Google Penalizes A Large Guest Blog Network: Webmasters Beware!
March 20, 2014
“Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book. It’s not that way anymore“. This was the contrast that Google’s Matt Cutts put forward to highlight the spam that was circulating in the name of Guest Blogging. It was clear. Guest blogging was now under the X-ray, offering spammers abusing the otherwise respected activity, no respite.
The turmoil that Matt Cutts’ blog ‘The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO’ weaved, saw thousands of webmasters speculating if guest blogging was dead, clearly indicating Matt Cutts’ message was misinterpreted. But Matt’s blog was not a big bang that just happened suddenly. There were numerous instances prior this blog, where he had mentioned where and how to do guest blogging the ‘right’ way and what could get you into trouble; for instance the following videos:
The videos highlighted two aspects, namely: what to refrain from and what to consider, when guest blogging. Recapitulating the message, here is a brief:
The ‘You-Are-In-Trouble’ Factors!
- It should not be taken up as a link building strategy
- Refrain from random writers who offer links in exchange for money
- Same blogs should not be posted on two different sites
- Avoid spinning same articles too many times
The Guest Blogging Checklist: Don’t miss Them!
- Content body should be relevant to its title.
- It should be devoid of spelling and grammatical errors
- Keywords should be used naturally and not look stuffed
- Validated author bio should be present
- The author should mention (indirectly or explicitly), what made him write for the website
- The blog should be informative in nature and should be devoid of promotional statements, which comes across as if the writer has been paid for the piece.
All this and more was spoken of and discussed of which we all concluded that guest blogging was:
- Not an everyday affair and meant to be taken up occasionally and
- It needed to be done the right way; the way it was meant to be.
It was quite a blow yesterday morning, when Matt Cutts tweeted that ‘a large guest blog network’ had been penalized. It wasn’t clearly stated as to what exactly landed the blog network being taken action against, but the reasons must have been impactful enough for sure. Without getting into the details of the penalized website’s identity, let’s just look at the dos and don’ts of the practice.
I have spoken about what needs to be ensured when considering guest blogging in my earlier blogs as well like:
Google warning low quality guest blogging calls for penalty
The link Building predicament to do or not to do
However, guest blogging is not dead nor is it going to be done away with, not soon enough at least; so we need not be worried about that. It’s only important for webmasters and guest bloggers to know their grounds and limitations and refrain from malpractices. Yesterday’s news, needs to be taken up as an example of what can happen if you continue to or are considering cutting corners from what’s correct.
It’s never too late but the earlier we realize the better for us!
Have you started fine tuning your guest blogging practices? What according to you is the worst, someone could do to ruin guest blogging? Share your takes with us.