6 SEO Reasons Why you Should Stop Using Zemanta

stop using zemantaRecently in Feb 2013 Blogger integrated Zemanta with Blogspot blogs. Zemanta is indeed a great editorial plugin that helps you to write blog posts easily but unfortunately all such automated blogging tools does not help you to write well Optimized Blog posts that could protect you from the latest Google Penguin 2.0 Penalty! Penguin 2.0 is written especially to kill spam and unnatural links.  Zemanta blogging Plugin as you will discover later in this post could badly impact the inbound and outbound link balance of your entire blog, if you are not well versed with SEO link attributes. 
If you are new to zemanta then you must first read this post:
Following are the four important reasons why we think you should temporarily stop using zemanta to produce blog posts unless zemanta promises to improve their API:

1. Too Many external Image links

Zemanta has add-on and extensions for all major browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer and safari. Zemanta Plugin adds two links to the images. One inside the caption and one to the image itself. New bloggers who are not well versed with SEO pitfalls of these links often don't bother removing the caption and unlinking the image, considering it to be ethical to give credits to the rightful owner of the image.
This causes a serious imbalance between your internal and external links causing a serious loss to site wide PageRank. 

2. Loss of Image Search Traffic:

You won't get traffic from Image Search because your images wont load from your server but the site you linked. In short all these images that you add through zemanta are not uploaded on your image folder, so you are simply destroying your Image Search traffic.

3. Increase in 404 Errors:

Zemanta image links could return a 404 not found crawling errors in your webmaster tools if the images are deleted by the original owner. These images are uploaded on external servers. Suppose you added an image to your blog post which is stored on Flickr. But what if that image is deleted some months later by the Flickr account holder? The image wont display and would return a 404 error to the search crawler.This would cause a serious increase in crawling errors inside your webmasters account.

4. Increase in server errors: 

zemanta suggests images mostly from its users blogs, Wikipedia or Flickr. If too many requests are sent for an image, then the website whose image is linked could possibly exceed its bandwidth limit and could go down. Most sites often don't allow external sites to directly use their Image Links and often limit the accessibility. If the user has not put such a restriction on images and you are using his image on your blog then it is acceptable but what if next month he puts the restriction? All your images would be gone - destroying both your readership and SEO reputation.

5. Misleading nofollow Option

Now here is a funny thing. If you click on Preferences Tab inside your zemanta account and look at the bottom of page under the sub-tab Look. You will see the following description for nofollow link attribute.

zemanta nofollow option

If you carefully see, its written rel="link_nofollow". I wonder when did this new attribute got introduced? At least I have never heard of it on any forum! I would request the Zemanta Developer to edit this line and change it to rel="nofollow" instead. This is the right way to write it.
The problem with this option is that if you activate it then it will nofollow all links on your post no matter whether they are external or internal! If you nofollow an internal link you are simply confusing the robot with content inside your very own blog and stopping the robot from crawling your internal pages. Further this option adds nofollow everywhere but not to the image links which again is surprising.
If you don't activate it then it will pass your PageRank juice to all external sites that appear under the related posts sections unless you manually nofollow them.
Therefore I would advise never to use this option because it is poorly scripted.
Isn't this option misleading for users who are not well versed with SEO and just clicks this option thinking it may nofollow external links only?

6. In-Text Links irrelevancy

The in-Text Links option gives you the ability to automatically link phrases to related sites. But most often the in-Text links suggestions consist of root domain URLs only. Zemanta mostly gives link suggestions which point to homepages only and not the relevant page except for wikipedia. So if you are talking about a Facebook Plugin, it wont gives suggestions to the plugins page but would instead point to Facebook.com
So if you are simply throwing external links without natural relevancy you are simply making your blog prepared for a delicious punch by Penguin Penalty!

Do you use Zemanta?

We tried to be as precise and clear as possible and mentioned all possible pitfalls of using this utility on your Blogger, Wordpress or TypePad blog. We love zemanta API ourselves and we would love it even more if these SEO points are kept in mind by the team and some serious updates are rolled out to ensure that people who use zemanta may stay safe and protected from Search Engine Algorithmic updates and may not lose precious organic traffic by blindly using the tool. They can also publish some tutorials to educate their users with the SEO guidelines and better optimized use of the tool. Amazingly they just posted about Penguin update themselves on their blog but shared no tips to their users on how to better use the plugin!
How long have you been using zemanta and what experiences would you like to share with us?
Stay safe and keep your SEO plug on always. Peace and blessings buddies :)
Note: We don't share reasons without proves and have no personal offence towards any Online Business. We simply educate our readers with Search Engine requirements, policies and help them remain safe and protected. This post should be taken as a positive criticism, which if Zemanta team try to correct could change our views later.

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  1. Mustafa Bro,
    Thanks for providing such a shocking alert!! I always takes your ideas as last idea. whenever i got any article in your blog, then i don's read the same in any other blog. recently i have read an article about Zemanata on your blog, as i have started a new blog before 15 days, so i was planning to use Zemanata. But Thank God..Really u saved me from a great problem... Thanks...

