Google Takes Action On Guest Blogging

Chris CrumSearchNews

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Google has been warning webmasters about guest blogging for quite a while, but now, the search engine is getting serious.

Will going after "guest blogging networks" improve Google's search results? Let us know what you think.

Head of webspam Matt Cutts tweeted early Wednesday morning that Google has taken action on a large guest blog network, and reminded people about "the spam risks of guest blogging".

That link points to a post from January on Matt's personal blog where he proclaimed that "guest blogging is done." He later clarified that he meant guest blogging specifically for SEO.

He didn't specify which network Google just took action on, but Pushfire CEO Rae Hoffman suggested that MyBlogGuest appeared to be the "winner".

Still, from where we're sitting, the site is in the top three for its name, appearing only under its own Twitter and Facebook pages.

MyGuestBlog owner Ann Smarty confirmed, however, that her site was indeed penalized.

The site promises on its homepage, "We don't allow in any way to manipulate Google Rankings or break any Google rules." It does promise bloggers a way to build links, which everyone knows is a key signal in Google's ranking algorithm (Cutts recently said links are still "super important").

Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land points out that Smarty wrote a blog post after Cutts' January post, saying her network wouldn't nofollow links. She wrote:

MyBlogGuest is NOT going to allow nofollow links or paid guest blogging (even though Matt Cutts seems to be forcing us to for whatever reason).

Instead we will keep promoting the pure and authentic guest blogging concept we believe in.

She went on to note that she is an SEO who stopped depending on organic rankings a long time ago.

"I believe in the Internet and its ability of giving little people (like myself) the power of being heard. I can say, I don’t care about Google," she wrote. "I don’t think Google is THE Internet."

She's right, and one can't help but admire her attitude, but one also can't help but wonder how many of those utilizing the network have that attitude.

The phrase, "Play with fire, and you get burnt" also comes to mind. Google isn't the Internet, but how much are people spending time and effort writing guest blog posts depending on it?

Apparently Smarty does care about Google after all. Bill Hartzer writes that she told him before Cutts made the announcement, "I really hope that they don’t target MyBlogGuest. There are other guest blogging networks that should targeted, such as PostJoint, a paid guest blogging network. MylLogGuest is not a paid network."

It stands to reason that Google is going to be going after more of these types of sites the way it has been doing with other link networks.

Smarty, a well-respected SEO veteran, and MyGuestBlog are getting some support from the webmaster community.

Do you think MyBlogGuest deserved a Google penalty? Should Google be this concerned with guest blogging? Let us know in the comments.

Note: This article has been updated since Smarty confirmed the penalty and more has emerged.

Image via YouTube

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.