As many may know, I run (or ran) a retirement blog called "The Retirement Life." I opened it up in November of 2013. I have, for all intents and purposes, shut it down effective last week. I opened up a new retirement blog called "The Retired Baby Boomer." Now, you are thinking, why did you shut down the original retirement blog. I got a notice in webmaster tools that TRL had "unnatural outbound links" and that I was accused of "selling links" on a PR0 site. Yes, I'm sure in some alternative reality that makes sense. But, not in this world, not in this universe. As always, in any action with Google, you are guilty until proven innocent. Now, I did have guest posting on that old retirement blog. I allowed two links back to their site. But, after doing "nofollow" on all outbound links, Google said I was still in violation of their sainted TOS. Basically, I figured out that Google wanted me to take out all the backlinks in the guest posts after giving my word to the guest posters. I considered doing that....for about 3 seconds. I simply could not in good conscience do that to the people who entrusted me at my word. Why these people wanted a backlink from a PR0 site, I will never understand. But, that is neither here nor there. I gave them my word. A man's word used to mean something in this country at one time. That's not the case now. But, it still means something to me. So, rather than take out the links in the guest posts, I decided to leave them up. Google will eventually stop indexing TRL for their beloved search engine. You get the sense that Google is a monopoly that is practically begging for regulation at some point based on a number of different issues people have with Google.
Matt Cutts, an employee of Google, had a rather nice article in January of this year on the demise of guest blogging as SEO. Now, I fully realize that most people use guest blogging as a means to acquire SEO. Trying to get it from a PR0 site doesn't make much sense to me. But, Matt's point is that he basically believes guest blogging is dead from an SEO standpoint. That may be the case since Google is now going after sites that allow guest blogging. Mine was one of them. I can understand Matt saying "... if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice." He has a valid point there. There are lots of sites whose sole purpose is to exchange links as a means to garner SEO. But, what about the sites who had no interest in SEO in regards to guest posting? You cast them into Google hell with the link farms as well? My retirement site was to offer my perspectives on retirement, to help people making the transition from working to retirement. I was getting good traffic and comments for a 7 month old blog. The guest bloggers were, for the most part, professionals in retirement planning, financial planning, annuities and other subjects near and dear to the retiree. Google is basically saying you can still have guest bloggers, but you can't allow them to have links to sources in their article. That is asinine. No one is going to take the time and effort to post an article without, at least, making one link to a source. Google is diluting the quality of the internet search criteria with their poorly thought-out methodology of cutting out sites with their broad scythe.
It appears I will not be able to have professionals on my new retirement blog due to this new approach to shutting down sites who offer links in guest posting articles. That is a crying shame. There are many people who are sincere, as I am, in wanting to help folks make logical choices for their retirement. Isn't the primary mission of a search engine to provide information for people? Google has apparently decided that is not their primary mission any longer. Their new mission is to (as Matt so succinctly put it) "Throw out the baby with the bath water." He meant it in a different way, of course. He is defending his employer. That's his right. But, that doesn't mean I have to agree with him or his employer.
5/26/2014 06:38:00 AM David Weldy No comments