It’s possible Google may thwart your guest posting or link building strategy. If you have a site that accepts and publishes guest posts then be warned, Google has taken to penalizing publishers of unnatural outbound links. This penalty is given when the content on your website points to your guest post’s site that negatively impacts your site’s link profile.
This article by Search Engine Journal (SEJ) has a look at a publisher’s report that upon Google finding their guest post articles, it disabled the authority for the publisher’s outbound links. Google advised the publisher to set the outbound links to nofollow and submit a review request. The penalty is a manual action taken by Google, therefore should the review request be granted — if the links prove to be trustworthy and from reputable sources — the penalty action is reverted.
This incident is not a once-off concern. Many publishers have come forward stating they’re suffering penalties from Google because of supposed unnatural outbound links on their sites found in their guest posts. Google stated it is issuing these manual penalties for paid guest articles. What’s more, in the case of this specific publisher reported on by SEJ, Google was able to identify that this site published guest posts without the acceptance of contributor posts being stated on the website. The search engine then picked out the specific link the guest contributor wanted a backlink for.
Now, while Google is not issuing any formal statements on the subject, all publishers from now on should pay close attention to any guest posts they accept. You need to do your due diligence and only accept paid links if you’re sure to add a nofollow attribute to each of them. For now, it’s speculated that Google is clamping down on guest posting because paid links can influence search results but in a non-organic way.
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