MBG helped blogger and guest blogger get together and it was one of those services that made you say, ‘Now why didn’t I think of that?’ So why has Google banned it?
Not only has it got its very own manual penalty, many publishers who were using it have started receiving the same.
Am I being wise after the event?
Let’s be clear. When I first came across MBG I thought it was genius and I wasn’t alone. Authorities around the web hailed it as a great idea.
- Moz called it one of 4 valuable link building services.
- Search Engline Land gave founder Ann Smarty full publicity in this interview.
- Blogher thought it was brilliant.
- Ths list goes on
The little green monster inside me couldn’t hide its envy!
But in recent months it was becoming clear that Ann Smarty and her team had lost control of the service and I’ll show you how much so in a moment.
Now I know there are a whole lot of people out there doing the “I told you so” routine but yes, I really did. Here’s a post I put on the MBG forum just a week before it all happened:
What went wrong at MyBlogGuest?
I joined MBG in search of a guest blogger several weeks ago and found the place to by a chaotic blackhatworld style market place. A massive trading house for content farms working with duff SEO companies pumping out articles of no value whatsoever.
You could log into your account in the morning, say ﾓI’m starting a blog about cars, I need some blog postsﾔ and by lunch time you would have a wheelbarrow of content.
The texts always contained one word or phrase that the writer wanted to be marked as a link back to whichever website they thought they were SEOing at the time.
That was the deal. You got free content as long as the content writer got a link.
MBG had become a platform for the creation of content farms (often article sites dressed as blogs) little different to ezine and we all know what happened to that.
I even received unsolicited mail asking if I wanted content. One such example came from topnetseo.com who was obviously link building for houseoflinens.com (I wonder if they’ve received a penalty yet).
Here’s the article they were giving away, feel free to scroll down when you find yourself nodding off.
You see it is utter, utter dross. Nothing there of value at all. Just content for contents sake and of course the request at the bottom:
But why ban MyBlogGuest in particular?
Several reasons really.
- First crawling the web requires expensive infrastructure and Google is a business. So it could just keep banning content farms forever and a day or it could go after the platforms that encourage and create content farms. Target the drug dealer or the drug lord? It’s obvious.
- Second it isn’t just MBG, even if that’s what so many claim. Google has penalized many such services in the past including buildmyrank.com, SAPE links and Anglo Rank to name but a few. MBG was just another in a long line.
- Third it’s good publicity. If you want this spammy practice to go away hit one of the largest hubs hard and the news will travel far and wide. Again it’s just a cost thing from that perspective. There are other services out there that probably should be hit but news that using these sites can get you a penalty may be enough for them to die off of their own accord in the same way that spammy article sites did.
The conspiracy theories
These are rife. First off there’s the idea that MBG was becoming a threat to Google. Eh? It was simply a place that helped make content farms a reality and added rubbish to the internet in mind boggling proportions.
So yes, a lot of extra pages for the Google bot to crawl and perhaps it was overheating! But that would be the only threat.
Second is the long running theory that Google is deliberately trying to force website owners into Google Adwords. I’ve seen no evidence of this in all the sites I manage or from all the White Hat colleagues I know.
Yes, it’s hard to get ranked and it gets harder all the time. Yes, using a service like MBG seems to work and seems to be the answer ﾅ until the penalty comes along. But most of the people crying foul just can’t be bothered with the effort and cost that real SEO requires.
They’ll chose one Black Hat technique after another and then cry foul when Google burns them.
I’ve always found the creator of MBG, Ann Smarty, smart in both name and nature. As such I don’t think she really knew what was happening on her service. That’s not an excuse but it is a lesson. If you offer a service on the net where users can interact with each other then, just like a forum, it has to be moderated.
Moderation needs resources and that is perhaps why contentboulevard and blogdash both charge while the freebie bit of MBG just allowed people to do too much unchecked. And if you allow that to happen to any platform it simply fills up with scammers and spammers.