    I have previously asked a question about feed burner, but unfortunately i have no received any answer from you.My question was, that when ever i post an article in my blog, the full article goes to the Email Subscribe's Inbox. I want to send a part of my article to the subscriber's inbox, so that they will come to my blog reading full article. How can i do it?? Waiting your reply....


    1. Zemanta should be used in such a way that the above 5 problems should be eliminated.like uploading those images to our own blogger servers..editing the no follow links.its a bit time-taking.Thanks for the tips. www.bloggerology.com

    2. @Jahid Khan
      Pleasure to hear that and I am glad our small efforts are helping you along. :)

      Dear you can easily show FEED summary by going to:
      Blogger > Settings > Other >Allow blog Feeds

      choose "until jump break"

      Now your feed will only display the opening paragraph above the read more tag.

      Let me know if you needed more help.

  2. Not only that but I was running tests on Zemanta and they always hide their signature on everything! I was doing a speed test, and their little Zemanta image was slowing my entire site down because they never got rid of it, they just hid the image. So Zemanta is only out for Zemanta.

    1. The image is kept hidden using a display:none CSS property. however I don't think a small image would slow down the blog. We cant be that harsh on zemanta :)

    2. It wasn't so much the size of the image, but the speed of their servers. If you whatch the load time of their images, they do fluctuate greatly, now on the test i just did, the little Zemanta image took 1.1 seconds in total to load. Now that is not 1.09 seconds added in total, but for a "invisible" image, it should not take that long to load. The reason it takes so long, is that they give this to everyone using their widget, and the more people using the greater the impact on their servers.

      So for a 1.1kb file to load in 1.09 seconds is to long. The problem is not the image size but their servers that their are hosting the image.

  3. Thanks a lot Mustafa bro to reveal these great reasons to stop using Zemanta :)

  4. Thank you..luckily didn't use it at 1st ;)

  5. Thanks for informing Mohammad...I too have this plugin but using rarely...I never used this for linking but sometimes used to add images...I have a doubt...!! Do we really need to give backlink to image or not ? If we used Flickr then according to their TOC we should give backlink to them...What do you think about this ? Using images without proper backlink is allowed or not ? In mashable they link image at the end of the post,Is that proper way ?

    1. Dude mashable and techCrucnh add nofollow link attribute to the links. so if you are tagging links as noffollow then it wont harm your Link building balance.

      I would suggest creating images of your own. How? Simply take a small resolution image from Google image search, add text to it using paint or photoshop, upload it on your blog. It is all yours now and so is the Image Search traffic! That simple.

      As long as you are not distributing download copies of the original graphic image or selling it online or removing watermark(if any), using an image for individual purpose is surely accepted and legal.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. i did not use Editor assistant zemanta plugin but i used its related posts, because somehow i earn traffic and money out of it. :)

    1. Make sure you manually nofollow the promoted links in related posts else you are going to offer a nice supper to Penguin! :)

  8. thank u so much for this really great info...


  9. that is amazing to know about Zemanta. Thanks you Mustafa Brother.

  10. Thank You Bro,

  11. I might have read about zamanta in MBT some time ago. That day I tried that in my blog "acivilengineerDOTcom". But I saw too many external link and stopped using same day. Finally you have written about that here in this post.

    1. I am glad you observed this flaw and avoided the mistake. Pleasure to help always :)

  12. I never knew these things about zamanta...Tnx for sharing

  13. Thanks Mustafa. This one kind of alert to all blogger. You are always active as you were. You are one of idol to all blogger that how you manage your blog so clean and elegant.

    1. @sanket
      Because people like you keep us alive! Thank you for the needed motivation always buddy. :)

  14. Hi there Mustafa? I like this post but can I ask? How can we know if the tools we are currently using now is not like Zemanta? I am a new marketer and I don't know about this things that's why I guess its kinda complex or hard to identify these matters. As of now I am using Colibri (colibritool.com) and for me, its a good tool for my webpage but when I read this post, I was kinda afraid so I am now asking you these questions of how can we avoid tools like Zemanta? You're answer would be greatly appreciated.

  15. Hi Mohammad
    Have you checked the Zemanta "nofollow" markup recently?
    It's NOW correctly using rel="nofollow" not the "link-nofollow".
    Maybe they fixed it recently.
    It says so in account dashboard account - and checking inserted links it's correct as well.

  16. Thanks for the info. I just installed the plugin yesterday and was looking for other plugins like it when I came across this post. Hopefully most of the stuff has been fixed or addressed, but do you know of more plugins like this to help share my content?

  17. Thanks for your post. Could you please tell me if it is secure to use Related POsts by Zemanta. I'm really confused and want to know if it can hurt my site.
    Thank you

  18. Thanks for this article, does Zemanta even pay for using related content?