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The Google Blog Network Massacre - Blog Networks Deindexed

The Google Blog Network Massacre - Blog Networks Deindexed

If you're anything like me then you love to keep your finger on the pulse of the affiliate marketing and SEO world. Just like you probably watch the 6pm news broadcast on TV, you should keep up to date with SEO current events. The biggest headline story this week has to be the deindexing of blog networks by Google.

Thousands have been affected by Google either partially or completely removing entire blog networks. When Google removes a website from its index, any outgoing links automatically become null and void. Also, it doesn't look very good if a big portion of your links come from services that Google dislikes.

What is a blog network?

In case you aren't aware what a blog network is, allow me to quickly explain. Basically, blog networks allow you to publish blog posts (read "articles") on different websites that are linked into some form of automatic content distribution system. For example, if I wrote an article called "5 Killer Guitar Solo Secrets", I could then submit to a blog networks and in theory this article will then be published to sites in the network related to "guitars", "music", "hobbies", and things like that.

Blog networks come in many different flavors and varieties, with the only real underlying similarities being they are a system for generating backlinks by submitting content, and there is usually a price for membership (I'll come back to why this is important soon) "Public" blog networks consist of blog owners putting their sites in the network to receive free content. "Private" blog networks are slightly different, because the administrators of the network actually own the sites to which writers publish their content.

The biggest casualty so far of Google's push against blog networks is the Build My Rank service. This was a private blog network, and the sites which made up the network have all been deindexed by Google. Any links generated through Build My Rank are now worthless, and the service has been closed down to new members. You can read BMR's statement about the closure of their network here - kudos to them for coming clean straight away about what happened too.

Other notable networks that have been punished include SEO Link Monster, Authority Link Network, and Linkvana.

If you want more evidence of this latest algorithm update in action, just search "blog networks deindexed" and see how many discussion results there are. Some of them are truly frightening - SEO companies relying entirely on blog networks like BMR to build links for their clients' websites, entire websites disappearing from Google's index; it's like Nightmare on SEO Street (I'm keeping the horror related quips going here!)

Why are blog networks being targeted by Google?

I see three principal reasons why Google has started to crackdown on blog networks, so let me run you through them:

  1. Blog networks are a form of paid link building. Google's policy on paid link building is crystal clear, especially the fact that "buying or selling links that pass PageRank is in violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines and can negatively impact a site's ranking in search results." The purpose blog networks is to facilitate link building, and these links are most definitely paid for in a slightly less obvious manner. Google penalized the website of their own Chrome software when it was revealed that a marketing company they used had employed paid backlinks; Google were hardly going to think twice about penalizing other paid link users were they?
  2. Blog networks are a form of "link scheme". Just like paid linking, Google's opinion on link schemes leaves no room for confusion. They are not a natural form of link building, especially once blog networks developed the technology to allow you submit a spin-ready article to hundreds of different blogs in a short space of time. Nobody submitted to blog networks just for the sake of getting content published - it is and always was about generating links. Blog networks sold themselves on this basis of being a way to get unnaturally large amounts of links quickly, and it was only a matter of time until Google caught on.
  3. Articles posted to blog networks tend to be low quality. The vast majority of articles posted to blog networks were low quality "filler" content that was only written to get backlinks. That might sound harsh, but the unfortunately the truth hurts. If the Panda update of 2011 wasn't a big enough wake up call, then hopefully the newest of Google's changes is. Google wants quality, unique content to populate its search index. Google wants you to create and distribute content for the purpose of providing value to readers, not just to build links. If you want high search engine rankings then you need to focus on providing value first, and link building/SEO second. I simply cannot stress this point enough! 

Are any blog networks still safe?

It's still early days with Google's latest rollout. Some blog networks, such as Article Marketing Automation appear not to have been hit yet. In fact, blog networks that publish content on member submitted blogs (as opposed to admin-owned blogs) appear to have fared better than other networks. However, that's not to say that more blog networks wont be penalized going forward, so proceed with caution.

