Google Penalizes PostJoint Over Guest Blog Links

Apr 21, 2014 • 8:51 am | comments (43) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization
 

PostJointIt seems Google has gone after yet another guest blog network that is being used by SEOs for link building purposes. The link network is named PostJoint and has gone on record that they are different from MyBlogGuest, which was penalized a month ago.

Matt Cutts confirmed on Twitter in a round about way that PostJoint and likely all the publishers in the network, were penalized. I bet they will start seeing unnatural link notifications within Google Webmaster Tools Manual Actions Viewer this coming week.

Matt tweeted:

Brian White, his colleague spam fighter added a tip:

PostJoint was penalized and some of those who participated in the network were also.

PostJoint confirms receiving a penalty, this is a new one named "business model violations" where it says:

UPDATE: They made up this penalty notification. I am so sorry for the confusion.

Google's algorithms are currently unable to detect the difference between genuine and spammy content marketing activities. Platforms like yours mess with our business model leaving us with no alternative but to setup a complex and labour intensive manual operation. As a result, Google has de-indexed your site.

Google PostJoint Penalty Notification - Business Model Violations

Then PostJoint claims that only 16% of the publishers using their site received an unnatural link notification from Google. I am not sure how they know it was only 16%, that simply doesn't make sense to me.

But then they blow my mind and go bold by saying:

The fact that only 16% of our sites have been hit shows that Google can't infact trace all of the sites using PostJoint.

Man, they are asking for it.

Here are some recent link networks taken down by Google:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Note: I am offline today and this post was pre-scheduled to be automatically posted. So if I am delayed in responding to issues or comments, I apologize in advance.

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Comments:

MARK Again

04/21/2014 01:13 pm

Recently I am seeing higher correlation between PPC ads and SEO rankings. Looks like Google is using PPC (at least a tiny bit), to identify brands and rank them. You know when Matt says something, it is usually the other way around.

Michael Martinez

04/21/2014 01:48 pm

Barry, when you come back online, I hope you'll correct the article to point out that PostJoint completely fabricated the message from Google and that there is no such thing (yet) as a publicly confirmed "Business Model Violations" notice from Google.

Michael Martinez

04/21/2014 01:49 pm

"Looks like Google is using PPC (at least a tiny bit), to identify brands and rank them." No, that just means people have no clue as to how to determine relationships between what they see and what they want to see.

Thomas

04/21/2014 02:26 pm

the recommended actions are awesome... real or not, thats pretty darn funny right there.

James

04/21/2014 03:08 pm

Agree. That warning is not real. Perhaps it is supposed to be humorous. I think it's pathetic.

Rick

04/21/2014 03:51 pm

That business model violations penalty is a good laugh. If that was real Google would be being transparent.

notevil

04/21/2014 04:18 pm

stupid google quietly crying. Nobody not love their business model... Because Great Greed and Great Evil is another name of google.

somebody

04/21/2014 04:27 pm

i think because great & greed google hacked or steal their database. It only one way to know exact %. It just a common violation of normal business model with google business model (from lot of such violations like image hotlinking, q&a, "well-researched" articles, penalties, email spam to webmasters, corruption, etc).

RyanMJones

04/21/2014 04:39 pm

you're assuming a causal relationship and ignoring the common third factors: money and marketing budget. If I rank better I do more sales. if I do more sales I have more profit. If I have more profit, I can spend more on ads.

Tony

04/21/2014 04:57 pm

Just so you know, the "Business model violation" thing was a joke, they actually got the standard “unnatural inbound links" warning. They also claimed 16% by checking the list of publishers websites to see if they had PR movement. The fact that Google have obviously forced a "unnatural inbound links" penalty on this website is actually quite worrying as there doesn't seem to be a fair use of their terms and conditions and they seem to be just picking and choosing who they like and don't like. If I studied amazons backlinks, I am pretty sure Google could also give them a "unnatural inbound links" penalty...but of course, that just won't happen. Post joint did not force dofollow backlinks, so it's just another way for Matt to reinforce and justify his "guest blogging is done statement".

