Honestly 90% of Myblogguest was recycled domains trying to look legit to farm a few Adsense clicks. I'm really really not surprised. It was basically an inefficient private blog network in its majority.
Agreed -- even if Ann Smarty was trying to do everything above board, people using it were promoting low-quality spammy stuff.
This is exactly what I thought when I hear this... I have lot of respect for Ann and her product but on the other hand this is also true that many people over there were only promoting lowest quality stuff and their soul purpose was to increase links!!
exactly, the marketing was great, the person behind it IS great and I'll certainly keep listening to what Ann has to say but the user base was basically the people looking for a replacement to build my rank. I remember hearing mentions to build my guest a few time in the office when people were talking about it.
You hit the nail on the head. It was a good, genuine system that was abused and now Google have stepped in. The rule really is any scalable link building method WILL get taken down.
I believe that is just Google's way of setting higher standards for networks as well. They probably want to send a message that networks need to be strictly regulated and owners will have to start taking responsibility for the action of their members. A good move for the industry overall.
I think the issue comes down to scale. If the general public can scale ANY tactic for links it will get banned by Google. No matter how white hat it is or not. So going forward do things that DO NOT SCALE.
Hint: Getting a link in the NYT is not scalable for the general public...but mass guest posting is.
i completely agree with you "do things that DO NOT SCALE"
While it's true that if something can be scaled it usually will be abused, I wouldn't be so fast to say that it's a rule carved in stone. Remember, Matt & Duane said Getty's image attribution widget wouldn't be considered a link scheme. That thing scales.
It would be easy enough to make this service unscalable. I don't even see why it's to MBG's business advantage to make it super easy to publish crappy articles en masse. If you take a look at the profile pages with site:myblogguest.com/forum/profile.php you will see a ton of profile pages with followed links to low quality "blogs"
So link building is no longer scalable?
This is crazy if true. By that logic they should also hit Help a Reporter Out (HARO) and any of the journalists who have used it for sources (e.g. almost every single major news source in the UK and US).
I use haro to get press mentions not links per se
This shouldn't be at all surprising. Let's look at the benefits listed on the home page...
100% agree.. and get the feeling that most people who disagree have been caught with their hands in the cookie jar
This doesn't reflect on Ann - but the only reason why MBG existed and continued to exist was because people wanted links. And we all know what Google thinks of that.
If you think otherwise, you're deluding yourself.
MBG do provided a good platform for the writers to meet with the bloggers. Why to consider it black hat?
because it is black hat .. because Google considers it black hat .. because Google want us to stop doing link building
I disagree. Matt knows exactly what he's doing and he's damn good at it. He warned the community and followed through in a big way.
I have 4 sites on MBG and they all received unnatural outbound link manual actions.
MarketingChris.com: PR 3 to PR 0
UpQuarks.com: PR 1 to PR 0
WinnerCityKids: PR 2 to PR 0
SmashFlare: 50-60 links to 0 links detected
The biggest losers of this are small businesses who rely on organic results to drive business. These people don't have a lot of money to spend on cleaning up this mess, so I would like the community to get involved and help these small businesses recover for free. Sure, Google warned us. But small business owners are not SEOs or webmasters, so I think we need to take responsibility as an industry and help these guys.
The biggest hit was to sites that allow guest posting and it flows back to these mom and pop type companies. If anyone is willing to help and spend a few hours to do charity work, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have any links from my sites that I listed above and you want them removed or nofollowed, also email me or call me at 856-361-3956 (my cell).
Surely the most charitable thing to do would be for all MBG posters to simply nofollow any link they know has been unnaturally created. I would have thought if you have been advised of a manual action due to outbound linking this would be an automatic response in order to deal with your own problem.
With regard to small business owners who cannot afford the cost of cleaning up unnatural links - this is exactly the reason why we made the Basic account at rmoov a "forever free" trial. Anyone who needs to get the job done for free is welcome to use it for as long as they need to.
That's awesome! I'll help spread the word about the forever free trial. Can you put a link to the sign up page here?
Sorry to take so long getting back here ... it's been kind of a busy week...
Basic account signup here: rmoov.com/rmoov_registration.php and we do provide support for our free subscribers just the same as paid,
Yeah, Christy has the same opinion...May be the Google team registered in MBG and analyzed all the stuff.
But there were lot of good domains registered in MBG right? What about them? Will these spammy websites cut off their impression too? How long can we trust them?
