Fire Until He Explored Its Many Uses


Full disclosure, this post will syndicate to an IFTTT network, so I can reach the maximum number of users. Syndication is not spam; it's progress! If it were 2005, I would have done the same thing by hand! I will make sure it's gone out to Delicious, Myspace, Digg in hopes that someone would read it. This would make even a tier 1 vanilla IFTTT network into “pyramid spam.” You can't place canonical tags on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr or Medium AND on a per-link basis contextually.


6. Another Win For Negative SEO / The Google “War On RSS.”


The new regulations create a tremendous opportunity for negative SEO. A competitor could grab your RSS feed and hang your blog empire with it. Since we are on the subject of RSS feeds, if anyone from Google is reading admit you hate RSS! You bought FeedBurner just to shut it down, right? And why do I have to double authorize? Let me help you; it's a spammers playground back there!


7. The Structured Data Conspiracy


Tim Berners-Lee and the WC3 Consortium are pushing the semantic web and structured data pretty hard. While it's yet to be a serious ranking factor it most certainly will be in the future. I'm a fan of structured data, even though my only manual penalty in years came via spammy structured data.





spammy stuctured data


Structured data is a database relationship to confirm an entity. The organization “sameas” structured data could either be a savior or a signed confession you've been spamming.

8. Links Still Count Heavily!


What is perhaps the most frightening: An organization that knows everywhere I've been, everything I watched, and everything I've searched for can seriously be manipulated by shameless self-promotion? What about what Matt Cutts has been saying “links don't count” for the last ten years? Last time I checked Google put the kibosh on at least 18 of them? Google's core PageRank algorithm is backliks! This algorithm has served Google well so far; it would seem foolish to pull out its main component: BACKLINKS! Since we are on the subject if backlinks don't count why is Google still worried about them? Simple: BECAUSE THEY COUNT!  Pulling PageRank out of Google is kind of like pulling a V-8 engine out of a Ford and expecting it to run.


iframe traffic




Eventually, we will all be driving Solar cars, but we're not there yet,


9. Fight The Real Spam


Since we're on the subject of spam if Google wants to crack down on spam, why not crack down on the actual spam? Like writing unnecessarily long 3000-word posts to mimic authority, clickbait, UI manipulation and CTR spam are a far bigger threat than links bought on Fiverr. If you can do one thing, can you stop awarding articles with dumb titles like “17 Reasons to” or at least penalize those pages that have 16!

10. NoFollow Vs. Follow Doesn't Matter


With this announcement, Google confirmed what I've been saying for the last seven or eight years: NoFollow vs. follow doesn't matter! You should either follow all your links or nofollow them. If you are only following individual links, you are “link sculpting.”


from matt cust blog



I will look at the nofollow tag like filing for bankruptcy to get out of debt. It's not that simple. Do you think there's some magic in Rel=”follow”? The label was originally designed to discount comment spam on blogs. The scope of what it is being used for now is just silly. Try getting a nofollow link from Wikipedia and tell me they still don't count. I've ranked plenty of things with just links from YouTube; those are nofollow too.


What Should I Do Now?


I am not an engineer at Google. I am nothing but a humble nonprofit blogger. I can only tell you what I'm doing and that's nothing. If you've been in this industry as long as I have, you become a pirate who's been out to see too long. The waves may fluctuate, storms may come to whitehat”, “grayhat” or “blackhat” SEOS: At tier 1, we are all the same!

Keep the quality of your content high and the rest should sort itself out!

Anyway, that's my rant. Don't worry Google I won't do anything to promote it! I worked hard creating this content. Hopefully, those hordes of visitors you promised are on the way!

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