My Blog Guest

#MyBlogGuest Update: Thank You for the Support!!!

fireworksI’ll start by saying that I really appreciate that to happen right during my Pubcon session. I should have been enjoying my time in New Orleans instead of writing this article…

Now, to the most important discovery of the day: People are just awesome! I have much more trust in our community and in absolutely unbelievably supportive people out there. Here’s one of many, many quotes people say about what happened (thank you, my dear unexpected friend Hannah):

MBG should not have been penalized, whether they enforced dofollow or not. They weren’t forcing anybody to post links they didn’t vouch for, and it’s short sighted and I want to say even weak to insist that we should nofollow everything out of fear of Google. The fault should fall on owners of crappy sites…

What on earth are we supposed to do if we can’t post relevant content that links to relevant sites? What are we supposed to do if we’re not allowed to group up and introduce people who have content with people who have websites? Go home and hide under the covers?

Why does nobody understand the concept? Don’t just bow down and nofollow everything for fear of Google. Stand behind the content you post and only post content that you ARE willing to legitimately link to…

Now, to the fact: What actually happened?

I have just re-verified MyBlogGuest in GWT (it had been dropped earlier after some bug) and here’s the error they are giving:

Google has detected a pattern of unnatural artificial, deceptive, or manipulative links pointing to pages on this site. These may be the result of buying links that pass PageRank or participating in link schemes.

That means Google didn’t like links TO our site.


Am I going to try to re-penalize it?

No. Period.

I am proud of any backlink to my site… I am not going to send emails asking to remove them or use the ridiculous tool to remove them from the index. I stand by each link that ever was put for MyBlogGuest

Do You Think Your Site Was Penalized by Google Because of MBG?

If you have at least 0.00001% trust in what Google says, judging from the error they are giving us, they have problems with links TO our sites.

We’ve never asked our members to link to us, so you should be fine :)

If you still think MBG is your only problem, please email me seosmarty AT gmail – we’ll bring up all your published articles from our authors and see if removing them could help.

Please don’t nofollow links in those articles. It’s only fair to give those articles back to authors or at least discuss that with them. Let’s value people more than bots…

Update: Apparently you cannot trust Google even a bit because they did hit the sites even though they were not doing anything wrong. Updated recommendations:

From now on MyBlogGuest policy on getting out of penalty:

  • Nofollow all guest post links (if you need the list, please go to “Articles Gallery” -> “Articles Given to Me”)
  • Submit reconsideration request to Google (my assumption is, you should be fine)

What’s the Future of MyBlogGuest

We are moving on!

Yes, starting from tomorrow we’ll give our publishers the flexibility to nofollow byline links (only byline links).

You will need to specifically label your site within MyBlogGuest as “using nofollow attribution links” for authors to know what to expect… This feature will be up tomorrow.

I have trust in natural links and if the author links to sources, those links will need to be follow. Otherwise, please just don’t use guest posts.


Did I manage not to rant at all? Good. That only means I haven’t drunk enough today :)

On a more serious note, I am taking the full responsibility for introducing the SEO community to guest blogging.

Stay tuned and thanks again for the overwhelming support!

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  1. 43 Responses to “#MyBlogGuest Update: Thank You for the Support!!!”

  2. Ann,

    You have my full support on you and your I have been a member for several years and the community has helped me growing my sites.

    No, I won’t take my sites off and I will continue to look and pitch for quality articles you have.

    And kudos to the “un-penalize” mentality. It’s silly, IMO, especially if you gain those backlinks legitimately.

    Getting penalized is nothing new to me. Google slapped my sites since 2012. One of them is losing 90% of the traffic – and yet to recover, yet it received a recognition from Forbes as one of the Top 100 entrepreneurship blog of 2013.

    Should I listen to Google or Forbes? Um, Forbes. Because my site seems to matter more to real people than Googlebot.

    So, you go, girl!

    By Ivan on Mar 19, 2014

  3. That’s it, Ann, proud owner of this blog and founder of, you said things well. I have never been to MBG before and i signed up today hearing this story from Search Engine Land.
    Keep up with your efforts of making the web even better…

    By JithinC on Mar 20, 2014

  4. Hi Ann, I have PageRank drop for my websites listed at My Blog Guest.

    I have 5 new blogs, with absolutely equal backlinks (2 sites PR3 and 3 sites PR2) – 4 listed on My Blog Guest and 1 not listed. Now all listed sites are PR0 and this not-listed blog without almost no posts still have PR3.

    I didn’t see any change in traffic – i still have Google traffic on all my blogs..

