Local rag the Belfast Telegraph is Google gaming.
They’ve set up a ‘guide’ that contains regurgitated articles from across the web with the added SEO magic dust of adding ‘Belfast’ to the end of each article title. Other regions are doing the same thing with the exact same articles. Compare Kent Online with Belfast er, online. Or Londonderry for that matter.
This particular form of content spamming, or spamdexing is known as article spinning and although Google permit it, they normally require linking back to the original source. But…
Looking further into this they don’t give SEO juice to the original source (courtesy of a nofollow link) and also employ a 3rd party service to put random local companies addresses in a directory listing at the top of the page. If you want your company address added ‘free of charge’ there’s a link that takes you to their site.
Directorym.co.uk the business behind this has built up a large network of publishing partners but I wonder are local sites such as the Tele aware they are just republishing generic non-local content with a single keyword added in to the title? I doubt that is really delivering a service that ‘fits the exact needs of our end users by combining important, local information into one place’. Directorym’s goal is ‘to become the central database in…countries well before anybody even thinks of database centralization.’
Personally I don’t see the value in a central db of spammed articles delivered via online media agencies, ‘local’ or not.