Earlier this year, Google announced that its algorithms would be tweaked to devalue “over-optimized” websites. Even earlier still in 2011, Google launched its Panda update – which specifically targeted websites with low-quality content (think: duplicated and/or spam content). Google readily admits it’s doing everything in its power to promote high-quality content that values the user-experience. To those ends, it has been ramping up efforts to remove blog networks from its index.
There are many different blog networks that have unique rules, genres, and policies. However, they all serve the same purpose — building links. When you post an article to a blog network, that article will appear on blogs from around the web that are affiliated with the network. By including links back to your site within the article, you can quickly get hundreds of in-bound links after you submit the article to the blog network. This has several inherent problems.
Firstly, you need to pay a membership fee to join a blog network. That means you are paying for links — which goes directly against Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. Secondly, when hundreds or thousands of blogs post the same article, it creates a major duplicate content issue. Thirdly, the very existence of blog networks has prompted people to create loads of low-quality content just so they could submit to the blog network and quickly get a lot of links. In reality, Google’s crackdown on blog networks should come as no surprise.
Note that blog directories — which provide lists of relevant blogs for searchers — should not be confused with blog networks. High-quality, relevant blog directories can still be a good way to legitimately boost your blog readership. Ultimately, if you keep producing original, quality content for your website, you’ll do just fine.