Informational Writing Scale

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Spammy elements fall into three broad categories: links, products (Amazon and eBay), and text.


Articles should be written for readers, not for search engines or backlinks. Even an article that appears high-quality on the surface can still be considered spam if it uses links in a selfish manner.

Links that are definitely spammy:

  • Misleading or keyword-rich anchor text (e.g., “We only employ the most qualified and experienced Locksmith Dallas.”)
  • Links to pages that are not related to the subject matter of the article
  • Links to pages that contain information that is substantially similar to what's in the article
  • Links to pages with window confirmation boxes that interfere with site navigation or redirect users to unwanted websites

Links that may be spammy:

  • Links to lead form pages or otherwise thin pages that don't offer real information*
  • Links to pages that require plug ins or applications
  • Links with reference codes (affiliate links)*
  • Links that promote a business

* affiliate links and links to lead form pages are not spammy if they go to high-quality sites, are directly related to the subject-matter of the article, and benefit the reader.


In general, product-oriented articles (those that contain Amazon and/or eBay ads inside the content) are considered spammy unless:

  • Product(s) are directly relevant and not excessive
  • If the article is about the product(s), then the article provides significant, useful information or opinion about the products beyond what could be found on Amazon's (or other seller's or manufacturer's) web site
  • If the article recommends a particular product, then the recommendation seems genuine, trustworthy, and unbiased
  • If the products were removed from the article, the remaining content would likely satisfy the reader


Text elements of an article can be considered spammy even if there are no links or products. Here are some examples of spammy text:

  • Repetitive keywords (especially when bolded or italicized)
  • Plain text URLs that promote a business
  • Otherwise excessive promotion of a business or product

Here are some examples of articles that are spammy:

  • Consider Availing the Services of Locksmith Brooklyn
    Why it's spam: Keywords ("Locksmith Brooklyn") are used excessively throughout the article and the purpose of the article is to send readers to a business site for Locksmith Brooklyn.
  • Animal Masks
    Why it's spam: The content in this article is fluff and there are an excessive number of description-less Amazon products.
  • Gifts for Men
    Why it's spam: This is a product review article (about multiple products) where the content is a regurgitation of Amazon’s product details page(s).
  • Review: Samsung UN65H8000 Curved 65-Inch 1080p 240Hz 3D Smart LED TV
    Why it's spam: This is a product review article (about one product) and the review does not seem balanced or genuine.

Here are some examples of articles that are not spammy:

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