Well, we'll soon find out how Google treats other public guest post exchange platforms. MBG was very easy to use because they had a lot of automation including link verification and Klout score profiling. There are other platforms out there that are more manual. If big G doesn't penalize those other sites then your theory might have some legs. I think this is part of a greater effort by Google to snuff out public guest post exchange platforms. The problem I see with this approach is that it's like banning VCRs (remember those?) just because someone popped in an adult tape instead of something more 'wholesome.' Anyway, guest posting will move on. It will focus more on expertise, won't be as public, and probably would focus more on quality and relevance.
We took on a client 30 days ago and have completed no link building, the old agency relied heavily on sites like MBG and other low quality guest blogging services. The site was hit with a partial match penalty this morning on all the guest post related target areas. Could be a bad coincidence or a targeted strike by Google on MBG based blogs. To be honest my agency has never used MBG I audited the site 2 years ago and most of the blogs seemed to be dropped domains with poor quality footprints. I do however feel sorry for Ann Smarty and the team quite a harsh attack considering so many others offer similar services.
Offcial from Ann Smarty https://twitter.com/seosmarty/status/446291344651075585
@CarlaDewing @mattcutts I am not sure why they took action on us :) We were banning people for using guest blogging for links for ages
So...its Done..!!! MBG is now OMG...! :(
If My Blog Guest is ban why not other platforms like Post Joint who encourages paid postings? #justwondering
okay got the answer .. shit i forget .. will let u know later
More to follow soon, I'm sure.
Just my opinion. was just talking to ann about this a few hours ago
before the penalty hit at pubcon. (I was like "do you think it will be
you?" she was like "i hope not"!)
Anyway, i think that taking action against myblogguest probably impacts 0.0000000000001% of queries. this action was purely intended to intimidate and demoralize SEOs.
It quite heartening to see that "Wordstream" and Larry Kim disagree on this topic! Diversity of opinion like that is good for your company, I bet.
I don't see how they disagree. They simply make a distinction between the product/user base and the creator. I like Ann and I love her principles, too bad her community didn't follow them.
Wordstream above said that it's slapping abusers, here Larry is saying it's a shot at SEOs via Ann rather than legit antispam effort. That's how they disagree.
Elisa here (SEO/Content Marketing Manager), AKA "WordStream" on Twitter and Inbound. I actually do agree with Larry that this was mostly meant to send a message, it's not like My Blog Guest was responsible for all the guest blog spam in the universe. But I also think the site was hawking plenty of low-quality stuff, which is what Google really has a problem with.
probably you are seeing it broader perspective .. google is ending manual outbound link penalty to all websites registered to MBG. so hopefully all the link juices that those sites were passing have come to an end ..
I agree with those who say a core reason for this penalty is it helps Google's PR machine. The don't think myblogguest was full of amazing sites, but if Google penalise this site they need to follow through and penalise all sites that offer mass guest posting opportunities. I don't think they will do that. They will simply penalise a few and let all the others die as people are too afraid to use them.
"...but if Google penalise this site they need to follow through and penalise all sites that offer mass guest posting opportunities."
Do they really? If they can discourage the behavior w/ one penalty, isn't that a good thing? I am guessing they will probably work with Ms. Smarty on getting whatever compliant is.
I think is the Nature of the site, not guess Blogging as a practice. if you are guest blogging on a site (that is not a farm of guest blogs) and the reasons are not purely self exposure but to provide a certain value to the readers of that entity you should be fine. and the site owner should be fine. is all about moderation
As others have pointed out - the links MBG built to itself weren't always kosher. Even if you leave the guest posts to one side, they were still doing stuff like widget bait and competitions.
Google penalized MBG for "unnatural links" *TO* the site. I spoke with Ann Smarty this afternoon, and there is no indication that the site was penalized because of its content. Matt Cutts' tweet makes it sounds as if they penalized the site because of its business model, but that's not the real reason why MyBlogGuest was penalized.
There's an important distinction here: the site is technically penalized because of links going TO myblogguest.com, not because of the fact that it provides a resource for guest posts.
Anyway, i think that taking
action against myblogguest probably impacts 0.0000000000001% of
queries. this action was purely intended to intimidate and demoralize
^ I agree on Larry
It's official: https://twitter.com/seosmarty/statuses/446291856913993728
[Official] Even though #myblogguest has been against paying for links (unlike other platforms), @mattcutts team decided to penalize us...
I'm seeing (and hearing about) a lot of sitewide penalties today
1. Unnatural Links from a Website - this penalty is aimed at link sellers or link networks, these sites were typically publishing guest posts from sources (including MBG) with links containing commercial anchors
2. Unnatural Links to your website - we are talking brands and small sites a like here, some of these sites have very few links from guest posts pointing to them that were part of MBG.
