MyBlogGuest open letterToday after one of our users had been very much offended because he had been asked to revise one of his articles, I got inspired to write this…

Listen, I know we are all frustrated that Google is fighting its own monster – links – and we have to suffer from that. But you still care about Google, right? So do we!

Here’s news for you: You are fighting the wrong guys here. We are on your side

At MyBlogGuest we started without editors. We thought publishers and authors would be able to sort this out themselves between each other. We thought the community would edit itself – as publishers are NEVER paid for publishing our glamorous articles, they are supposed to be picky right?

Wrong..

User-generated quality control never happened. We got flooded with low-quality articles that were scaring off good publishers by their overwhelming number (low quality is always easier to notice as it’s easy to produce!)

We’ve stepped in with our set of linking rules NOT because we wanted to somehow limit the freedom of our members but because we had to protect our name and keep our bloggers for YOU.

Some of you realize that:

Gerri's feedback

Some of you think we are just making up new rules because we don’t have better things to do…

Now, I do realize that many of you will never understand our reasoning but this just needed to be said.

We are doing something good here: We build relationships with bloggers through great content we provide them with. Please don’t make it seem like we are breaking Google’s rules!

Currently we are working on something different to provide you with the playground of *real* blogs that care:

Stick around!

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Ann Smarty

Founder at MyBlogGuest
Ann Smarty is the founder of MyBlogGuest. Feel free to contact her if you have any questions about the platform.

27 Responses to “Ann Smartys Open Letter to #MyBlogGuest Users re:Links”

  1. William Ecksel

    Thanks again, Ann. I am one who will openly say that I have had my run-in with editors, but after reviewing the terms of service they cite, I correct the issue and move on. This is because I agreed to the terms prior to making a payment to be part of the network. Those offended by it need to make sure that they follow the rules. If they do not want to follow the rules, they can go elsewhere. For those who want to go elsewhere, good luck. I have tried and there really isn’t anything comparable until someone decides to dedicate their time to creating a competitor webiste (that generates as much traffic as MBG).

    Now, with that out of the way…..let’s talk about rules. This post seemed to start about talking about editors, then went to venting about links and Google so here you go…..

    First, everyone knows that Google changes constantly. With that in mind, I pay MBG to have access to certain platforms. I DO MONITOR ARTICLES and only bid on those that I feel are quality enough for my websites. Not everyone does that and that is THEIR FAULT, not mine. As such, I do not see that changing and updating rules based on the Google algorythm is a smart idea. What needs to happen is that your editors get strong with those who do not get it. They are the ones who make it so that an editor is needed. Those who do get it need to be left alone to make the decisions on the content they want to bid on. It is getting to be pretty Liberal around here and we may as well have the IRS or Obama himself come on in and micromanage the way we operate.

    When you get into making new rules based on Google, you are dictating the way bloggers manage their “own” websites. I believe MBG should be left as a platform, and not a monitor of what posts I choose to put on my website. Just my opinion…..go ahead and lay it on me!!!

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      We have never actually changed the rules (except for word limit NOT because Google but because all 400-word articles were very thin), so I am not sure what to reply here.

      All we did was making sure those rules were observed…

      Reply
  2. Mike Davis

    I am new to the digital marketing field and Ann is one of my role models. Unfortunitly SOME people in our field, or others, will always use what we call “black hat” strategies. This doesn’t only apply to SEO, but to business in general. I believe MBG is just protecting their quality.

    Mike

    Reply
  3. Matthew Boley

    Hello Ann,

    I appreciate that you take the time to read these over and insure quality, sometimes our writers go through very quickly and forget some key factors like quality, fun, and most important SEO friendly. Lets face it, we are all using MBG for marketing purposes or we wouldn’t be hear.

    I am happy Ann is smart and places limits. I accept blogs daily to my blog and skim them, because I trust that Ann’s team is making sure they are quality to go on my blogs. At the same time I know that I need to step up my game and writer much better in order to get my articles accepted.

    If Ann didn’t protect their quality, Google would slap MGB company so fast they wouldn’t know what happened and it would turn into a Build My Rank type site again. I know I don’t want this, I don’t want to wake up one day and have 1’000s of clients penalized/banned from Google all, because someone didn’t wan to monitor quality. I think Ann is doing everyone a favor by monitor and insuring quality gets passed.

