In January, Google’s Matt Cutts announced the death of guest blogging for SEO, declaring it a link-building tactic of the past.
Today, Cutts announced on Twitter that Google has taken action against a “large guest blog network.” While he did not name which network they targeted, it’s clear beyond all doubt that it was MyBlogGuest.
Indeed, the service no longer ranks for its own brand name, a classic sign of a Google penalty, and it’s nowhere to be found when searching for terms like ‘guest blogging.’
I wrote a post earlier this year titled RIP MyBlogGuest, wherein I described my experiences with the service: despite being an extremely active publisher, VentureBreak was banned for adding a “rel=’nofollow’” attribute to all guest post links. This has been part of our guest posting policy for more than four years, and this was the first time we’d received a complaint about it.
I wrote an email to co-founder Sana Knightly explaining my reasoning—to protect guest bloggers and my network from search engine penalties—and suggesting a mutually beneficial solution to the problem. After a month of waiting, I still hadn’t received a response, so I called them out publicly.
“I don’t believe in nofollow,” Ann wrote. “Nofollow is a terrible solution because it encourages bad editors to use free content. [...] Until nofollow links become official Google’s requirement , we won’t allow them within MBG.”
I explained to Ann that Google gladly imposes penalties on unnatural links, including self-serving links in guest posts, and other commenters referred her to Matt Cutts’s official words on the subject, but she remained adamant in her position. She even wrote a blog post addressing Cutts’s warnings and essentially telling Google to fuck off.
Today, Ann’s rebellion earned her a big fat Google slap, as I expected.
So what does this mean for guest blogging? It means nofollow your links. That’s all.
Guest blogging isn’t dead—it’s still a great way for us to provide an additional perspective for our audience.
And in return, the guest blogger receives exposure in front of a large readership of entrepreneurs, investors, and business execs, and a chance to showcase their knowledge and experiences.
To me, that’s worth more than a link.