Yesterday, Google's Matt Cutts announced they've penalized a large guest blog network but never said which one. The search community believes it is MyBlogGuest.com that got hit and the owner, a respected member of the SEO industry, Ann Smarty confirmed they indeed get a manual action in Webmaster Tools and was penalized.
But Ann did not believe that the publishers that participated in the network would get hit as well. She tweeted:
I don’t think our publishers will be penalized, but let’s ask @mattcutts :)— Ann Smarty (@seosmarty) March 19, 2014
I said in my original post that I "suspect the publishers will indeed be hit," despite what Ann said. Matt Cutts responded to that Twitter thread, without @replying Ann, saying, "when we take action on a spammy link network, it can include blogs hosting guest posts, sites benefiting from the links."
@n2tech when we take action on a spammy link network, it can include blogs hosting guest posts, sites benefiting from the links, etc.— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) March 20, 2014
It was not so committal as you can see and I am personally tracking a couple of sites to see if there will be a drop. One publisher said on Twitter they noticed a drop yesterday, which seems to early to me, but here is her tweet:
That being said, if you were part of this network, keep us posted on if your Google rankings suffer and/or you get a manual action notification in Google Webmaster Tools.
You may ask, why is there so much confusion over this? Well, Google wants to break some spirits with this and even if it is not MyBlogGuest that was targeted here, Google wouldn't mind people thinking it was and then thinking the penalty is more severe than it should be?
Forum discussion at Twitter.