A year ago SEMrush launched SEMrush Marketplace on which it began promoting its link building services. The guest blogging/link building sales page described this service as follows: “The Guest Posting service from SEMrush Marketplace provides you with a cascade of high-quality, natural links to your site, boosting your rankings and helping you get more organic traffic. Without doing any research or routine work yourself, you can order unique content with an integrated backlink to your site, which is then placed on a relevant site within your niche.”
Alas, this page no longer exists on the SEMrush website. Why is that, you ask.
Google’s John Mueller weighed in on the subject via Twitter: “That’s an unnatural link — the kind the webspam team might take action on.” In his tweet, he included a link to a piece on Google Webmasters Central Blog explaining the search engine’s stance on link building and a link to Search Console’s help page on link schemes. Mueller hasn’t proffered any more opinion or information on the matter.
SEMrush is a big player in the SEO tools space and this feels like a rookie error for a company with such a strong reputation. Is this a case of it being easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission? Perhaps it is — after all, SEMrush has acted quickly to rectify the situation. And, let’s face it, the toolset of this platform is very popular and relied upon by many SEO experts. It’s unlikely that SEMrush will suffer a dramatic impact once this faux pas is yesterday’s news. What’s more concerning is that Google can take action against any brands that made use of this service — in this instance, log into Search Console to see if Google has notified you of any issues of this nature.
SEMrush has a popup notification to inform any users that, “We are pausing the test of our guest blog post editorial/placement service, which will require more time to implement given the volume of orders received and our commitment to excellence. The service is about content development and editorial coordination. We do not pay publishers for placed articles and we’re not selling links.”
SEMrush CEO Oleg Shchegolev issued a statement to Search Engine Land and it’s included at the bottom of SEJ’s article on the subject here.
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