It has taken a while for the messages to come through but I highly suggest you check Google Webmaster tools if you had sites in MBG.
Additionally if you have done any significant kinds of guest posting campaigns in the past be sure to check for any manual actions - just because you weren't part of MBG doesn't mean that the sites you got links from were not.
Yea I can confirm too Chris. I reached out to a number of publishers from MBG as I was trying to remove anything I had done through MBG in the past. It seems I can count at least 5 sites that have sitewide penalties.
probably should remove any links if you posted with the same blogs over and over again in MBG
I'm about 100% positive its true. Google continues to retroactively go after these strategies that it once touted. Now, I haven't used MBG in a LONG time. But still I find it ridiculous Google would largely attack them when Ann was doing so much to make sure it adhered to Google's standards. A couple of sites that I used MBG for really early on seemed to have been hit with at least partial penalties. It took awhile for WMT to send the infamous message.
Keep us posted Shane. Thank you.
Have you received those messages today Shane?
All are site-wide that deal with MBG - partial matches came from other sites non-related to this update.
Cheers Shane I'm hearing of more reports now too - there seems to be a correlation with commercial anchors + MBG usage
My Theory :P
I think Matt Cutts team signed up for MBG and monitored all sites who registered. Finally of D day he press the 'Penalize' button. This affects all websites registered in MBG.
Yeah right. How do they even know who uses the thing? (I've never actually seen the tool -- does it show the info of the blogs and -author info?) or did googs do some kind of special investigative stuff.
Matt Cutts is bully, picking on Anne Smarty. Nice Ukrainian girl who moved over to this side of the world to start a new life for herself. It's still in the index. If you do a site:myblogguest.com, but it isn't appearing for a branded search. Def a penalty.
This entire thing is a huge Pandora's box. Small businesses and bloggers are randomly getting penalized - including legitimate businesses and quality blogs. I hope no one believe that penalizing a site during an event is not an obvious method of making them an example to scare others into fearing Google's wrath. What is truly ironic is that Ann has always been against guest blogging being monetized in any way.
What we really need to know is how penalizing any site affects all the sites they have linked to in the past or that have linked to them. This game is coming to a close. Does Google really want us to choose between never using links or no Google traffic? That is what many who fear them will conclude just as some bloggers are now so afraid of Google penalties that if they comment anywhere they remove the link to their own site and if they guest post they put no link in their bio.
The purpose of Guest Blogging is to reach your desired audience. The purpose of Viral Content Buzz is to increase that reach. The purpose of links is to provide those readers who desire it with references and additional detail. Google can try to make all of these only about links, but they will find out that because they have other purposes they can NOT kill them. The sooner we recognize that and focus on their true purposes and ignore Google the better off we will be. Marketers need to learn how to build real relationships and create sales funnels instead of relying on the immediate sales search can bring because the search gravy train is running out of steam.
This is clearly a move from Google to scare SEOs away from using mass guest posting to manipulate Google's search algorithms. Having said that, I used MyBlogGuest around a year ago a few times and started to see a bit of a dip in quality - nowadays, the site is FULL of spammy blogs and a very small number of legitimate blogs. I like Ann Smarty and what she does - she created a great community and capitalised on a big opportunity in the market. I'd feel very hard-done by if I were Ann and co. because although I think it was a matter of time before this happened, they've been targeted specifically to be made an example of. There's a ton of communities like them that haven't been hit, which will be a bitter pill to swallow.
I personally can't see MyBlogGuest recovering from this and I think it will be the end of the site. Although I doubt very much that they rely on search traffic, the damage that this will do to the faith of the user base will be enormous. Publishers will be pulling their sites en masse and a lot of the value of the site will be lost.
Hopefully they find a way to turn it around. Possibly the most ruthless penalty placed by Matt Cutts and co. to date.
Is it just me, or does Google have a massive monopoly power that's going totally unchecked?
No company should be able to shut down another company without a clear, transparent accountability process.
Anti-trust suit long over-due.
Hahahaaa...so now Guest blogging busted...what is next? Matt is on search...
I've not seen much forum chatter in the usual places that sites within MBG have received any kind of manual penalties although that may not happen.
This could be a PR stunt to spread the "guest blogging is dead" message....
This is a genuine concern rather than a PR stunt!! I never said Guest blogging is dead!
Ann Smarty herself has confirmed it:https://twitter.com/seosmarty/status/446291856913993728
Yeah but it sends a powerful message. MY BLOG GUEST... GUEST BLOG. Even if you haven't used it, the chances are you've heard of it.
