If you have been following the changing stance of Google over the past year, you will have seen that they have altered their acceptance of the latest link building craze, guest blogging, and issued a firm message back in January that told the online community that they were no longer going to stand by and watch as sites exploited the medium to manipulate their search engine algorithms.
In a tweet via social networking site Twitter, Matt Cutts revealed that Google have taken action against a major platform that encouraged the sharing of content, tweeting:
Today we took action on a large guest blog network. A reminder about the spam risks of guest blogging: http://t.co/rc9O82fjfn
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 19, 2014
With his message firm but vague, Cutts moved to remind the online world of his blogpost dated January 20th which supported a Webmaster Help video that he had created and pushed live onto the firm's YouTube account, with the underlying message being that guest blogging for links was now firmly on their radar and should be considered dead in the water.
Okay so the message was a little pixelated in terms of the true extent of the stance that Google have over the content sharing technique but between the lines it was easy to be able to ignore the quickly transcribed takes on the message that said guest blogging as a whole was now on the scrap heap, instead being able to see that the real message was that it should not be used as a link building practise as a main focus.
Just for clarification here, guest blogging is not dead; it's just policed and should be about delivering value and expert opinion first and foremost.
It didn't take long for the name of the large guest blogging network to be passed around the social channels and it was finally concluded that the latest site to feel the wrath of Google was none other than MyBlogGuest.com.
Confirmation of the extent of the hit was originally drawn from the fact that the site no longer ranks for its own brand terms, however the site is still indexed in the Google search engine so there could be more heartache still to unfold for the blogger/advertiser network.
A couple of hours passed before Ann Smarty from MBG confirmed that it was in fact the recipient of the penalisation, issuing her confirmation via Twitter:
— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) March 19, 2014
Clearly Ann feels that the penalisation has been applied to the site outside of what the normal standards are in relation to Google penalties, claiming that MBG has "been against paying for links" and highlighting that there were other entities out there within the same market space that were more willing to do so.
Obviously as many will know if you have read my posts before, I like to make sure that things are as crystal clear as people claim however on this occasion I can see why Google might be thinking that MyBlogGuest have been acting outside of their guidelines when it comes to backlinks and how they are acquired.
A small scale search using Ahrefs.com revealed that the site had a large number of websites that were displaying banner ad style placements, sitewide, across their site. A look at the links both through following them and reading into the source code in multiple methods clearly shows that these followed banner placements simply point into the homepage of MyBlogGuest.com.
Although that being said, I'm not prepared to come out and make the claim that they were placed with something in return being offered to website owners, simply that in my own opinion, the placements look like the sort of thing that you would be able to replicate fairly easily within the blogger marketplace.
Have You Never Heard of MyBlogGuest?
I know that there will be some of you readers out there that will be thinking "Who are MyBlogGuest?" so I did a little search about to see if I could offer you a little more information towards the sheer size and scope of the site and it seems that Ann has been more than willing to share a little insight into some statistics that may, or may not have aided Google in their decision to penalise the site.
You can see those statistics here.