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This 72 message thread spans 3 pages: 72 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
Matt Cutts: Guest Blogging for SEO is Over
jackxin




msg:4638211
 3:26 pm on Jan 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Are you accepting or request guest blog posts ? Matt Cutts confirmed in a tweet "we’re taking action on hundreds of buyers, dozens of sites, & dozens of spammy writers," in reference to a blogs bribing investigation.

There is a new case going on with extensive investigation on customers, marketing agencies and bloggers taking money to manipulate search engine rankings.

https://twitter.com/mattcutts/status/414175219796824064
[mattcutts.com...]

Matt Cutt's announcement should make most of this bloggers think twice before accepting paid guest posting and marketing firms stop bribing them if they care about SERPs.

[edited by: brotherhood_of_LAN at 10:14 pm (utc) on Jan 20, 2014]
[edit reason] added MC article [/edit]

 

goodroi




msg:4638799
 9:26 pm on Jan 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Bribery has been going on and will continue to go on because it does work (at least in the short term).

If you are thinking about getting involved, just remember that when Google busts someone they often make them reveal all other parties involved before Google allows them back into the serps. So everyone that you have given a bribe or accepted a bribe from could potentially turn you into Google in exchange for leniency.

If I were to do this I would prefer the softer and less blatant approach of being very nice & extremely generous. It is hard to tell exactly where generosity becomes an outright bribe.

martinacastro




msg:4638829
 11:02 pm on Jan 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

To conclude:

seems Google recommends now to stay away about paying for guest post and staying away about using guest post as the unique linkbuilding strategy?

netmeg




msg:4638836
 11:41 pm on Jan 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I think if the phrase "for links" shows up anywhere in the thought process, you can be pretty sure Google's not happy about it.

aakk9999




msg:4638873
 4:13 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Matt Cutts wrote a blog post on guest blogging:

The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO
http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/ [mattcutts.com]

So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.

EditorialGuy




msg:4638876
 4:28 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

A year ago, I was inundated with offers to buy links.

In the last six months, the strategy has switched to pitches for "guest posts."

I'm glad to see that Google is getting as fed up as I am.

Zivush




msg:4638883
 5:16 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I wonder how the algorithm can decipher between high quality quest blogging and low-quality/spammy/paid guest blogging.

I guess it's something related to the reputation of both sides, the hosted and the guest.

FranticFish




msg:4638893
 6:57 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

It can't. That's why everyone is being told that the best thing to do is to not accept guest posts at all, unless it's someone you personally know, in which case you should nofollow any attribution for the content.

What was Penguin about again?

CaptainSalad2




msg:4638918
 9:19 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

What's to stop the bloggers who were paid/bribed to allow "guest" blogs to simple be paid/bribed to "blog" about the website/company themselves without the guest element?

chalkywhite




msg:4638920
 9:22 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

We need a meta="Advertisment", I have large corps who now and again like to guest post purely to get there product across, yes they offer a fee. They are not after the links as they most likely generate thousands per day naturally - just the exposure to my targeted audience.

Shepherd




msg:4638927
 10:42 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

What's to stop the bloggers who were paid/bribed to allow "guest" blogs to simple be paid/bribed to "blog" about the website/company themselves without the guest element?

We need a meta="Advertisment"


Now we're getting into FTC territory (for those in the U.S.). Personally I'd be much more worried about the FTC than google.

londrum




msg:4638932
 11:46 am on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Why doesnt google just discount the posts, rather than actively punish them. Presumably if they can do one they can do the other

It seems like they are trying to remove a potential revenue stream from small websites by making out its wrong, which it obviously isnt — its just a paid advert, like any other

chalkywhite




msg:4638933
 12:05 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

+1 Londrum, Adsense does not work on all websites.

CaptainSalad2




msg:4638936
 12:22 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just nofollow all guest blog links problem solved? If the guest blog is good quality you will get direct traffic which is what the guest bloggers goal should be, not a "do follow" link.

zeus




msg:4638937
 12:26 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Hmm and so fast are you at spot one for guest blogging, with a google search.

engine




msg:4638939
 12:48 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

There was an early warning of this late last year.

Guest Blogging and Google [webmasterworld.com]

rish3




msg:4638940
 12:56 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Google does this just as much as anyone else.

1. They regularly publish guest posts on their various properties (Google Developers, the official Google blog, Google's Chrome blog, etc). In most cases, aside from a juicy link back to the poster's property, they also edit any references to Google-owned properties and ensure that those text snippets turn into anchor-rich do-follow links.

2. For initiatives like Google's gybo.com, they send out "kits" to the partners with specific instructions on how to mutually promote the program with anchor-rich backlinks. You can find the more subtle instructions online. These include boilerplate press releases, twitter posts, etc with markers on where to insert links. However, those instructions pale in comparison to what's shared privately in a followup consultation. If you check the backlink profile of gybo.com, and sort by anchor text, you get a view of what happens behind closed doors.

It's funny to me that once you scale up "link manipulation" to the degree that you can call it "partner marketing", suddenly everything is kosher.

engine




msg:4638956
 2:54 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Here's how I understand it: You can still accept guest blogging, and you can still guest blog for others. Just don't abuse it.

Know the person that's blogging, and don't accept it from some contact that e-mailed you.

Nofollow the links.

Next time you get a guest blogger request, do some research and find out who they are.

EditorialGuy




msg:4638966
 3:32 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Why doesnt google just discount the posts, rather than actively punish them. Presumably if they can do one they can do the other


Yes, but simply ignoring bad behavior doesn't discourage bad behavior. That's why penalties exist.

