My Blog Guest's Penalty: You Should Have Seen it Coming

on under Link Building.

Yep. On March 19, 2014, Google penalized "My Blog Guest," and many of the sites that used it to build links with guest posts. And you should have seen it coming.

You should have seen it coming when Matt Cutts told you to stop using guest posts to build links, and I warned you that a penalty was on the way.

You should have seen it coming when "real" bloggers started publicly complaining about irritating guest post requests flooding their inboxes.

Frankly, you should have seen it coming all the way back when Build My Rank got penalized.

And to all the sites that were penalized even though they used the tool "properly," or even some who just had a profile on the site, but no links, I feel for you, I do. It sucks. It was over the top. It was unfair.

But you should have seen it coming.

Like Panda and the death of article marketing, this isn't about any specific site getting penalized. It's not about the "quality" of your guest posts. It's not about "white hat" and "black hat," terms that Google doesn't even use to describe its guidelines.

No. This is about your business model.

Google does not like business models that profit off of Google without sharing some of those profits with Google. This is the essential message that their guidelines have conveyed for a very long time. Take a look:

"Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn't exist?"

That is what Google's guidelines said all the way back in February of 2003. The guidelines still say that today. The message hasn't changed in 11 years.

No. You wouldn't have joined My Blog Guest if the search engines didn't exist, because the purpose of My Blog Guest was always to build links for search engine benefit. Not for exposure. Not for traffic. Not for revenue. For search engine rankings.

The fact that the tactic was popular didn't mean that it was within Google's guidelines. The fact that thousands of SEO "professionals" told you it was "white hat" doesn't mean it was within Google's guidelines.

The SEO publicity machine does a terrible job keeping you informed on these things. So if you didn't know any better, it's probably not even your fault.

But you should have known.

Somebody should have told you. They've had 11 years to get the message right.

I'm sorry they failed you.

Image credit: Corey Balazowich

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