Ann Smarty, who owns MyBlogGuest, confirmed that her large guest blog network was in fact the offending party (Cutts did not name them in his original Tweets). Smarty also confirmed that MyBlogGuest had already received a punishment from Google – while also insisting they did nothing wrong.
But let’s take a closer look, shall we? Let’s cut right to the heart of the matter here. Let’s look at the real reason MyBlogGuest got popped by Google and its Top Cop Cutts.
No, it wasn’t because of mere “guest posting.” It was more about the intent behind that guest posting.
It was because people were using guest posting for EVIL.
Well, maybe it wasn’t quite that dramatic. Maybe “evil” isn’t the best word here (although it is a word Google itself is famous for putting out there…and promising not to put into practice). But it’s clear that the people who were punished were not really doing “the right thing.” Or, if morality is not your cup of tea, they weren’t doing “the smart thing.” Nor were they doing “the natural thing.”
They weren’t using guest posting for its ntended, proper purpose.
Full disclosure here:
We here at Amplitude Digital saw this coming. Because we had some initial familiarity and experience with just what MyBlogGuest was offering and authoring.
When MyBlogGuest first came on the scene, we looked into using them to provide content to beef up our then-fledgling blog. We even worked with a few of their bloggers on a few posts here and there. However, we noticed pretty early on that even though the content would be about topics that would certainly be of interest to our blog readers, the links that were embedded within the content – and the “bio” line near the end of the posts – tended to direct and link back to all sorts of oddly unrelated sites.
Not only didn’t we understand that, but it didn’t really make any kind of sense to us. And we knew our loyal readers would feel the same way. After all, who wants to read a blog post about SEO trends with links to local plumbers? Or commentary on the power of video in digital marketing campaigns…linking to online cigar stores?
Count us out. Because to us, stuff like this just makes no sense. And it obviously looks at least a good bit suspicious. If not just plain stupid.
At best, it looks distracted and scattershot, like the work of some kind of over-caffeinated, ADD-addled blogger gone wild. Like maybe the guest blogger was multi-tasking, firing off posts for both Amplitude Digital and those plumbers, while smoking a cigar. Oh, and he was watching “Blade Runner” on Blue-Ray too. In his haste, confusion and heightened state of distraction and excitement, he just sort of threw everything into the same pot, cooking up a sort of “blog stew.”
We’ve also looked closely at the work that Google and Cutts have been doing to slow the roll of these shadier operators – and restore order, sanity and integrity to the often weird and wild worlds of digital marketing and SEO. We’re no stranger to their efforts, and we’re not shy about saying we support them. Even while many others around us gnash their teeth, drag their feet and cry foul.
For a long time, there really wasn’t a way for Google to specifically notice these types of dodgy practices. But even then, these sort of guest blog posts weren’t really ever worth what people thought or claimed they were worth in the first place. Why? Because they resulted in a flat-out confusing and lousy user experience.
Unless you happened to be in the market for both SEO insight and a fantastic local plumber.
With over 25 years of online marketing experience, Jeff has led the online marketing efforts for companies such as Hilton Hotels, Kimberly-Clark, InterActiveCorp, Experian, and Napster. Honored as one of PPC Hero’s “Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts” for three years in a row, Jeff Ferguson is no stranger to industry speaking circuits throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Jeff is a regular presenter at Ad:tech, AllFacebook Expo, Conversion Conference, eMetrics, Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Digital Hollywood, Online Marketing Summit (OMS), Consumer Electronics Show (CES), and Search Engine Strategies (SES), where he also served as a member of the advisory board. Additionally, Jeff has volunteered his time for the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and Digital Analytics Associations (DAA) on both the national and regional levels, where he serves as a board member of the Los Angeles chapter.