    By Krasen on Mar 20, 2014

  5. Are you seeing any errors in GWT?

    By Ann Smarty on Mar 20, 2014

  6. No worries, Ann. Take it as a compliment. They went after the biggest brand to use as an example.

    I don’t know how Cutts sleeps at night spewing this FUDy garbage all over the place.

    By Ryan on Mar 20, 2014

  7. I could see this coming Ann. Unfortunately though, despite your best efforts to operate a legitimate blog network and community, the quality being published via your network was questionable and was for some time.

    This is why I left MBG some time ago now, it was only a matter of time before this happened.

    You say that you are proud of each and every link you’ve received from publishers on MBG but honestly, dig deeper and you’ll see many blogs participating on MBG that continually publish mediocre low quality content operate tons of these blogs all pinging links between them.

    We’ve got control over blogs that accepted guest posts from MBG and they’ve received warnings of ‘unnatural outbound links from your site’ and they’re all links pointing to blogs operating in your network, most of which are in the process of being flagged as low quality junk.

    There are some exceptions of course, I’m sure there were some great publishers with useful, relevant and authoritative blogs on MBG but they’re hard to find through all the junk.

    I respect you as an authoritative person in the industry and I know everything you’d ever do would be with the best intentions and completely ethical. I just feel there should have been more stringent measures in place on MBG to weed out the garbage of which was plentiful during my time in the community. That said though, I wish you all the best in your attempts to rectify the situation or reason with Matt at Google.

    By Geoff Jackson on Mar 20, 2014

  8. Well said and hang in there Ann. Remember David and Goliath. It’s never easy to stand up for what you believe in. MBG is a GREAT community. Yes, there are a few bad apples that spoil it for others but there are also so really talented, hard working, decent people as well. None of whom I would’ve have met otherwise.

    This is just another reminder to me and all of us, to diversify our traffic and not reply 100% on any one source. We support you Ann. This too shall pass.

    By Kirsten on Mar 20, 2014

  9. I am a publisher on MBG and have recieved many good quality articles. The service was always first class and worth my while.

    The only issue i have ever had with MBG is some of the so called writers stalking publishers within private message is terrible, some of the offers and articles i have accepted have turned out to be basically rubbish with links unrelated to anything on your own website, written in broken english and badly researched, I accepted an article on PM and it turned out to be titled about things to do in Edinburgh but the content after each title section was attractions in Italy??

    I reported some of these issues to admin but i never heard anything, To make MBG more attractive you need to flush these menaces out of the system.

    Apart from that MBG is an excellent service and community and i will continue to use. Keep up the good work Ann.

    By Greg on Mar 20, 2014

  10. Let’s value people more than bots! I can say Google is going to get penalized by People!

    By Shahzad Hassan Butt on Mar 20, 2014

  11. I am very insulted that Google has slapped 3 of my sites for posting MBG articles. In GWT, it says I have either posted paid links or participated in a link scheme to get links. I have done neither. I have posted relevant articles to my blog that contain relevant outbound links. When I tried to post a comment on Matt Cutt’s blog about this, it was rejected because I was “recognized by our (their) database as a spammer”. It said to contact them if I felt it was an error, but of course, no contact info was provided. When I removed the link to my site (in the comment form) I was able to post. I couldn’t understand why I was labeled a spammer, until I saw the messages in GWT. And I definitely can’t understand why MBG would be in trouble for the links that other people build to them! Ridiculous!

    By Jill on Mar 20, 2014

  12. After taking in what happened lately with Google.

    I am just going sit back, go for walks and relax.

    Google is not the world.

    Other things are more important.

    By Ricky on Mar 20, 2014

  13. Thanks for the shout out, Ann! Clearly I was really upset by the news, too, and I totally support you!

    Guest blogging can be awesome if done properly and it’s too bad that MBG was the baby thrown out with the bathwater in a lazy attempt to stop individual spammers (who will exploit any tactic, whether they use a community or not.)

    By Hannah on Mar 20, 2014

  14. Anyone who has used MBG knows how hard you and the other admins have tried to create an environment that were high quality content could be shared with legitimate links. Often the gyrations you were forced to go through to minimize spammy sites and articles were a source of contention from the best of publishers. You have always emphasized that guest blogging should be about creating and sharing great content, not SEO.

    It’s unfortunate that Google has chosen to penalize someone who was trying so hard to do things right.

    By Bob on Mar 20, 2014

  15. Ann, On a different note, but the same outcome. I had Google AdSense on my sites. On 4 sites in 4 months I managed to steal $28.30. Google didn’t say as much, but they banded my site, but won’t tell me why. I never clicked any ads and never told anyone else to click ads on my site. The do what they want and are not accountable for their actions. The blogging public has to form a coalition to get some answers from Google. I guess they are another ” To large to fail” company.

