Matt Cutts broke the news via Twitter early this morning that Google’s webspam team had penalized a “large guest blog network.”
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
Matt did not identify the blog network, and at the time of this writing hasn’t publicly said anything further.
Ann Smarty of MyBlogGuest later confirmed on Twitter that it was her site that received the penalty:
[Official] Even though #myblogguest has been against paying for links (unlike other platforms), @mattcutts team decided to penalize us…
— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) March 19, 2014
Ann Smarty’s Response to Google’s Action Against MyBlogGuest
Despite having a speaking engagement at Pubcon New Orleans today, Ann managed to find the time to provide a comment to Search Engine Journal:
Yes, we realize and recognize the problem of many people abusing our community. We have invested lots of effort in educating our community members on how to do guest blogging right. We have been fighting paid links, duplicate content issues, link farms, etc for years. We have had some awesome success stories from our members and we have always believed in adding value to the web.
Have we deserved the “hit” (now I know what that means lol!)? I’ll let the community decide. So far we’ve had some amazing support from the community which I could not be more thankful for!
The reality is, Matt Cutts is using us for the PR game: To get more people scared. We are the hugest guest blogging brand out there: He could not have got more publicity by hitting anyone else.
The future? I’ll be honest. I am not sure yet. I am a human being and as much as I believe in doing the “right thing”, I am getting tired of all that publicity. We’ll re-brand out of “guest blogging” niche in the near future (we’ve been working on more functionality for a few months now and we have lots of features allowing to connect to influencers already in place now). We’ll keep supporting and helping our community members and advocates as much as we can.
We have some great technology and we’ve build the most awesome team in the world. I’ll fight for them and you’ll hear more from us in the near future!
The internet marketing community was quick to respond. While some seemed to think a ban was “inevitable”, sentiment currently seems to be trending in support of MyBlogGuest, some using the hashtag #isupportmyblogguest.
@AnnieCushing @jc1000000 @mattcutts @myblogguest That was never a matter of IF it would be penalized. It was always about when.
— martinibuster (@martinibuster) March 19, 2014
Google penalizing @myblogguest is nothing more that a PR move structured around a FUD strategy. http://t.co/Gn59zZxd6Y Wake up people!
— Joe Hall (@joehall) March 19, 2014
@iPullRank "someone might use this ladder to jump off a building. We must ban the ladder." @myblogguest
— Joel K (@JoelKlettke) March 19, 2014
Shocked that @mattcutts team chose MyBlogGuest (aside from name) for target. Any good explanation most welcome.
— jimhedger (@jimhedger) March 19, 2014
Ann continues stand by MyBlogGuest’s linking policy, stating via Twitter that even in light of this penalty, MyBlogGuest will continue to not use “nofollow” tags.
I’d love to hear what SEJ readers think about all of this. Do you think MyBlogGuest.com deserves to be penalized (apparently) because some of the members use it for purposes that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines?
Featured Image Credit: Screenshot taken March 2014