MyBlogGuest, Guest Blogging, Hypocrisy, and a Facepalm Moment

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When one guest blogging service got singled out hit with a Google penalty recently (as well as the sites using the service), it has since been a BIG topic of discussion.

Was it fair? Did Google use MyBlogGuest as an example to spread more fear in the community? Was it an over-use of power by Google – or, did it make perfect sense?

Here’s how I explained this situation to myself – and the facepalm moment when I realized I understood nothing at all.

Walking Through My Attempt To Understand All This

First off, I am well aware that Google is a business. In reality they are just a big and popular online directory that everyone wants their web pages to rank highly in.

I also understand that Google is not The Internet, nor are they the law.

Just like most everything else in life, if you want to be included, you have to play by the rules.

Let’s take school as an example, if you wanted to be included in that school you had to play by the rules.

If you cheat and get caught, you’ll most likely get suspended for a while – or expelled forever.

In sports, you play by the rules or you get a penalty, get thrown off the team – or get thrown out of the sport all-together.

Google is no different than any of the above situations.

If you want to rank highly in Google’s search results, you have to play by THEIR rules.

If you don’t care where, or if, you rank in Google’s search results, don’t worry about their rules – do whatever you want.

Matt Cutts said:

matt cutts guest blogging comment

You can do ANYTHING you want to your site – and Google can do anything THEY want to THEIR site.

We can debate the “fairness” of it all until we’re purple in the face, but their business is their business…and our business is our business.

We can debate the misuse of Google’s power online until our heads explode, but at the end of the day, WE gave them that power.

Ok, that said, let me get into my understanding of guest blogging and the supposed issues with it.

This is my blog. I post what I want here and I link out to what I want – however I CHOOSE to link.

What I link to has nothing to do with Google – it has to do with citing my sources, giving follow up info about something I’ve said, etc.

My Choice – ie, editorial control. By linking to other web pages, I am giving editorial links to those urls. No one is forcing me to do it, no one is paying me to do it… no one is offering me something of value in order to do it, either (well, except ONE link I have…and I’ll get to that in a moment).

Do Follow links pass Google ranking and Page Rank value – if those links are given editorially (ie, of my own free will and without intention to influence the Google ranking of the page I link to), there is no issue with that.

In fact, that’s what Google WANTS – editorial links.

What does all that have to do with Guest Blogging and MyBlogGuest?

Remember not too long ago, Matt Cutts released this video explaining how they identify paid links?

Yep, I made fun of it blogged about it here – even wrote a silly “Thank You” note to Danny Sullivan on that post to further entertain myself.

But bottom line is this – if something of value is given in exchange for a REQUIRED DO follow link, that is basically a Paid Link according to Google.

Do Follow Paid Links = Google Penalty

Just like in school, Google considers it cheating in attempt to do better within their directory. Get caught, well, You’re Outta Here.

If one did NOT care how that link affected their presence in Google, one would not care if the link was do follow or not – they would leave it up to the blog hosting their guest content for the site owner to make an editorial decision.

When a transaction happens that exchanges something of value for a required Do Follow link, that is bad (if you care about Google).

And I have to add: if one did NOT care about their Google rankings or authority, why would one REQUIRE a Do Follow link?

Content IS valuable to a site owner, right? Do Follow links are valuable to someone trying to rank well in Google, right?

Content given with a requirement that all links in said content MUST be Do Follow is a paid link that is designed to manipulate Google – at least that how I see it from what Matt Cutts says.

So based on ALL that, do follow links in guest posts are considered paid links?

From my understanding based on all I just walked you through, that is why Matt Cutts made the following tweet that announced that they (Google) singled out one popular guest blogging community to make an example of them and send the fear throughout the community that Guest Blogging is BAD.

matt cutts tweet myblogguest guest blogging penalty
At this exact moment in my learning about this situation, it all made perfect sense to me…. and then it didn’t.

My Bad, Bad, Bad, Good, Good, and FacePalm Understanding Of All This:

To further illustrate my understanding of all this, I am going to share with you 6 scenarios of how guest blogging can get you in trouble with Google – and how it can be FINE with Google.

Not ALL Guest Blogging is BAD. There are some scenarios where Google has no issue, or at least doesn’t care about it. I’ll share those below.

And the last scenario will explain the only REQUIRED Do Follow link I have on this site and maybe you’ll see why everything Google has said about paid links makes perfect sense….until that one facepalm moment.

Guest Blogging Do’s and Don’ts – and My FacePalm Moment

Cast of Characters:

You: You’re a random Blog Owner
Me: Well, I’m me πŸ˜‰
Matt Cutts: Is Matt Cutts, of course, representing Google manual and algorithmic penalties.

Scenario #1

Me: Hi! I’ll pay you $500 if you post my article on your site and make all my links do-follow

You: Ok! Sounds great!

Matt Cutts: Gotcha! :::pushes penalty button:::


Scenario #2

Me: Hi! I’d love to write an on-topic article for your blog for free, all I ask is that all my links MUST be do-follow.

You: Ok! Sounds Great!

Matt Cutts: Gotcha! :::pushes penalty button:::


Scenario #3

Me: Hi! I’m in XYZ Guest Blogging Community. If you choose me as an author, all my articles will automatically publish to your blog, BUT all links MUST be do-follow.

You: Ok! Sounds great!

Matt Cutts: Gotcha! :::pushes penalty button:::


Scenario #4

Me: Hi! Love your blog!

You: Thanks! I’d love to have you write for us sometime.

Me: That would be awesome, thanks… How about an article on ____?

You: My readers would love that! But just so you know, all your links will be NO follow – is that ok with you?

Me: No problem at all – I’d just love the opportunity to interact with your readers.

Matt Cutts: No issues with this.


Scenario #5

Me: I made this awesome widget, tool, image, infographic, video, etc and you’re welcome to use it. Just please cite me as the source however you feel fit to do so.

You: Thanks!

Matt Cutts: No issues with this.


Scenario #6

Me: Hi Google! I’d love to have my picture show up next to my content in the Google search results.

Google: Sure! Just link to your site from Google Plus (which is a NO follow link) and then you MUST provide a DO follow link back to Google Plus from your site for it to have a chance of working.

Matt Cutts: Do as we say, not as we do.

Me: :::facepalm:::

Imgurian facepalm?
Sorry for taking so long to get to the cute kitty picture, but I wanted to spell it all out exactly as it processed thru my little pea brain. And it all made perfect sense until that last scenario with the G+ authorship link (and yes, I tested it… if you no-follow your rel=author link, authorship does not work anymore).

The only way I can use something of value from Google (authorship markup to show my picture next to my search results) is if I give Google a DO follow link to Google Plus?

Google wants editorial links and they penalize sites when links are perceived to NOT be editorial in nature…. BUT, Google takes away my editorial rights by requiring a DO follow link if I want to be part of their Google Plus Authorship system?

Please, someone tell me I have this ALL wrong…



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