Comment on Social Media SEO Experiment by SEO Dave.
It’s all about numbers, if you own one low quality site with say 1,000 pages indexed on duplicate/low quality content and add the odd link here and there to your money site, PROBABLY won’t cause damage.
Increase the number of low quality backlinks (sitewide links for example) and the risk increases. Create lots of low quality sites, risk increases further.
I fell foul of this one. Gave away free AdSense themes with sitewide backlinks to the domain I gave the themes away from. Was OK until so many webmasters used the free themes it generated MILLIONS of backlinks and not all the links were high quality, a lot from autoblogs. Was that bad had to ditch the domain and move the content to recover it!
I own a reasonable size network of sites and have been removing links both to and from the low quality parts of the network (plan to cull my blog network by over 50 domains), just not worth the risk in 2014, Google is getting too good at determining quality long term. I can see my network reducing to under 20 sites LONG term: quality over quantity.
Take into account if you do have autoblogs with thousands of posts consider the domain is never going to be considered “high quality” by Google and so the value of the links are practically worthless.
“High Quality” to Google means the domain has generated high quality aged links and doesn’t carry any penalties. You aren’t going to generate high quality backlinks to an autoblog (if you do the domains the links are from are running a risk linking to low quality sites) and the content is likely to be considered duplicate/low quality long term, so fails on both high quality metrics.
You’d have better results with a single page website (even a free Blogger blog) that had high quality content and you generated a few good quality backlinks.
I can built WPRobot autobogs with thousands of webpages in under 30 minutes a site and link them all here, I don’t because the links have no real value. The 30 minutes is better spent on a high quality site. I wouldn’t use autoblogs for backlinks.