Article on search engine watch includes comments from ann.
Thanks for the link, Larry.
Does anyone think that the fact that MBG forced publishers to use follow links or they would be banned from the site had anything to do with it? Also Ann Smarty writing a "I'm not going to listen to Google and will publicly defy them" post isn't a good business move.
Oh my God!!
Just saw this post from Matt Cutts http://www.seroundtable.com/google-guest-blog-penalty-18278.html there are a lot of rumors telling that the penalized site could be My Blog Guest. Does it really mean that the domain is penalized or the sites using her services??
I take it u are a user of the service? What happened to your sites?
Larry. Just to be clear MBG is a community. Not a service. That's an important distinction.
Is there any valid proof? Is it confirmed?
Sorry if I'm being ignorant, but how can Google tell if a blog that is listed on MBG gives out a link to another website that has never signed up to MBG? I can't see how they can, but this website that has now earned this link from this blog is likely to get penalised?
I understand the whole don't get links from low quality blogs argument and disavow shady links, but could someone just entertain this idea for me?
Google knows a "few" innocents will always get swept up in something like this. So the short answer is they are aware and this is a consequence they are fine living with...
I figure they have an account on MBG and know what blogs are using it.
Funny how many people are using a gmail accounts for link building purposes.
The major disconnect here is that the issue is not about "low quality" vs "high quality" links.
The issue is about followed links that are "manufactured" vs "earned".
As Ian mentioned above, if links from MBG users were nofollowed, there would be no issue.
Hope that helps clarify for you.
I understand the manufactured vs earned process. What I meant was the following (hyperbolic a bit I know):
If you do a domain search on MBG for stumbleupon.com you will see multiple users using that domain.
How can Google tell the difference between an earned link and a manufactured link from a reputable site such as stumbleupon.com?
I agree with AJ and Cole and figure it's a bit of Google not caring about a few innocents and them taking manual action on this as well.
Google is going to have their eye on any sort of major link service be it "black, white, or grey." I've personally never even heard of this service before today but to me it sounds like it is exactly what Google is going after right now. Google and their digital PR team is gonna go after whatever link network / service that is going to make the biggest impact in the community. Sure they take down small services every day but aren't going to tweet about them.
This is just another reason I am going to continue to stay away from any service that offers links and sleep good every night.
That thinking velociraptor meme: If MBG is banned shouldn't blogspot be banned too?
This is what Google wanted. People using more adwords, even for brand name.
Better to keep an eye on this to make sure if Google is gonna disapprove their ads as well.
I guess Google is making it clear that the algorithms are getting stricter each day and the existence of link building sites is under FIRE!!
I have the same doubt Tom Binga asked in SEJ : http://postimg.org/image/qokjgo82h/
It's true that Google has penalized the network, so it's now important to find the reason of penalty. It's not a paid guest blogging network so the site needs further analysis.
We can't blame Google for it, it's time for Ann & her team to find the exact reason of penalty & finding the solution. Am sure that they will get a solution & will recover soon.
The subtext here is don't guest blog for exposure, use Google+ instead.
Adwords Tommy... Adwords
This is a simple reminder that guest posting is the next target for Google's war against spam.
The site is banned and the users ( i mean me) are being penalized.. Today itself, i received an email regarding unnatural links and I need to correct that.
How do Google know who all the bloggers and all the blogs are that participated in MBG as it seems to be that anyone who has participated in anyway with MBG has received a warning from Google. Either 'unnatural inbound links' or 'unnatural outbound links'. We all know that many agencies USED this site to gain links to their customers sites but MBG is not a network as Matt Cutts stated. It is just a place that puts blog owners in contact with blog writers and vice-versa. As far as I am aware, none of the blogs associalted with MBG are linked together in anyway so how is this a physical network?
I will say something though - since MBG got hit I have spoken to many agencies and everyone is now staying well away from guest blogging so Matt Cutts has done the trick with hitting MBG. The over-all impact here has been massive and it is the small business owners who is only guilty of taking on the services of an agency who used guest blogging to build links.
He has put the fear and now everybody will stay away from any such forums that promotes guest blogging.
Was anybody hit even when they had some like "Each article shall go through an editorial review process before publication." written along with strict instructions for guest authors under http://yoursite.com/write-for-us ?
It seems that Google doesn't like guest blogging anymore? Why they are penalizing sites like that offer blog posts with value and use. Maybe one day Google will just penalized all sites that they don't like. :(
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