[ALERT] Guest Blogging Set For A BIG Surprise From Google!

Google ready to penalze guest posts links

From all indication it does appear that it is time to braze up for another big surprise from the almighty Google! And when I say “big” that might just be an understatement!

A few days ago, Matt Cutt, the head of Google’s webspam team, again shook the SEO world when he wrote on his personal blog that he “expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

Of course, that assertion drew the ire of the SEO community and Matt had to quickly add an update some clarifications. But that notwithstanding, it is clear from the tone of Matt’s post that Google is definitely up to something!

Stick A Fork In It: Guest Blogging Is Done!

I personally want to look beyond the clarifications.  His message is clear enough. Hear him:

“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”

Going further, he said,

“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”

I’m sure the warning signals are clear enough.

Will Google Really Go On With Such A Threat?

Considering the fact that Google had issued some form of warning in the past (like the warning against content farms before the Panda update, we just need to take this one real serious.

For sometime now Google has being giving some form of warning against guest blogging. For example, take a look at these ones issued through Matt:

I’m sure you can clearly see the handwriting on the wall!

This simply reminds me of a saying among my people that when the hen repeatedly pecks the head of the cockroach, it would definitely swallow the cockroach! 🙂 So, if Google has repeatedly warned against guest blogging, we cannot expect anything less.

We must also recall that Google issued this type of warning against content farms before releasing the Panda update.

How Will This Affect The Blogging Community?

Though we cannot clearly say for now what the outcome would be if Google made good its threats (Google has always been unpredictable), one thing I can say for now is that like the Panda update that affected both the “good and the ugly”, any harmer on guest blogging will definitely affect many blogs.

My reasoning here is the fact that nearly every blog that accepts guest posts usually rewards the guest blogger with a dofollow link. It’s kind of expected. And thus far there is no indication if Google has the tools to differentiate between guest posts that were done “purely” for SEO purposes and those that were not. If this is not in place, any penalty targeted at guest blogging would definitely have wide sweeping effects!

Is There Anything We Can Do About This?

For now, I think we need to carefully study Matt’s post especially the update he was forced to add after the many reactions from the SEO community.

Here’s the addition:

“It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.

I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.”

If you it reading carefully, it is clear that multi-author blogs might just escape the harmer if it ever fell! But for the rest of us, the recommendation is, be skeptical and cautious!

Very elusive you might say!

Final Thoughts

In the recent past Google has shown that it’s indeed the almighty when it comes to search engine marketing. They set the rules and they enforce them. Internet marketers and content marketing practitioners have always been at Google’s mercy. I think what we just need to do right now is to prepare our blogs for this update. Trying to fight or live in denial mood will not help.

Over to you: What is your take on this new move? Do you think Google would be doing the blogging community good if they hit at blogs that accept guest posts just because those posts have dofollow links?

Is Google PageRank Back to Relevance?

Like I said in a previous post, 2013 is definitely a year of surprises from Google as it does appear that Google is in a rush to reposition its properties for the new web!

But if you think we have seen the last of such surprises then wait for this…

… after about 10 months of silence, Google has again updated its Toolbar PageRank on December 6, 2013!

But why is this a thing of surprise?

Simply because it is against many webmasters’ belief.  Many have already concluded that the Toolbar PageRank is dead and therefore not relevant as far as SEO is concerned.

Even Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, would definitely be surprised also because he was the one who fueled this belief!

Here’s what Matt said about the Toolbar PageRank some time ago:

The question right now is:

… if, after all the new algorithm updates and changes and after about 10 months of inaction on the PageRank toolbar, if Google has decided to again update the toolbar PageRank can we now say that PageRank is not dead after all?

Does it mean that those webmasters who went to town preaching that PageRank is no more relevant for search engine optimization underestimated Google’s unpredictable nature?

We only need to look at what Google is doing right now to understand the direction that Google is heading with this update.

I personally believe that those brains at Google, realizing that they have been able to clean up the web with all the Panda and Penguin updates and of course the introduction of their whole new search engine – Hummingbird, they now want to also “shakeup” their “filling cabinets” so as to put everyone where they belong.

Do not forget that every websites 0ut there was still holding onto the PageRank which they had at the start of the year. But considering the fact that most of these sites have “lost favor” with Google because they have been hit by the different updates and changes during the year, updating the toolbar PageRank at this time is simply a way  of rearranging their positions in Google’s reckoning!

So, to me this update is simply putting everyone in their right places!

Will This Continue In The Coming Year?

I cannot but say it again that we must be prepared for more surprises from Google in 2014. They may have tried to push so much surprises at us this year, but it is definite that 2014 will see more.

Besides, it is clear that if Google is in “rush” to put out so many things into the market this year, it stands to reason that they have some big plan for the coming years!

For now, we can deduce that Google still value back links as a ranking factor.  This PageRank update makes that clear since PageRank is about nothing but links. But where Google is going will only be quite clear in the coming months.

A Look At the Toolbar PageRank Update History (in reverse order!)

