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So, we have come to the end of the first month of 2014. I think we have kind of seen the battle lines drawn by Google now. It’s kind of weird because at the beginning of the year, it seemed to be so awesome. We’re starting to see the re-inclusion requests coming back, and then all of a sudden, things went south and we started getting these little messages in Google Webmaster Tools that were saying, “Do not put in a new reconsideration request for a couple of weeks. We’re not able to even look at it!”
In that time, RapGenius came back out of a penalization which is a little bit of a surprise because they have been naughty but they were truly apologetic on their website. We all kind of thought that they wouldn’t come back so quickly. But after ten days they are back. So, that was a little bit of an upturn because we thought actually, maybe Google is going to be a little more lenient on websites this time around.
And then, it gets close to the end of the month and what do we get? Matt Cutts revealing the biggest secret on the Internet so far today, that guest blogging maybe going south. I think we all knew this, we’ve all known this for a long time. Well, Matt’s gone and put a fork in it, which actually the way that he put it over has caused two issues. One obviously, people who were doing guest posting are little bit upset that there’s going to be a revenue stream died up because of the blogs that were taking money for these posts. There’s also the other side of it, where you have professional writers that were actually making money by writing articles. And some of these guys have started saying, “Well, what should I do? Can I actually write for these high profile websites?” So there’s been a bit of backwards and forwards there. And I think the jury is actually still out on this…
But one of the big up shots of this is we’re seeing more and more high profile websites having a no linking policy, which is kind of weird really isn’t it, because if that is a journalistic website and they are writing about your website, surely those are the kinds of links that Google wants to see on the web?
It seems very weird that all of a sudden, the links that Google actually wants you to get, are the first set of links that actually dry up on the web. Perfect example of this, is this blog post we wrote, after we were tweeted that it looked like Irwin Mitchell had been penalized in Google for its brand. Surely enough it had, and a lot of it, the lawyer blogs picked up on this. They used quotations from our blog post, but obviously they would not link to us because they are too scared to link out these days.
And now if that’s the case that’s going to go on, we’re going to get the situation where the gap is going to get wider. And what’s going to happen is that, the large brands are going to be too scared to actually even approach journalists to write about their brands. And the smaller, little websites that can nip in, “You know what? I don’t care. I’m still going to pay a couple of hundred dollars or $25 or $1000 because I’m the only one who’s getting clean links in this game at the moment". So, that’s going to be interesting, how are Google going to manage the situation? What are they actually going to do?
Search metrics then updated around the 23rd and we saw what they were going to do. MusicMagpie.co.uk, they don’t rank for the domain. Retailchoice.com, another one that was hit. IrwinMitchell.com, obviously the one I had mentioned, ProtectYourBubble.com was another one, and on and on and on. And then obviously, while the dust was settling on that, Matt Cutts comes out and says, “We have just taken our French network called Buzzea and now we’re going after a German network.” So I’m sure there’s a lot of German people out there at this moment in time that are thinking, "That is not good yah!" We’ll see how that works anyway.
So, battle lines have been drawn. Matt Cutts said, “No more guest posting. You shouldn’t do this.” He also came out and said, “Article submissions, big no, don’t do that either.” Previously said, “Don’t buy links.” Think that is a given these days. So what’s really left? If the journalists don’t want to link to you because they are scared of Google repercussions, where are you going to get these editorial back links from? The back links that Google needs to live, needs to survive, needs, to rank websites? It’s going to be an interesting year.
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