J_Boch

04/21/2014 05:24 pm

Agreed. However I did laugh at it.

Robert

04/21/2014 05:30 pm

exactly. Google === CORRUPTION. they ban/penalize/promote anything they like, to increase their revenues only.

Martin Owen

04/21/2014 06:19 pm

If Postjoint has been de-indexed why does it still have Pagerank?

Lysis

04/21/2014 06:49 pm

What a bunch of morons to have "no footprint" on their home page. haha pwnd

PostJoint

04/21/2014 06:52 pm

Thanks for pointing this obvious point out Michael :)

PostJoint

04/21/2014 06:53 pm

Thanks Tony - they are definitely picking and choosing. We've never enforced follow or nofollow, our users are free to arrange whatever deals they see fit.

n0tSEO

04/21/2014 06:59 pm

"Man, they are asking for it." I admire how brave the PostJoint folks are! :D Well done! The only thing I hardly like (but the same goes for MBG) is all those users who insult you for bidding/offering when your blog doesn't have enough PageRank... Well, these guys should remember that PageRank doesn't make a site good or bad! There are lovely, helpful sites out there with PR0 or less because they robotted Google out, so... You know. :-) - Luana S.

Jon Hogg

04/21/2014 08:17 pm

Yeah Barry how didn't you spot that?!

wertwert

04/21/2014 08:37 pm

Who you link to and why is the pinnacle of free speech online. How Google gets away with dictating those choices to the public baffles me. Shouldn't government or judicial system chime in at some point once google's actions start treading on the constitution?

John

04/21/2014 09:28 pm

Cause pagerank doesn't update daily. It updates whenever Google feels like updating it.

John

04/21/2014 09:30 pm

High quality journalism right there by Barry

Steve

04/21/2014 09:47 pm

You have freedom of speech, not freedom from consequences. Also, Google isn't the government. Free speech only applied to government taking it from you.

Steve

04/21/2014 09:49 pm

Which is what... once a year now

Steve

04/21/2014 09:51 pm

Private company offering a free service. They can do whatever they want. It doesn't make them corrupt.

PostJoint

04/21/2014 09:56 pm

We've also seen evidence of sites speaking out against Google that have been penalised, yet have never built a single link to their site (they were all natural). If Google was government, it definitely would not be a democratic one.

wertwert

04/21/2014 10:12 pm

Feels more like Google imposing consequences if I don't use my freedom of speech to their liking. At a minimum it still feels very unsavory being constantly held under Google's thumb.

PostJoint

04/21/2014 10:20 pm

Someone gets the joke :)

StevenLockey

04/22/2014 08:57 am

Is Fox breaching Freedom of speech for only publicising what they want? Is HBO doing the same? No of course not. Google can display WHATEVER it wants on it's website. Calling Freedom of Speech here is like calling Freedom of Movement breach because you can't fly!

A humanist

04/22/2014 09:48 am

PostJoint I feel bad for you, especially if you have dependants to worry about! The spam team have become little more than playground bullies looking for attention, it appears very personal almost like a vendetta at times. Shame karma is a bitch, hopefully the spam team have never had to worry about how to pay the rent or where the next meal is coming from because I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. The thing about capatplasium is you can’t have a top without a bottom, and the people at the top want to stay there by any means necessary, and that means keeping the majority of the population at the bottom. When you have 5 families in the UK owning more than 20% of the entire population you know something’s wrong with the system!

Guest

04/22/2014 09:48 am

PostJoint has received your support request. Our support hours are Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm, GMT (excluding public holidays). We will get back to you ASAP. PostJoint Support http://support.postjoint.com ( http://support.postjoint.com ) On April 22, 2014 at 10:48 AM Disqus notify-403BB6FC-CA03-11E3-BFE3-003048DFBAE6@disqus.net ( mailto:notify-403BB6FC-CA03-11E3-BFE3-003048DFBAE6@disqus.net )

StevenLockey

04/22/2014 02:04 pm

Also, a penalty doesn't always remove PR even after an update. A site can have PR 10 and still not appear for in search various reasons. PR is useless and irrelevant. Ignore it.