I can see three possibilities. Google could:

1) Discount links that might be spammy;

2) Apply an algorithmic penalty to sites receiving large numbers of guest-post links that fit a "spammy" profile;

3) Apply a manual penalty in blatant cases.

Or, sometimes, all three.

bwnbwn




msg:4638968
 3:39 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I have never liked or allowed guest blogger links. I find to many hide behind a curtain. The link is added and if you check the link it lands on a good page about the product or service. Wait a little while and the landing page has been changed to something you really don't want a visitor on your site to hit. No follow won't help you here the damage is done your visitor is pissed they got malware or found themselves looking at por-.

londrum




msg:4638969
 3:43 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yes, but simply ignoring bad behavior doesn't discourage bad behavior. That's why penalties exist.

it's not bad behaviour though. it's just advertising... an agreement between one site and another. the only reason they want to discourage them is because their algo has trouble differentiating between genuine links and paid ones.

i think this problem might solve itself soon anyway. I read an article on searchengineland a few weeks ago that suggested google was moving away from links entirely. in the next year or two the value of backlinks might be devalued so much that no one will want to pay for them.
that's what the article said anyway. I'm not sure i agree with the timescale, but i can certainly see a time when google doesn't bother with backlinks.

brotherhood of LAN




msg:4638971
 3:50 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I was thinking G could 'prefer' that site owner and article owner are described in the metadata to help them decide whether to place value in any links, but it's open to abuse too (impersonation).

It'd seem marketers should use nofollow unless the article author is explicity trusted. Given how many brand names have had an algorithmic slap on the wrist I assume that'd mean just people you know personally.

EditorialGuy




msg:4638979
 4:11 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

it's not bad behaviour though. it's just advertising... an agreement between one site and another.


From Google's point of views, "guest post" link spamming is bad behavior because it's an attempt to manipulate search rankings. Google wants to protect the value of its product, so Google feels entitled (and is entitled) to withhold free search referrals from site owners who try to adulterate or taint that product.

I read an article on searchengineland a few weeks ago that suggested google was moving away from links entirely.


I must have missed that article, but I do remember a recent Search Engine Land article that said Yandex was removing links as a ranking factor for its Moscow-area commercial search results because of link spamming.

IMHO, Google could wipe out most link spamming overnight by taking a cue from Yandex.

netmeg




msg:4638980
 4:19 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

it's not bad behaviour though. it's just advertising... an agreement between one site and another.


Which now puts you in the line of sight for the FTC, at least in the US.

EditorialGuy




msg:4638996
 4:56 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Which now puts you in the line of sight for the FTC, at least in the US.


Good point.

Also, Matt Cutts published a widely-cited video about "advertorial" last May, so any site owner or SEO who hasn't heard the message by now hasn't been paying attention:

[youtube.com...]

aristotle




msg:4639052
 8:39 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

I read an article on searchengineland a few weeks ago that suggested google was moving away from links entirely.

I've thought for years that the Google's emphasis on backlinks as a major ranking factor has created a giant quagmire that has ruined their search results. For them to shift away from backlinks would be a huge about face, but in my opinion, it's the only way for them to finally get rid of all the spam and garbage and start showing nore useful relevant results. I don't know if they will actually do it, but it's something to hope for anyway.

londrum




msg:4639067
 8:51 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

i hope so too.
if you take away their ranking value then people will probably go back to using them how they did in the first place — just linking to material that they want others to see, and stuff that they need for their own life.
ironically, that is what google wants.

here's that article on SearchEngineLand, if anyone wants to read it — [searchengineland.com ]

johnhh




msg:4639084
 9:50 pm on Jan 21, 2014 (gmt 0)

Looks at bit all over the top to me, obviously Google have problems dealing with spam, and have for some years, so they need a little help .. see [webmasterworld.com ]

A don't think a blanket 'ban' would work, first you have to define what is a guest blog article ?, a famous cook writing an article on a online newspaper linking to his receipts ? informed industrial commentator or business writing on a trade association web site ?
Then you have to define , is this actually spam... difficult.

EditorialGuy




msg:4639137
 1:50 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

johnhh: Matt Cutts hasn't said anything about a "blanket ban." It's about the links and whether they were paid for.

IMHO, "guest post" spam is pretty easy to define, at least for spam-fighting purposes. Google doesn't need to agonize over the question of whether the might conceivably be something questionable about a famous chef linking to his recipes from a Huffington Post article or an industrial commentator linking to his blog from a trade association's Web site. The real "guest post" spammers don't stop at one, two, or ten guest posts or links.

rish3




msg:4639144
 2:51 am on Jan 22, 2014 (gmt 0)

IMHO, "guest post" spam is pretty easy to define, at least for spam-fighting purposes.


Maybe. The more sophisticated spammers would be building them in tiers, such that there weren't an abnormally large number of them directly linking to the site.

And, there are less sophisticated people that aren't intentionally spamming that could get swept up. In the mommy-blogger space, it's not unusual to see a circle of them exchange posts all the time. From a casual read, it doesn't all look SEO oriented. Not sure G's machine learning would view it that way. (If this directive is going to get automated...perhaps it's a manual process for now?)

Lastly, a lot of the guest posts that get sold aren't clearly labeled as guest posts on the published blogs. A lot of it is structured like the "MOZ UGC" that MC said was fine (in the same twitter thread), due to er, "quality".

This 72 message thread spans 3 pages: 72 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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