    By chuck conner on Mar 20, 2014

  16. When Matt Cutts applies a penalty a website you can’t do anything anymore even if you are right and he’s wrong. That’s how google works, their engineers are sometimes unreliable

    By Ramon Bautista on Mar 21, 2014

  17. I am really happy to see you standing by your Guest Bloggers. In my opinion it’s not your mistake, I think you became the victim of Google’s Guest Blogging penalty. But somehow I do believe that you should also put some more restrictions and review each an every post before making it visible on internet. This will help you as well in stopping this vulnerable spammy act.

    Moreover I Hope Guest bloggers are also feeling a little scared now and will do Guest posting very carefully and legitimately.

    By Stella on Mar 21, 2014

  18. Ann, I am so, so sorry that this happened to MBG. You guys are great and rock so much good energy in this space.

    Here’s hoping things get straightened out real soon.

    All the best to you!

    By Nancy Wigal on Mar 21, 2014

  19. Full support from me as well. You’re clearly someone who finds their place in this whole Google madness.

    By Karol on Mar 21, 2014

  20. Ann,

    So, finally – I saw this coming: All my sites listed on MBG is slammed with unnatural outbound link penalty. All received the message via GWT.

    Come on, Google. So, you are going to punish my sites because I publish guest posts I WANT to be published on my sites? Do you really know how MBG works? I REJECT crappy posts, you know…

    So, this is like 5th slap I get from Google – I’m getting used to it. Gogole – do you want me to create a site and post crappy 40-word posts and slap some images/videos like those on viral sites we see on Facebook? 😉

    Wait – you want to create a situation in which I will put my blame on Ann or MBG? Um… not a chance.

    By Ivan on Mar 21, 2014

  21. Ann,

    Are you saying that disavow tool is “ridiculous” tool?

    By R. on Mar 21, 2014

  22. I’m with Jill. I have used MBG to acquire quality content. Did I allow the author to link out – if relevant, yes! Is that spammy? Not in my opinion. If posting and publishing guest blogs was done only for SEO or done using poor quality or irrelevant content, then the slaps are well deserved. But this is not just about links, it’s also about driving traffic to websites, gaining a wide audience, expanding one’s market and branding. Unfortunately for those who provided and published relevant, quality posts, the practice was abused. Artificial Intelligence has not progressed to the point where the algorithm can assess what’s quality and what isn’t … so we throw out the baby with the bathwater. I won’t add nofollow to links because that is telling Google I sold them and I don’t and never will sell links.

    By M.-J. Taylor on Mar 21, 2014

  23. its not the fault of MBG!! you are good, but i don’t know what wrong with Matt Cutts, i think he is going to mad soon… :O

    By Faiz Alam on Mar 22, 2014

  24. Ann – great post and I really think that Matt went a little bit too far with penalizing MBG.

    By Bartosz Góralewicz on Mar 22, 2014

  25. Hi Anne,

    How about this? We publish only highly related content articles of value but have no author bio at the bottom or anywhere..don’t have an author bio at all. Then add a few links in the article, a couple to authority sites and one to the authors site… that way there is no footprint. And maybe you and your staff could police the process so that only natural looking links ever get published.

    I guess it’s too late now..Google will label any link (that’s not nofollow) associated with MBG as manipulated even if it is perfectly relevant and to a respectable site.. makes no difference anymore…

    Not sure how long people will last at MBG if all they are able to do is nofollow links… at the end of the day, it might be more valuable for people to spend their time getting high quality dofollow links in other ways..

    Perhaps a whole new site might be the way to go Anne? With slightly different tactics????

    BuildMyRank…HPBacklinks How are they getting along I wonder, doubt they are doing as well as BMR did…

    Anyway, it was great while it lasted and you are obviously a talented ( and lovely) lady so I wish you all the best which ever way you go.. my only advice would be not to kick a dead horse to long as it is unlikely to get back up, and if it does it wont run along as fast as it used to..

    By Sammy on Mar 22, 2014

  26. Great article, Ann, and I’m one of your very stalwart supporters. I’m always surprised that Matt Cutts does not make a stronger distinction between keyword text links and direct links to websites. The former are what he labels links for SEO purposes, whereas the latter merely give a little visibility to the author. I would be with him in condemning the former but he is too sweeping in how he applies his criteria. He is throwing the baby out with the bath water.

