User Generate Content Does Not Mean Spam

Oct 16, 2012 • 8:51 am | comments (12) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

user content spamI am reading a WebmasterWorld thread that is kind of upsetting me.

A webmaster is asking, when does user generated content become spam in Google's eyes. The conversation goes on to explain ways you can separate out user generated content from your main content so that Google doesn't penalize your site for having low quality content due to your users.

So now, a new SEO myth will be that having comments, forums, methods for users to interact with your content will lead to a Google penalty. It will not.

I have an excellent post from a while back named Google's Take On User Generated Content & Quality read it.

In short, the user generated content can be great. I love it. But when you have someone come into your house, you probably wouldn't welcome them if they try to wreck it. And if they do wreck it, you'll probably clean it up before most people notice. Your guests can really take your home to a new level but only certain hosts and guests are compatible. Your site is your home, treat it the same way.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto

Previous story: Google To Host Rich Snippets Hangout On Friday



10/16/2012 01:02 pm

You see, I somewhat disagree with that. I think it should be a part of the quality in some way because if you don't moderate your comments on an article, or topics on a forum, and someone kindly comes along and spams it full of viagra links etc, then it should be seen as a lower quality page. You're obviously not taking notice of those pages well enough to remove the spam so maybe its score should reflect it too? This of course can be overcome by disallowing new comments after X days of the article being posted. This would reduce your need to moderate older articles and preserve the higher quality, but if you're going to allow the links in the first place then you're just allowing spam on the web to continue. Not letting people get away with it and having your own sites affected by spam posted on your pages would be a further step to preventing spam in the first place. I can see people giving up and coming up with new tactics when they realise it's not going to work any more. The only flaw in that plan is it relies on everyone on the web doing the same... =(

Nick Stamoulis

10/16/2012 01:26 pm

Just like any other form of content, UGC can be used for good or for spam. For instance, customer reviews are a great way to add unique content to an e-commerce site's product page and give the search spiders more to grab onto. But you do need to watch what people are posting to your site. If you let it become a free-for-all you will get flooded with so much spam your head will spin.

Nothing matters now

10/16/2012 02:07 pm

Barry who cares what you think? Honestly. Google is doing what Google wants to do to make more money so anything that gets in their way is "spam." Bottom line is that free traffic is dead, Google wants you and me to buy adwords.


10/16/2012 05:36 pm

I agree with JohnMu when he says he thinks it's a "good idea to help them to create high-quality content, be that by providing a spelling checking mechanism, or by making it possible for other users (or you :-)) to fix quality-issues as they are found." I don't have a problem with small edits that doesn't hinder the accuracy of the review. I think the key is authenticity. If it's real, why not?

Steven Lockey

10/17/2012 10:12 am

Yeah, honest. Sounds like the cry of an incompetent SEO or someone who is crying because their spam/thin/copied content no longer ranks. Google still have by FAR the best search results, as evidenced by their (still) growing market share. Content still is the king and UGC content is still content. As the article says, its just a matter of making sure its GOOD content, not crappy spam links.

Rahul Mishra@SEO|SMO

10/17/2012 12:12 pm

Hahahaha...seems like google is now targeting UGC. Google wants that we should have to remove or rectify all comments of content. How can we do this??? It called crazyness. We can't stop freedom of users. Google vs Hitler.. who is worse..???


10/17/2012 12:38 pm

Hitler, really?


10/17/2012 02:43 pm

I don't always agree with Barry, but on this I do. Time after time, idiot spammers are creating myths or spouting off tinfoil hat theories because they are too lazy to make good content and market it legitimately. Start crying on forums and blogs because their attempt at manipulation doesn't work. Fortunately, spamming, manipulation, etc, _IS_ dying. "Nothing matters now": Google doesn't want your crap in the SERPS and nor do searchers. No problem with traffic for _legitimate_ sites.


10/17/2012 02:46 pm

Are you blind? Google is targeting spam.

numbers barely lie

10/18/2012 04:19 am

>> "Google doesn't want your crap in the SERPS and nor do searchers. No problem with traffic for _legitimate_ sites." Fine Mr Google employee. Why did ad clicks go up by 100+% since Google started this "spam fighting" ?

aamir aziz

10/18/2012 06:44 am

Time after time, idiot spammers are creating myths or spouting off tinfoil hat theories because they are too lazy to make good content and market it legitimately


10/21/2012 02:11 am

Increase in ad clicks has nothing to do with Google tackling spam. Also, research more and you'll see Google's big increase is with mobile ad clicks, often having nothing to do with search. You really do have a chip on your shoulder.

blog comments powered by Disqus