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2013

  • December 06th 2013
  • February 04th 2013

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2012

  • November 07th 2012
  • August 02th 2012
  • May 02th 2012
  • February 07th 2012

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2011

  • November 08th 2011
  • June 27th 2011
  • January 20th 2011

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2010

  • April 03rd 2010

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2009

  • December 30th 2009
  • October 30th 2009
  • June 25th 2009
  • May 27th 2009
  • April 1st 2009

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2008

  • December 31st 2008
  • September 26th 2008
  • July 25th 2008
  • April 30th 2008
  • February 29th 2008

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2007

  • December 12th 2007
  • October 28th 2007
  • April 30th 2007
  • January 25th 2007
  • January 10th 2007

Google PageRank (PR) Update in the year 2006

  • September 28th 2006
  • July 30th 2006
  • April 4th 2006
  • April 7th 2006
  • February 18th 2006
  • May 27th 2006
  • January 30th 2006
  • January 4th 2006

So, what do you think about this Toolbar PageRank update? Share your thoughts with us in your comment below.

Google Algorithm Change: Are You Bracing Up For The Impact?

Did you know Google recently effected another algorithm change?

Did you care to know what the change is all about and how it can affect you as a blogger?

Ok, I know that many bloggers don’t really care about search engine optimization (SEO) and of those who care, most consider google as too over bearing on such matters. To them Google is simply a dictator when it comes to search engine marketing.

In fact, I’m sure if those who consider Google as a dictator will have their way, they will be on the cyber streets protesting the over bearing nature of Google just as it’s happening in North Africa right now! 🙂

But the truth is, no matter what you may think, we must give it to google for their effort to sanitize the Information Super High Way.

To better appreciate the stand of Google as regards these constant changes which always impact negetively in the rankings of most websites, you will need to read the official Google blog announcing the recent algorithm changes. Simply, the purpose as stated by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer on the Official Google Blog is:

To give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.

Considered carefully, we must agree with google that these changes are definitely neccessary. You’ll agree that if google has not from time to time effected changes like this, the value of information published on most websites would have fallen below worthless!

But Do These Changes Really Matter To Bloggers?

When I first learnt of the new algorithm changes a few days ago I was concerned for the simply fact that most of my blogs and niche sites depends essentially on organic search traffic.

And I believe that if your blog is deriving much of its traffic from the search engines then you should be concerned also. Of course, the recent algorithm change is mostly in the US but it’s not out of place to prepare your sites now even if you’re not in the US. Very soon the changes will be propagated to other country-specific Google sites like google.co.in, google.com.ng and google.co.uk and if you’re not prepared then you’ll find yourself in the cyber dust!

A Look At What This Recent Google Algorithm Change Is About

Having gone through the Official Google Blog, I was able to pick out some salient points that matters as regards this new change. Here’s another quote from the blog:

Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on…

I’m sure you can readily pick out what matters in that statement. The purpose is in two parts:

1. To Reduce Rankings For Low Quality Sites

These are what many people has refered to as content farm sites. Most of them are nothing but worthless aggregated content. Most times these sites simply copy content from other sites without really adding any value. Auto-generated content sites comes to mind here.

But, they are not alone. I’m sure sites that publish articles that are retweaked using article re-writing software may also be affected. This blog post by EzineArticles.com definitely points to that fact:

This past Thursday, Google announced an algorithm change to 11.8% of their U.S. search query results. Their target was aimed at content farms that are typically low-quality sites, sites with only copied content and sites with low value content.

While we adamantly disagree with anyone who places the “Content Farm” label on EzineArticles.com, we were not immune to this algorithm change. Traffic was down 11.5% on Thursday and over 35% on Friday. In our life-to-date, this is the single most significant reduction in market trust we’ve experienced from Google.

I’m sure youll agree with me that EzineArticles is one of the leading article directory on the net right now and that they are very strict when it comes to the type of article published on the site. But did you noticed that this google algorithm change has affected the site so much that Chris Knight, CEO of EzineArticles.com says, “In our life-to-date, this is the single most significant reduction in market trust we’ve experienced from Google.”

And because of these changes, EzineArticles.com is introducing some very serious changes to the type of articles any one can submit to the site! One of the drastic measures the site is thinking of implementing is removing “dofollow” even from the author’s resource box because they realize many people submit articles to the site simply to gain backlinks.

Now don’t you think that is a lesson for those of us who have “dofollow” blogs and accept guest postings?

2. To Provide Better Rankings For High-Quality Sites

This is the second purpose of the algorithm change. And this is where you’d want to be! 🙂 Seriously!

So if you’re want to take advantage of these new changes what should you be doing?

The answer is provided for us right there on the official announcent. Here it is again:

At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

A look at the statement tells you what you should concentrate on if you want to make an impact as far as the google search engine is concerned. And please note that apart from these recent changes, google says more will be coming in the days ahead! And who knows other search engines may just be joining the dance!

Frankly, I see a revolutionary change in the internet marketing cycles because this is where most of these recycled content are mostly found. That of course is good for the internet or don’t you think so?

So it’s time to look and plan ahead now. Don’t let the almighty Google give you a slap that you’ll never be able to wake up from. Think that google is only targeting content farms and not blogger like you? Then read what the regrets of this blogger here.

Over to you: What do think of this algorithm change? Do you support google with the changes? If yes can you suggest some other areas they can affect more changes? If no, what are your reasons?