    By Barry Welford on Mar 22, 2014

  27. Remember when “squeaky-clean”, whitehat MOZ recommended MYBlogGuest? You can’t predict Google’s whim-of-the-day.

    By Paul Schlegel on Mar 23, 2014

  28. One More thing Ann, the future of MBG will Be Shining but we all think that the future of Google Boss Matt Will goes down soon…. :O

    By Faiz Alam on Mar 24, 2014

  29. I was so angry when I heard the news, what the hell, Google is attacking the creative and vocal community of bloggers and guest bloggers – No one should stand for this.

    I can remember when Big G was a tiny little sprog and the digital marketing community started to tell everyone they could get them high on Google until that was the mark of a great site. Talk about creating a monster, not the marketeers fault who would have thought that the entity of Big G could be so malevolent.

    Attacking the Bloggers has to be a massive mistake, here is a community of people so committed to saying their piece and being heard, how important then to remember who are our friends and who is the enemy it certainly doesn’t help having the knives out for each other when we need to get each others backs. I worry that small businesses without the budget for PPC will fold and more people will end up out of work really this grim state of affairs can’t be allowed to happen. I wondered if writing to the european commission (Big G is in litigation currently with a possible fine of 5 billion.) would get them to toe the line or creating a petition to save our internet for all of us bloggers and marketing specialists and the communities and small businesses we often serve.

    I want to say how much I applaud your honorable and perfect stance of transparency it should not have been penalized as the white hat marketing practices that were later turned black hat by a greedy G moving the goal posts have been. Follow or no follow it doesn’t matter, if the quality is good why shouldn’t people be able to publish what they like without paying G to breathe free air!! I really think that everyone needs to stand up to G and not keep looking in their bellybuttons for the answers. We have to stop scuttling around doing their bidding or encouraging others to do their bidding as they grow fat monopolizing OUR internet, ….Period!

    Good luck Anne you are a star.

    By Alli on Mar 25, 2014

  30. I think people should start using some other search engines. As Google is destroying many online businesses, We all should start using different SE. I know it is just a little thing but a little thing grows with time and can make a big change.

    STOP USING All the Google products. Search, mail and all!

    By John on Mar 26, 2014

  31. Hi Ann,
    I am new here and only heard of this website as a result of the publicity of this event. I think it is terrible that Matt did this to you. I run several blogs and though I have never had a guest post I have guest posted on other peoples blogs before.

    My content was great and relevant and was absolutely NOT for SEO purposes but rather to reach the audiences of the blog readers. Should the blog author be penalized now for a guest post that was published over a year ago? NO!

    I know Matt was trying to make a point b ut I tend to agree with Lynn Terry that the way in which he delivered it cannot be excused because of the message and that Google is in a great position to do good and the better way could have been to contact you and collaborate with you in a positive PR campaign to educate the market.

    I applaud you for going forward and structuring your business as if Google does not exist.

    Nide to meet you BTW – I know we are strangers but I would have never heard of you without this publicity.

    By Jeno on Apr 1, 2014

  32. Thanks for stopping by, Jeno, and for your support! I love it when strangers become friends, so let’s do that 😉

    By Ann Smarty on Apr 2, 2014

  33. You are Awesome and we will support you and myblogguest!

    By Rafay Qureshi on Apr 3, 2014

  34. I was hit Google with unnatural outbound links with the two of my website.

    As a recommendation to add nofollow, so i did

    By Mars Cureg on Apr 9, 2014

  35. Google is on war against again Guest blogging now, MyBlogGuest was definitely a great network of various awesome blogs and sites. The good work of the network will always be remembered.

    By Mousumi on Apr 18, 2014

  36. Ann, I have been using your services for 4 years already I believe, started when still living in Eastern Europe. Don’t give up, I am with you.

    By Slava on Jun 20, 2014

  37. Hi Ann Is it safe to use MBG now?

    By Tom Stone on Jul 21, 2014

  38. I can no longer be an expert in what’s safe and what’s not… If you are afraid of penalties, I suggest you use nofollow links (which MBG supports)

    By Ann Smarty on Jul 21, 2014

  39. Thanks for your answer Ann..Not sure how to backlink at all

    By Tom Stone on Jul 28, 2014

  40. I am interested in the outcome to this. I guess it has been more than a year since this incident. Any new lessons to be learnt?

    By Matt Robust on May 3, 2015

  1. 4 Trackback(s)

  2. Mar 21, 2014: I Apologize to Our Community for Being Transparent #myblogguest
  3. Mar 24, 2014: Nearly A Year Later, Google’s Penalty Notices Remain Confusing
  4. Mar 27, 2014: Google Takes Action Against Guest Blogging
  5. May 8, 2014: Documenting My Life after Google Penalty

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