Don't put all your eggs in one basket and rely on a single blog network as your main source of links. In fact, you shouldn't even rely on multiple blog networks for the bulk of your links. If you are going to use any of the remaining networks, it should be as the cherry on your SEO cake. The ball is in Google's court here, so you should be playing by their rules of natural link building and quality content.

What now?

However, there is one new blog network that looks quite promising - it's called The Content Facilitator. In fact, it isn't really a blog network at all because the articles you submit aren't automatically passed to sites in the network. There isn't really a network to speak of at all. Instead, I like to think of The Content Facilitator as a guest blogging marketplace. Bloggers looking for quality, unique (and non-spun) articles for their blogs can come and browse for content written for those who want to reach a larger audience and get some backlinks in the process.

The Content Facilitator also runs on a credit system, which means membership is free for both writers and those looking for content. Every time one of your articles is picked up by a blog owner, credits are deducted from your balance (this means you don't wind up with hundreds of articles being published at once, and an unnatural link profile) You can earn credits by referring new members to The Content Facilitator, and by publishing others' content.

My favorite feature of The Content Facilitator is the ability to set your article as "unique", meaning it can only be published by one member in the marketplace. Writing "unique" articles for The Content Facilitator therefore provides a strong incentive to other members to pick up your content and publish it before it's gone.

Mark has managed to organize a pretty sweet deal with the owners of The Content Facilitator, where you can get 100 free publishing credits by signing up here (you will need to use the coupon code TrafficTravis inside the members' area to get these credits) The Content Facilitator is in its infancy at the moment, and I predict it will get much bigger and more popular in the coming months; just remember that the early bird catches the worm!

Closing thoughts

One issue a lot of people are raising with the deindexing of blog networks is the theory that a competitor could simply submit hundreds of spun articles to networks, featuring links back to YOUR website. Think of it as a kind of "SEO sabotage". However, there is no need to worry about this - if a blog network is deindexed, the outgoing links in the network count for nothing, and therefore won't be able to affect your website. This is just disinformation at best, and scaremongering at worst.

If you've been affected by the closure and deindexing of blog networks, I'd love to hear from you. Just leave a comment below!

106 Comments Add your comment

View all 106 comments (Currently displaying latest 50)

  • Reply Sylvia uhlig933 days ago

    I agree with BIG G on the "Backlinking System" because this makes as doing REAL WORK and not some "automatic robot stuff" garbage send out to this world.. which already full of NONSENSE !!
    BUT , I also DISAGREE with some other "technique and systems" BIG G has set up.. which making a honest work very difficult to handle..like YOUTUBE is totally messed up since BIG G own this !!
    .. I also DISAGREE strongly.. that GOOGLE try to control our minds and try "to think " for as.. in search-engines !

    .. I also DISAGREE with BIG G... to want forcing people to set up... FOR EVERY YOUTUBE CHANNEL a SEPARATE "gmail account" !.. and further.. they want forcing people to open for each YOUTUBE CHANNEL A ANOTHER "g+ ACCOUNT" !!

    ... WHO the HE... can dealing with this MESS ????
    I AM VERY PISSED OFF ABOUT THIS TACTIC !

    .. there is even NO any way get to BIG G'S costumer service or any like this for questions we have about all this Nonsense what goes on .....
    ..... except ... when you pay a 48 $ fee or so for an answer from one of there "experts" ???? !!!
    WHAT IS THIS ABOUT.. this made me more as upset when this was happen to me... !

    By ALL MEANINGS... BIG G should "re-thinking in many ways and employing in there Head-Office maybe people with human brains instead this "Robot-Brains" working there for big money !!

    Sorry to be so direct here , but SOME OF AS really should wake up and start to do some in this "messed up World" !
    Ignorance.. and silence or complaining in fear.. give the "BIG ONCE" there Power !

  • Reply Mister EX932 days ago

    I'm not sure if link building is such a bad thing. If the content is decent quality then you're doing Google a favor by publicizing it and bringing it to people's attention via the search engines.

    Punish the poor quality not the link building.

    Link building is like advertising, if it supports a good product why is wrong? It's just bringing a good product/service/piece of information to peoples' attention.

