User Generated Content can ruin your SEO - Blogger help, tips and hacks

User Generated Content can ruin your SEO

Web 2.0 is all about user generated content and while its great to finally be able to let your customers interact with your site it’s also important not to let things go too far.

One day people can be happily uploading valuable blog content to your travel site and the next you have been banned from Google for hosting millions of parasite pages advertising pharmaceutical products.

So many huge sites these days are full of spam that it can sometimes seem like a losing battle, even archive.org has been taken over by spammers uploading dubious text content just to get a link from the homepage.

Three years ago the Guardian got overrun with spam and they still haven’t got round to deleting it. Pretty much every other mainstream publication has the same problem.

You would be forgiven for thinking that if these mainstream sites can still rank highly while full of spam Google is clever enough to figure it out. Unfortunately this isn’t the case. If your 10 page site gets spammed then be prepared for a hasty drop in rankings with no questions asked, sure Google might tell you whats happened but the best case scenario is a month of little to no web traffic while the issue is fixed.

When you start to think about adding user generated content the first thing you need to do is talk to your SEO team. Ask them how you can safeguard your site and make sure you don’t suffer any penalties.

The safest thing is to pre-moderate all your users comments and validate accounts before you let people post but you should also be prepared to audit your databases every few weeks to delete spam thats slipped through the net.

If you leave loopholes then the spammers will find a way through.
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