The latest salvo from Google in its ongoing war against poor links was directed against a popular website that invited blogs from guest users. MyBlogGuest was penalized in March, officially for allowing guests to post blogs and include links back to their home websites. What is shocking about this move by Google is that MyBlogGuest did not permit paid links and used a strict non-nofollow links policy. Nofollow links are those links which may permit visitors to immediately transition to another web page, but does not provide any enhanced SEO value. MyBlogGuest is no longer listed on search pages for Google.
MyBlogGuest has been a leader in the guest blogging field with almost 73,000 users in 2013 and almost 256 posts per day. However, it appears that Google is making an example of MyBlogGuest because of its prominent prohibition on nofollow links. Despite a strict policy prohibition on paid links, users began receiving notices that links to MyBlogGuest were invalid.
Much of the SEO industry is shocked by Google’s latest move, while others feel that it was appropriate. Many of the industry point to MyBlogGuest’s lack of nofollow linkage use as the primary reason that Google came down so hard. While other guest blog services employed a robust nofollow policy which dampened their utility as SEO enhancement platforms, MyBlogGuest did not nullify SEO improving links, which helped bolster the popularity of the service.
When asked if the site would revamp its nofollow links policy, Ann Smarty the CEO of MyBlogGuest, responded that that was unlikely. She stated that the platform was already policed strictly. Made-for-SEO links are not permitted, nor are keywords. Unlike other premier services, MyBlogGuest also does not allow paid blogs.
While Smarty’s claims have been disputed by some, MyBlogGuest has been criticized for not promoting content over links. It is widely known that MyBlogGuest facilitates the promotion of sites through link spamming rather than premier content production. Accusations that many users employ paid links have also been leveled against the guest blogging service.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s web spam team, announced that any spammy link behavior could constitute grounds for penalization. This could include guest blogging services which encourage or allow link building which benefits partner sites.
Hundreds of users have also felt the impact of Google’s penalty. At least one top ranked site that posted on MyBlogGuest dropped from number one on the search results page to ranks eight to twenty. Many other publishers also reported significant drops in their rankings following the penalty on MyBlogGuest. Others who have repeatedly used the service received an unnatural links notice.
This may spell doom for the wider guest blogging industry, as Google often picks a prominent company to make an example of. Because other guest blogging sites also use similar, and even more illegitimate link practices, it is likely that Google will also take additional action against others. Google made a similar move against iAcquire which facilitated spam commenting.