    Samuel Frost931 days ago

    Hi Matt,

    You make a good point - is link building (done correctly, and not with spammy black hat methods) actually a bad thing? With our affiliate marketing glasses on, link building doesn't seem like a bad thing - what's wrong with trying to give your superior content an edge over the competition by building links?

    However, if you examine the situation from Google's point of view you can see why this kind of link building is frowned upon. It is an active effort to manipulate the Google search engine rankings; as much as I love SEO and link building, that's really all it boils down to.

    As affiliate marketers we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that link building efforts are only there to try and get our content ranking higher than what Google feels it should. Whether this impacts negatively on the average search engine user is something we will probably never know, however.

  • Reply Posted by My Smokey Eyes Makeup.com • 932 days ago

    Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I
    provide credit and sources back to your website?
    My blog is in the very same area of interest as yours and
    my visitors would genuinely benefit from some of the information you provide here.

    Please let me know if this okay with you. Regards!

    Simon Slade931 days ago

    Yes this is fine, provided you provide a link atribute back to our post and site.

  • Reply Interiorni vrati932 days ago

    The article is really good. BTW - shown in photo is unique!

  • Reply Yoshi • 931 days ago

    Hi all,

    I have a question, if for example i create my own blog network using free blogging services like blogger.com and then put links into it, not spamy links, Would it be consider bad by google or there won't be any harm?

    Samuel Frost929 days ago

    Hi Yoshi,

    You should probably be fine with this approach (I do a similar thing myself)

    Just make sure you use unique content, vary your anchor text etc.

  • Reply Shalisha Alston928 days ago

    I'm not so concerned. Affiliate marketers are smart. We'll find a way to make money online. Google did something like this before when they were banning loads of sites. Now I find THEM calling ME to sign up with them for PPC. No thanks. What will they think of next?

    Also, how come AMA was not touched?

  • Reply Alex Ta928 days ago

    We shouldn't actually be surprised about this. BMR was doomed and lots of people were aware of that (check forums and stuff). Anyway, nice saying, Nightmare on SEO Street, haha!

    Alex

  • Reply onsubie926 days ago

    "Google penalized the website of their own Chrome software when it was revealed that a marketing company they used had employed paid backlinks"

    So let me get this straight. Google pays to outsource their link building to a marketing company and then punishes that marketing company for paying to outsource backlinks?

    Google pays the company -> Company pays a consultant -> Consultant outsources to fiverr.

    Who's paying for links?

    Mahlon

  • Reply Shalisha Alston923 days ago

    Sam, other than promoting Content Facilitator, what do you propose we do about backlinks? Or is this just a way for you to get money from people when they sign up? I'm really getting annoyed. Are you saying posting on Web 2.0 sites for backlinks is totally obselete? Please provide some real solutions other than to get us to buy more stuff.

    Samuel Frost921 days ago

    Firstly, Content Facilitator is free to use - hence why I suggested it.

    Secondly, I never said Web 2.0 sites are useless for building links. I still build a lot of links myself using Web 2.0 sites.

  • Reply Tyronne Ratcliff921 days ago

    So I guess your saying that if I submit my articles to "public" networks like UAW and ezArticleLink that I shouldn't have anything to worry about? Awesome post by the way.

  • Reply Shalisha Alston920 days ago

    Hi Sam. Thank you for clarifying. But CF is not free to use. If you want to promote your own articles, you need to buy credits. It's free initially because if we sign up through the link you provide, we get 100 free credits.

    I'm glad you still believe in building links with web 2.0.

  • Reply Ringo • 917 days ago

    I am suffering from this act by Google, I was a heavy user to BMR and ALN, and I am now seeking for alternative on it.

    Thanks for your great insight on it


    Ringo

    Franklin Leads895 days ago

    The best way forward now is through Private SEO Networks.
    I know of a very good one, relatively untouched by the latest Google Panda update and still going strong. They charge about $595 USD monthly , but i think it is now close to the public. But you can email
    hitplusonline (AT) Gmail DOT com
    to register interest and find out about their waiting list.

  • Reply Joyce Knake • 913 days ago

    I had bought into a program to do the spinning of articles and as of yet to use it. I guess I'm out that money. But it's good to know about things so I don't do anything wrong to hurt my website.