StevenLockey

04/22/2014 02:14 pm

PostJoint - As they say on the net, Pics or it didn't happen. Sounds like a bit of butt-hurt from you there. Lets face it, 99% of the content on your network is spammy, spun marketing crap, the only reason it exists is to try and game the search engines. I won't be shedding any tears for it's de-indexing I'm sure. As the anti-google insult? Well, that applies to pretty much every privately owned company in the world...... So basically you are saying Google are a company... not a democracy. Sane if a trifle blatant.

Patti Paz

04/22/2014 02:15 pm

Ever wonder what it would be like to be sitting in your cell waiting for the executor to come to get you so he could perform his assigned task? A rather extreme example, but, nevertheless, accurate. And, oh yea, there's lots of holier than thous out there who will weigh in with something to the effect that if you have done nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear . . . .

Patti Paz

04/22/2014 02:16 pm

Is this permitted?

Michael Martinez

04/22/2014 02:24 pm

If you have done nothing wrong you DON'T have anything to fear. There's no "holier-than-thou" attitude behind that -- just real knowledge of what search engine optimization has always been about.

Michael Martinez

04/22/2014 02:25 pm

No one is forcing you to rely on Google for Website traffic. That's a matter of choice.

Jérôme Verstrynge

04/22/2014 05:12 pm

PostJoin WAS looking for trouble: "PostJoint connects independent marketers and bloggers so they can easily arrange publishing deals on their own terms." That's explicitly facilitating something forbidden in Google's guidelines...

Ashish Ahuja

04/22/2014 06:45 pm

This again confirms that Google cannot do anything to these networks algorithmically and they have a limitation of doing it manually, so they declare these penalties to instill fear in the minds of webmasters

Barry Schwartz

04/23/2014 01:35 am

So sorry about that. That is what I get for throwing this up last minute before my holiday. I am glad most of you understood.

Guest

04/23/2014 02:40 am

At some point all the scorned webmasters will stand up and fight back. "If you do not give some power to the people, eventually your government will be overthrown" Me

Tony

04/23/2014 10:45 am

Also the people claiming Google must of had access to all the publishers is a bit far fetched. The only way that is possible is if they used a major chunk of credits and made up hundreds of unique articles and then waited for "offers" to come in, so that they could see the publishers website. Even so you still only get 5 offers or websites per unique article, most would be duplicates. Like you say this would be pretty obvious. Even if they did all that and got a small list, the publisher still may not of accepted the offer, and therefore there is no proof that they are willing to exchange money for links. Who is to say the rest of the content on the publishers website is not natural? If they did however accept the offer, then Google was literally baiting publishers into breaking the rules. It may be worth checking IP addresses of advertisers to see if any come from Google. Even if the offer was accepted and the post was published, until Google pays for the link it is not a paid link. Out of all the publishers on PostJoint I would imagine a fair few have been penalised because their websites are spammy all on their own. Google "may" of seen a few, looked at their websites manually, saw spam and then gave the penalty. I doubt it was purely because they were "planning" on using PostJoint. Another option of course is if Google some how got access to a database or some kind of loophole to your system. Very unlikely though considering this would be on the verge of illegal.

Mark

04/23/2014 02:03 pm

"Platforms like yours mess with our business model" - while that was made up, it's accurate because it does mess with their plans of screwing small businesses from appearing in organic and forcing them to throw money at AdWords. You'd never know how bad it is until you work as an SEO for a Fortune 500 and see how effortless it is for them to rank for basically anything in organic.

Johnathan

04/30/2014 02:07 pm

12 days later, I can confirm that using post-joint as a negative SEO tactic worked. 1 post for $60 cost one of my competitors 5 spots on Google for the targeted keyword. regardless of what you think about negative SEO, it works, & this seems to be the most effective way to go about it.

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