New Google spam policy could mean changes for gambling affiliates

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Google’s recently announced changes to its spam policy have many wondering if there are potential negative impacts for affiliate marketers.

The March update of the search engine includes three core changes to the spam policy.

First, Google will be cracking down on the practice of expired domain abuse. What that entails is someone using an expired or defunct website’s URL to take advantage of its indexed ranks and to run low quality, unrelated content on that site.

The company is also tightening rules around third-party pages published on more established sites in order to take advantage of the earned authority and trustworthiness of the site. If these sites hosting third-party content do not thoroughly vet that content to ensure it is worthwhile, it could result in a penalty. Google is not outright banning third-party content on these sites, just asking for oversight of the content.

Finally, and what could most impact marketing affiliates across a wide range of businesses, Google will be coming down harder on what it terms scaled content abuse.

Google’s policy defines scaled content abuse as, “when many pages are generated for the primary purpose of manipulating search rankings and not helping users.”

A common practice amongst affiliate sites is to build up dozens of pages with keyword-dense content that is designed less to be read and more to rank for specific terms. These pages can often be thousands of words long and written to target not just search terms but valuable Google snippets that answer common questions related to a search term.

In its update, Google specified that this rule was not just about targeting AI-generated content pages but human pages with little value to the reader as well.