  • Reply 4rs gold • 898 days ago

    I have read several excellent stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for
    revisiting. I wonder how much attempt you put to make any such great informative web site.

  • Reply Deborah Baker894 days ago

    Hi Really informative blog. You seem a knowledgeable bunch of people. I am new to this website and, although I have over 10 years SEO experience (even pre-Google days!). There is one thing that does confuse me. You talk about posting in blogs and the importance of links from these blogs. My understanding is that blogging software is almost always built with a ´no-follow´ script in the coding which means search engines dont see it as a link. So how can blog posts give back links? and therefore how can it be important

  • Reply Keu Reviews • 888 days ago

    Thanks for the article Sam,

    I know I speak for a lot of IMers out here when I say 'We trust you guys and appreciate you all for keeping your pulse on what is going on in our affiliate marketing industry'. There is a lot of bogus information out there and we know you all do this for a living so if it is working for you it will work for us.

    keep'em coming!
    :-)

  • Reply Ramzkie • 883 days ago

    Hi, i have a blog on blogspot that get deindexed in google will it still be resolved? Is there a tool to check what causes it to be deindexed? Hope to hear from you. tnx.

  • Reply Puru • 852 days ago

    I always used to think that these SEO backlinking companies are bad news and I must not put my money in them for promoting my blog. It seems that google has proved me correct.

  • Reply Taher khan843 days ago

    The main reason why Google is de-indexing sites in the blog networks or those sites using private blog networks for SEO purposes is because of the mere fact that the articles do not give valuable information and being spunned the content does not really offer any value to the person searching for information. Google requires quality content thus spunned articles and private blog networks are now being targeted in order to be penalised.private blog network

  • Reply john • 835 days ago

    Is really google going to rank lower the blogs networks?

  • Reply kevin • 829 days ago

    Coupon code TrafficTravis isn't working

  • Reply Astro Gremlin826 days ago

    Content Facilitator sounds like a method for guest posting, a method proven effective (and legitimate in Google's eyes). It would be nice if Google let us know what is legitimate before people invest huge sums of money and effort. Yes, a real nightmare on SEO street.

  • Reply Phil Butler817 days ago

    This is an important one Sam. I don't usually put links on my contemporaries sites, but this situation is pretty ripe with Google goofs.

    http://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/webmasters/crawling-indexing--ranking/fwrplSaw97A

    If you can look here, A Panda poof took down a site geared to please Google, white hat all the way. Now, begging, pleading, sacrificing lambs and virgins later, and we are screwed.

    What do you think happened? I know some key pages are still out of the indexes, the aggregate traffic from which, is substantial. We no longer get (since Panda pooped) Google Com organic of any significance.

    Maybe you guys can help?

    Always,

    Phil Butler
    Editor of a bunch of stuff

  • Reply Social Connects816 days ago

    Thanks for the pointer to Content Facilitator. I've signed up and there is some good content on there for republishing to your own blog(s) - a good way to get credits.

  • Reply lilen • 815 days ago

    Companies and individual businesses are looking for means of increasing their online visibility. Perhaps, this can be attributed to the increased usage of the Internet by different consumer segments. On the other hand, search engines want authoritative and unique websites that give searchers the best experience.
    private blog network
    It is also important to ensure that your private blog network is made of articles of varying length. Good posts should range between 300 to 500 words. Avoid having posts with similar length. You also need to vary the phrase you use as your keyword in the anchor text that you link to the money site. For instance, if your keyword phrase is "dog training", you can use training your dog, trained dog or tips on how to train a dog. You also need to have a detailed procedure on how to run your private blog network. You can also outsource someone from a professional firm to help you run it.

  • Reply susmita • 814 days ago

    Developing your own private blog network is an effective way to build link juice and traffic and spread it amongst the pages on your websites which you want to rank. A private blog network is a network of blogs (duh), or rather a network of blog based websites which interlink with one another whenever appropriate to share link juice and traffic. The "private" refers to the idea that every blog in that network is owned by the same person or people so that they have control over the quality of the content and links which these blogs send and receive.
    private blog network
    Time consuming + more work in that you need to create a lot of content for each of the sites in the network as well as generate more links off site to your sites to get the most out of it. If you pay to outsource content creation and or link building this obviously increases your expenses, as well. This can be an effective linking strategy because you can help multiple domains and pages on each of those domains to rank better by sharing the link love between your own property.

