By Don Sturgill
Guest Blogging – it’s like candy. You know you want some, but you’re not sure it’s good for you.
Once considered the primary way for publishers to get fresh content and writers to get not only a backlink, but their names splattered all over the webosphere … guest blogging has come under fire recently.
Why is that?
Google and Game Theory
I don’t believe I’ve ever heard anyone accuse googlers (Google staff) of being dumb. One thing you can bet, behind every move Google makes, is that there is a good reason for it. Many observers see Game Theory at work, especially over the past year or so and especially concerning Panda/Penguin and all the hoopla surrounding them.
“War, business, and biology” — hmmm.
Think of a situation where a labor union wants to represent the employees at a manufacturing facility. The company bucks back hard, and the workers are caught in the middle. Some say the union would be a good thing: medical benefits, no firing without just cause, a pay raise. Others say the company is doing just fine, they are fortunate to have a job, and they don’t want to pay union dues. The company says unionization would cost too much and would force them to shut the doors. No one would have a job.
Given two choices: fight for better conditions, but maybe lose your job, or agree with the boss and keep your job … which would you take? Game Theory says most workers will choose to play it safe and not rock the boat – since to hold out against the crowd is a dangerous proposition. Status quo is the safest choice.
The logic goes like this: Google knows the internet is too big to control. To get folks to adhere to their wishes, they must get the momentum of the people working in the direction Google wants them to go. By leaking certain information, by insinuating certain things, bloggers and webmasters around the globe are being taught to dance in a certain way. (By the way, I’m not saying it’s a bad dance … just that it may be choreographed.)
Game Theory and Guest Blogging
Action: Someone at Google mentions guest blogging as a potential source of getting Google-slapped. Reaction: There is a rush to the door.
Google has netizens running together like a herd of cattle, all managed by one cowboy who doesn’t have to do more than whistle to get his way. And should any of the doggies stray, his wranglers will take care of them. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
Except if your livelihood depends on the SERP. Then, it’s a bit scary. (The good news, of course, is that AdWords is standing by to carry you on home.)
In a way, Google is like the wonderful, generous, unmarried uncle who loves to distribute money and gifts to his nephews and nieces. He wears a “Don’t Be Evil” tee-shirt and loves to help people learn and grow. Then comes that awful day — August 19, 2004 – when the uncle falls for the siren call of the evil Cruella von Cash. He slowly turns into a miser, even returns to his relatives and demands repayment, threatening to cut them out of his bountiful will if they don’t pay up. His new shirt says “Behold My Power and Dance.”
Ouch. The one you once loved has turned into a monster. What can you do? Most have simply turned up the volume and started dancing to whichever tune the piper chooses.
Enough of that – here’s the bright side
The internet, my friend, is fueled by links. You need links. Your readers need links. The search engines need links – but they also need worthwhile content. You need Google. That is true. But Google also needs you. Like any other business, Google must have customers in order to survive.
Here’s the first secret
Guest blogging is still the best way to build links, get your message out there, and get your face spattered on computer screens all the way from Boston to Hong Kong and everywhere in between.
Here’s the second secret
Given the mass exodus by those without sufficient courage and common sense (a rare combination, by the way), there is a plethora of great articles available for the taking. Even mediocre sites stand a good chance of being awarded all the content the funnel can handle.
Where do you find well-written articles … for FREE?
Enter Ann Smarty and My Blog Guest.
Ann Smarty had a dream
What if someone launched a website aimed at introducing writers and publishers? And what if the site was bursting with value, but charged only for premium services – and, even then, at a ridiculously fair price? Ann has a big heart. And seeing the results she and others were realizing from their guest blogging activity (a huge part of Ann’s own success), she wanted to pass on the good news.
That’s why she founded My Blog Guest. It is the premier internet location for writers and publishers to meet and exchange value. Writers have work needing a pubisher. Publishers have websites in need of articles. It’s a “beautiful thang.” Nobody gets hurt. Both sides win.
Spammers and scammers have dreams too
As the project developed, Ann saw there had to be intervention. Otherwise her infant site would get smothered by horribly spun articles and obvious attempts at SERP manipulation. Early on, she warned the online community to police themselves in order to keep from being policed … though few listened.
Ann brought moderators on board to help keep My Blog Guest (MBG) clean. She pleaded with people to listen and stop hurting themselves with low quality articles and websites. Many took advantage of her goodness, accepted a free membership, and repeatedly tried to pass pigs ears for diamonds. Some grasped the vision and began networking with one another, and others saw the potential but couldn’t quite figure out how to make it work. (MBG is like visiting a city. Knowing your way around adds considerably to your experience. Otherwise, you can end up in places you’d rather not be.)
But … once you have things figured out, once you know where you are and what’s going on … magic can happen.
Right now, smart publishers are reaping gold on My Blog Guest
In the not too distant past, good articles didn’t last long. Publishers were eager for content, and link-building via guest blogging was in full swing.
Then, the wind changed. The Google wranglers got the herd’s attention and the drive to market was on. Fearing repercussions, publishers began battening down the hatches, hastening first to confess their sins to Google, then to point fingers at one another – all reminiscent of the granddaddy of all Game Theory scenarios: The Prisoner’s Dilemma.
In the wake, the outlets for articles are fewer – meaning those that remain are getting more of the flow. Last year, I was awarded maybe one in ten of the articles I requested on My Blog Guest. When the herd moved south, my success rate doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled. It’s a bidder’s market out there folks, opening the door for decent publishers to score big and attract great writers.
