Let me explain.
We have all seen this tweet.
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
We all knew who it meant.
There were people who used this community once or twice when it first launched before it became infected with a number of insidious craphats who scale all operations to devalue anything good about a service in the name of SEO.
There were little “mom and pop” operations who don’t have big budgets and who had read some SEO’s blog claiming all you need to do to rank is get inbound one-way links. So they signed up to this service, or worse still, Fiverr, Warrior Forum or some of the other one-way backlink services, guest posting services or any other derivative of garbage.
Everyone should always do their due diligence and you cannot claim ignorance with Google. Maybe after the disavow tool, they might launch the ignorance tool, but, until then, you need to wise up.
So, who are the innocents caught in the crosshairs?
Google has not only targeted the network in question, My Blog Guest (rightly or wrongly, I’m not debating in this post) but also the “publishers” who were part of the “network”.
Some of these publishers are small hobbyist bloggers, with one or two sites, who needed some extra content as it’s a “part-time” thing they fit in around work or family. Of course, some of the sites were mass industrial spam blogs, albeit with unique content, but set up for one purpose: take content with a link and get the Adsense revenue.
We all know that’s now against the TOS (again not debating that here) so you are judged by the company you keep! When did we stop talking about bad neighbourhoods? 😉
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION.
You are now associated with the garbage, you are in Google’s cross hairs and you are probably waking up to a penalty. But, that’s not the collateral damage I am talking about.
Today I have heard about sites who have never been within 100 miles of MBG or any other “community” who have received outbound link warnings:
The site in question that I know of is a blog, run by a credible SEO, who has been on the scene for 10+ years. They published posts in a specific section before “guest posting” became “guest posting”, with author contributions helping people with issues. Each post was meaty, content heavy and yes it did have a number of links; links to useful resources and pointing to other credible information.
Yes, Google again has it knickers in a twist and “innocent parties”, as well as the guilty, will be caught up in it.
This is an early morning post, more of a statement of intent to publish a full and in depth review post on the situation, but, if you have lots of outbound links, whether you have been near a network or not, you best pop off and check WMT.
If you have links to your site from a website that’s been in MBG or other services, you had best pop off and check WMT.
Heck, if you have any links to your website, you best pop off and check WMT. 😉
More to follow, until then, think about the FUD!
Outbound link warnings, get everyone scared, make all links nofollow as people will be too scared to link….