  • Reply Eric Burnett • 807 days ago

    Great Post, I really enjoyed the value that you have here. keep giving back so much value.

    Eric

  • Reply John H • 804 days ago

    The other option to joining paid blog networks is to set up your own min-network of 5-10 sites and then find other network owners and exchange content with them. Remember that one link from a PR3 page can be worth far more than 1000's of links from PR0 pages. Thanks for the informative post.

  • Reply Sean • 802 days ago

    I tried the coupon code: TrafficTravis, but it did not work...

  • Reply Niki Bullas790 days ago

    I've just joined Content Facilitator as a result of reading Sam Frost's article about Google de-indexing the Blog Networks. In the article, Sam said that Mark had arranged a 100 credit for new members using the coupon 'TrafficTravis'. When I typed this in, it was rejected. Any ideas on what the problem is? Thanks

    Juli Becker762 days ago

    I had the same experience. =(

  • Reply health care • 765 days ago

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful post.
    Many thanks for providing this information.

  • Reply Beatriz • 764 days ago

    I'm really enjoying the theme/design of your weblog. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility problems? A small number of my blog readers have complained about my blog not working correctly in Explorer but looks great in Opera. Do you have any ideas to help fix this problem?

  • Reply Jose Mwebi747 days ago

    I hadn't realised this but the reiteration of quality content makes a lot of sense. Let people rate your site and feed you with traffic. I will be trying out your suggestions. Thanks.

  • Reply Nadeem Khan732 days ago

    It is always safe to go for guest posting than going for blog networks. I wouldn't recommend even "The Content Facilitator" as there are much better options available in the guest blogging domain, like MyBlogGuest.com !!!

  • Reply Jagjeet • 727 days ago

    My two websites are affected by google EMD updates and still i am searching for any solution , but not getting any solid solution for such problem . Can any one please help me regarding this ? . IS it possible that only some part of keyword is related to the domain name and it can be affected by google EMD update.

  • Reply Sabine Allnutt719 days ago

    An interesting article, it seems that the game for Google rankings is an ever-changing one and the days of relying on blogs is now not the case.

  • Reply alfred lowe711 days ago

    i never used any of those networks because it is unnatural and really not that beneficial. in fact, i have seen articles on the front page for a lot of key terms that hardly get any traffic. like you said in your statement, quality is king. people should like the material. one place i go to that allows guestblogging is http://increasetraffictomyblog.com/traffic-blog It's a great way to get backlinks and get your material noticed. the best way to get traffic with http://increasetraffictomyblog.com/traffic-blog is through supplying unique content. you post something crappy and they will probably just delete it anyway

  • Reply alfred lowe711 days ago

    but my questions is what do you think of ad networks? is it possible to get links that way too?

  • Reply chirosche689 days ago

    Thanks for the Content Facilitator suggestion. My site has been around for 14 years now and I have been writing excellent content for it for about the past 7 years. I initially learned SEO from Brad Callen when I took his free lessons and purchased SEOelite. I've come a long way and I learned a while ago about buying links and I just totally stopped it 2 years ago. At this point, when I write a post in my blog, within 24-48 hours it is indexed and if I type in a relevant long-tailed keyword that google should find my article for, I am right at the top of google with that post in 24-48 hours. I love to write about my niche and I'm so glad I never got caught up in the blog networks. I have lost some ranking for a couple of my keywords but that is because I think directories links have been devalued or the directories themselves have been dropped. I mostly do manual article submissions. All-in-all, my content proved to be the most valuable asset of my site because even though I lost some rankings, which I can get back, my clients still find me the same way as they always have. Only google adsense revenue has been affected, but that is not may main source of income. I'd like it to be better in the future, at least now I know how to approach SEO to increase traffic to my site.

  • Reply Abdullah • 645 days ago

    Does this effect Submitedge.com?