How can you get in the action and become as smart as Ann Smarty?
One place: My Blog Guest.
Latest posts by Don Sturgill (see all)
- Two Secrets and a Google Story - Sep 25, 2013
- You Never Know Where the Path Will Lead - Jan 30, 2013
Don, This point is something different we get on web… lolz… Really worth reading..
Excellent article Don and one that I completely agree with.
However how would you convince those who rely on the big G’s serps for traffic not to tow the line!
I know there are other sources of traffic, but as you know, all the other search engines combined + a well managed social presence can just about bring in what may be lost from Google.
Also the sheer amount of extra hours involved in generating just the potential of extra traffic is so high that many less financed individuals may decide its easier to tow the line.
What advice would you give to someone in this situation?
I want all those spammers to read this post too 🙂 It would be nice for them to learn good behavior based on game theory. Frankly, my biggest gripe with people who guest post is that they do not seem to be committed to behaving well 🙂
Great article. I’m glad that Ann took the precaution to warn early users about spammers. I swear they’ll do anything to taint a good thing.
MBG has certainly come a long way and has made quite a name for itself. I’ll def be using the service soon in the future to further help in my own guest blogging efforts. 🙂
As always, love your articles Don. This one had me smirking all the way through. I love your voice and your mind. Great stuff!
You know I’m a half glass full kinda gal. I sometimes think that a lot of link building mistakes are made in ignorance by people who honestly don’t know any better. Then there are those that may know better, but do it anyway or because their job/boss tells them to.
Thankfully, MBG does things the right way and helps good writers find good publishers. All while keeping everyone “honest” while using good linking practices in a safe environment. Gotta love that.
I personally haven’t used Guest blogging as a method to drive traffic to my site. I’ve heard a lot of people talking about it.
But your post definitely makes sense about it being the best way to get more eyeballs on your content.
I’ve heard of My Blog Guest, I just haven’t taken the time to check it out. Thanks for the share and I’m off to check out the site to see if I can get some articles for my site or submit one.
Hello Mr. Sturgill,
Game theory, Google’s cowboys and the herd, guest posting chaos? I feel somehow inside a movie that combines Star Trek and westerns… . 🙂
I “saw” bloggers that started to submit guest posts just a few weeks after they have launched their first blog. They rammed the blogosphere like a meteorite gaining exposure, traffic rankings et al.
One such blogger kept a furious pace for about 2-3 months climbing the hierarchy at an incredible rate.
However, when I checked his posts I found only that generic content that floods the blogosphere. His posts were full of bullet points, superb pictures, magnetic headlines, killer tips and so on.
Somebody taught him that the herd likes this type of content so he produced it in a frenzy.
Unfortunately, at the end of the day, his posts didn’t manage to teach his readers how to solve their problems: how to increase exposure, how to drive traffic, how to increase conversions, how to make money etc. The readers were left empty handed.
About two-three months later he started to grow tired and that incredible pace was not so incredible anymore. He even started to complain: no comments, no engagement on his blog, no shares. Why? Al those people who didn’t understand the value of his posts … etc.
My guess? At this time next year, this blogger and his blog will be gone and nobody will remember him.
The point? We must create quality and aim for a long term success. On the long run value will win the war with glamour.
Have a wonderful day
Wow, great post, i really like it.
I will definitely include this post in Weekly Link Roundup of all Epic posts on this Friday.
Thank you for this Smarty! 😀
I will let you know on Twitter when post gets published!
Excellent post Don. Its like a sang dedicated to MBG community that “You will never walk alone”
I love words SPAMMERS AND SCAMMERS HAVE DREAMS TOO. spammers is too hopes to be in front
Wow, great article!
We have long held the belief that Google says things or ‘leaks’ things just to see how the masses will react. And the suggestion the guest blogs will ‘get you shown the door’ (as you so eloquently put it) is the perfect example of this. We have shared our expertise with others via a guest blog and have had others share their expertise through our blog – if they know what they are talking about, where’s the harm? It also doesn’t hurt if it helps you get a few links!
Thank you all for your kind and encouraging responses. These are some stormy seas for Guest Blogging. At the end of the day, though, links are the fabric of the internet. Google trying to shut down links is like a dog trying to chew its own legs off in order to get further down the road.
Great post Don. It’s not very often that someone says something new; this is something I have not read before and I agree with you all the way.
The Internet is too big even for a monster like Google to control. MC is the shepherd’s sheepdog, he moves slightly and the herd reacts as the shepherd intended. Like frightened sheep bloggers all run in the intended direction.
What would happen if the sheep ever decided to ignore the sheepdog? Isn’t it time we all stopped being controlled so easily and stood up for what we believe in?
Amen, Phil Turner. It’s a David and the giant sort of situation. We all want to yell back at the bully, but to stand out there and risk getting squashed forevermore … that’s tough.
If Cutts and crew would just pick on the right folks, things would be tolerable. Right now, it’s like Google is allowing motorcycle gangs to have their way, while citing hardworking business folks for going a mile over the speed limit.
Of course, gangbangers can’t buy AdWords, I suppose.
Ok that’s enough. Stay calm and stay under cover. Google stated taking things personally
Might not be the best way to get back into the good books by hitting up against google, they are the #1 search engine for a reason.
Good luck with the venture.
Andre and Jithin: “It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing” (Rev. Charles Aked).
That really was – The Google story. Brilliant article, especially the metaphors. Google has done a lot of hard work to choreograph this dance accordingly. My Blog Guest is a service that has come far ahead since the time it started. Good post Don!