    If Ann keeps up with what Google is doing, that is even better for us. We would be stupid not to allow this and I feel we need to just go with it even if the guidelines got stricter than they are.

    MGB is a great thing, and I am saying thank you Ann for building a quality site where others can get a chance to post content on quality sites.

    Have a great night everyone and don’t sweat the small things. I would be more worried about what Matt Cutts is going to do next. You never know, maybe next he will discount links from Facebook, because they are a competitor and force everyone to use Gplus lol. You never know!

    Matt

    Reply
  4. Garen

    Hey Ann,
    I think you’re doing a great job at quality control. I have talked with you a number of times and realize that you have to protect MBG because you care about bloggers, and linking them together with other quality sites. It shows your integrity with your business and helps weed out the bad apples that want to distribute poor content. Keep up the good work Ann!

    Reply
  5. Farooq

    Unlike other communities (or i should better say websites as there there is hardly any other real community). MBG is the only one facilitates guest blogging with the real spirit of blogging. Here you make links and know each other, its not only give and take of link-backs and articles.

    Reply
  6. Prateek Thakar

    Appreciate all your efforts here at MBG Ann. Way to go, and it would be really needed to put in place measures to ensure only HQ content is uploaded and published. It just helps everyone.
    There is no point in publishing spun content or poorly written content as whom are we fooling ? google, nobody can fool the BIG G.

    I am lucky to have found MBG and have no issues as all my articles ever uploaded are over 500 words , informative and well structured, only had trouble 1,2 times when i had a flag put on my account due to couple of articles wrongly uploaded.

    Reply
  7. anon

    Cheer Ann,
    As usual you are making some great observations and rubbish articles help no-one. Publishers with reputable, established websites would do well to join because I see authors writing content so good it would give the likes of The Huffington Post and SEOMOZ a run for their money. Good has nothing to worry about because quality comes out of this netowork, and the Smarty police catches those that attempt to ruin the playground.

    Keep up the great work.

    Reply
  8. Matt

    I do worry about the conflicting notes I get from the mods, it makes them seem like they have no clue, one says add more links to make it natural, another says take all the helpful links out. And the articles which I upload that have any more than the one link in are usually ignored by publishers. They must truly think we are building links to Wikipedia or something!!!

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      Who of the mods told you to take the links down?

      As for bloggers, yes, SEO FUD has impacted them too but once we come across something like this, we explain and educate

      Please use “Contact us” link more often and guide us with your feedback!

      Reply
  9. Gareth

    It just goes to prove that if you give people something of quality, then unimaginative people who want to undercut imaginative SEOs will try to ruin it. It’s sad that MBG has had to insist on rules to protect its business model, but inevitable and right. I bet not a single one of these so-called SEOs has written a guest blog without a link in it… (try it, it feels good).

    Reply
  10. Dan Mazzini

    Quality is the way to go – I just joined, and only because I felt I could find both quality posts and quality blogs here.

    Reply
  11. Theresa Happe

    Yeah, Ann!
    To everyone out there grumbling, do you want to worry a few months or years from now that all the effort you put into creating guest posts will have to be removed or disavowed? Personally, I don’t, and as long as MBG is exerting a concerted effort to maintain quality here, I know what I do here will continue to be beneficial.

    From a writer’s standpoint, I am glad to see lousy content discouraged. When I’m making an effort to create good content and get outranked by a fluffy, completely uninformative article, it makes me question the value of having real knowledge in a particular niche.

    Reply
  12. Fooffreddie

    Hi,

    I really like the way MBG tries to maintain high quality standards – it makes me feel secure in the knowledge that I’m competing with quality articles not just spam and that my links will carry real value! (although sometimes I’ve been asked to move a link from the top of my article to a lower position – because its JUST in the top half – that’s a bit over zealous in my opinion – Its hard to write a good article and have your link EXACTLY 51% or later into the article!!! – but I do understand why its important to you guys!)
    It would also be nice if you guys could do the same with blogs too – publishers often approach me from blogs with virtually no content, social sharing, etc… I know every blog has to start somewhere but some quality control on this side would be greatly appreciated.