  • Reply SEO Sevenoaks593 days ago

    Hey samuel,
    Thanks so much for the update. DO you have any other suggestions apart from the content facilitator.
    @chirosche: makes me understand that i got to go the content way.

  • Reply Penn • 475 days ago

    Who wants the Internet bombarded with links to crappy websites that are of no interest to anyone? It was too easy to basically submit your website to these link websites in order to get lots of bank links. It's about time that Google weeded out rubbishy websites and concentrating on websites that contain interesting and helpful articles. If you spent time and effort into creating a website that has good articles then you should rely on other people to link to you, that's what it's all about at the end of the day, not going out there and plastering your website on any link website you can find.

  • Reply Charles Smith465 days ago

    That well the way the link falls , Hay guy's first the funny part is every one mostly works hard on there Blog's to get were there at my Domain was recently listed as listed as " 5,336,778 " , Now really that don't sound very great ,But it took me a Year to get it to there , now that's from 30.Million in the world and it went to there , I had pages and post numbering close to 22.688 ! so i was like were did thy all go ? that's a large hit ,but my site/blog maintained a 100 % rep, with only a 11 % rating for SEO , at the 22,000 + that came out of the Google ,
    , and i see now there's only 6,950 hits, From Google and the first 10 pages are all me and the SEO, went to 14 % now i struggled to hold this Google back , like jumping in the sand on my own so i could work without interrupting traffic ,

  • Reply Henry • 459 days ago

    Hi guys, I'a a bit of a noob when it comes to these things. I have a question, I gt a guest blog website ( where people can submit guest articles) and also an articles website. Having the two websites, under what circumstances they will be considered a blog network?

    Cheers

  • Reply affiliate marketing377 days ago

    Successful affiliate marketing is about what you know you can promote well.
    The goal is to find opportunities in specific niches, not try to replicate what everyone else is doing.
    Plus, if it really does sell well, no affiliate is going to share that info.
    thank you ...

  • Reply Raz • 375 days ago

    Hey,

    If a site for had a series of articles, and had the privilege of guest posting on several sites, such as mashable, entrepreuner.com, inc.com, and a few other not as big sites. and let us also say that this site is new and currently has pagerank of 0.

    How would the above benefit the site and the visibility of the articles on google? Also, with guest-posting, is it problematic to have the exact article also on your site?

    thanks in advance!

  • Reply Sushil Saini • 345 days ago

    So, does the 'rules of natural link building and quality content' meant to leave back linking process to Google automatically and not to be made any back linking effort by blogger or website owner? Rather just to focus on quality contents. Am I write?

    Justin Golschneider344 days ago

    Hi Sushil. We have a much more recent article on link-building strategies, also written by Sam, that should help you build links that will be effective in today's online ecosystem. You can read it here: http://www.affilorama.com/blog/how-to-build-links-in-1-hour

  • Reply Matt Brading • 340 days ago

    What annoys me in all this is the assumption that people only build links for Google's benefit. Long before Google even existed, we used to submit links to our websites everywhere we could, so PEOPLE could find our links and visit. Publishing QUALITY articles was a great tool for that because it put your links in a context that helped a more targeted audience find them and it gave other webmasters content they desired.

    The idea that having the same article appear in more than one place is somehow bad and should be punished, is plain ridiculous. Authors have always sought the largest possible audience for their message, so content has been syndicated across the media for years... long before Google decided they knew best.

    I continue to use content publishing processes because they generate direct traffic that is worth far more to me than anything Google might decide to dole out.

    Google ... it's not always about you!!!

  • Reply Dave Mitchelll201 days ago

    If Google can determine and penalize you for certain poor links to your site, why can't they develop a simple tool for webmaster tools to point the poor links to us, so that we don't disavow good links in the process? 20,000+ links to go thru. I thought we were partners Google,...sniff

  • Reply Martina • 90 days ago

    Does your website have a contact page? I'm having problems locating it but, I'd like to send you an e-mail. I've got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

    Melissa Johnson89 days ago

    Hi, Martina.

    Here's our contact page:
    http://www.affilorama.com/contact

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