    Foofreddie :)

    Reply
  13. Alex Leigh

    In a world filled with spam, your rules make perfect sense. It’s clear that these rules are there to help people who are trying to achieve good results and produce good content… Decent content will tend to obide by these rules as a matter of course, so it’s a shame we even need rules like this… but clearly a necessity.

    Writer’s shouldn’t be offended by the feedback you give them. If anything they should be grateful for any constructive criticism that may improve the article’s content… After all, we’re trying to make articles for people to actually read here, not purely to manipulate search engines.

    The idea of having some an area of “real blogs” I find really appealing and I’d be keen to get some of my sites involved in that. I’m fed up of wading through crap, and I’m sure many other people are too. Keep up the good work MBG

    Reply
  14. Mark Boyd

    Ann, I’m totally on board with what you and MBG have done…including raising the minimum to 500 words. Any changes you have made make sense from the standpoint of both good business and SEO. Yes sometimes change is a pain, but these are very minor changes at the end of the day and they are beneficial ones for all of us…not to mention they save us all from potentially much bigger issues down the line. Anyone giving you flack over that just doesn’t get it. Thank you for staying ahead of the curve.

    Reply
  15. Ralf Skirr

    I like the idea of putting more focus on real blogs with real bloggers, instead of distributing anonymous (with made up pen names) ghostwritten-for-links-only articles. We’ll see if the new requests section will enhance that.
    Even if I might not agree with each point of the rules, the quality control is the most important value proposition of MBG. Without it MBG would be nearly useless for publishers, with it you can trust that you’ll get a good to great article most of the time.

    Reply
  16. Richard Bloomfield

    I am completely in support of what Ann has done in terms of setting out linking rules and pushing towards greater quality control. I suspect there is still some way to go with filtering out a few of the lower quality contributors – and good luck with that.
    One thing I would like to raise in relation to Google fighting it’s own ‘link monster’ and that is the issue of people flagging up ‘Guest posts’ on their home page navigation. This immediately implies a lower quality of post as well as being something Google could easily target in future. Would it be better to encourage webmasters to have titles like ‘Expert’ or ‘Specialist’ posts or, much better still integrate within existing categories and content. The presence of a Bio is enough of a signal that the website has ‘guest’ posts.
    Is the discouragement of the term ‘Guest Post’ on websites something MBG would be comfortable to recommend?

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      That’s a tricky one… We are defending the concept of *pure* guest blogging and if we start asking publishers NOT to name things their own names, would they think they are doing anything wrong (while they are NOT)?

      See my point?

      Reply
  17. Rachel Mark

    This is great. Thank you for keeping MyBlogGuest a clean site in the eyes of Google. I feel like anyone who feels you are being unfair is unfamiliar with the world of SEO… anyone who has been around for a drastic update knows that you don’t do what you want – you must comply with the major search engines.
    Thank you for this.

    Reply
  18. Nick

    What some users fail to realize is that it is in Every MBG Users Interest to insure that high standards are maintained. We want top bloggers to be attracted to the site, and to accept our articles, this will only happen if the low quality stuff is blocked at source. Better blogs = better links.

    Reply
  19. M.-J. Taylor

    The only time I have ever ‘objected’ to an editor’s suggestion was when I was told to link directly to the flikr photostream. Creative Commons requires attribution. Personally, *I* would prefer a link to my profile and sometimes that’s what I give as a link.
    The artist or photographer gets to choose how to link and many don’t specify the way they want it attributed – which, imo, leaves it up to me to decide. :D

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      The only reason why we ask for that attribution is that it’s easier for us and publisher to verify the license! So many people claim an image is creative commons while it is NOT!

      Reply
  20. Fooffreddie

    Agree with Ann about quality content! Also – You need some quality control on the Blogs themselves – I often get offers from very poor blogs with little to no content that are clearly SEO purposed blogs – would be great if you could check blogs before they can make offers the same way you check content quality!!!

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      That’s what we are doing as well! We have automatic filters and rating system in place that we use to keep newbie and lower-quality bloggers away! We are trying both ways!

      Reply
  21. M.-J. Taylor

    Thanks for the explanation on the the request to link to the photostream. And I do VERY much appreciate you trying to build the quality of blogs here. I, too, get too many requests from lower quality blogs.

    Reply

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