We recently covered a poll that showed that about half of SEOs still use guest posts for SEO purposes. A few days later, he asked John Mueller something, and John Mueller shocked the SEO by telling him that he should not follow links from guest posts.
According to Google, many SEOs, perhaps more than half, don’t seem to realize that links in guest posts should be unfollowed.
That thread was about Mastodon, where SEO said, “I do guest posts, so sometimes I get links from random sites, which I don’t like. So, ‘too many’ do follow backlinks, etc. Do you have anything?”
John replied, “TBH (honestly) the guest post part is the part I’m more worried about. If you’re doing that, you should be concerned about the guest post link being nofollow.” I have.”
The SEO guy was shocked and said, “Oh yeah. Why is that? I’ve put a lot of effort into that because I have a lot of guest posts. And it’s all dofollow. I don’t know that. Hmm… I saw a big drop in rankings yesterday, so maybe Google doesn’t rank my website anymore because of too many follow-backlink guest posts?”
John replied, “Yes, our spam policy mentions guest posting on links.” John adds: “From my point of view, they are basically links that you have placed on other sites yourself, so they should not be considered natural links. No problem, but more like an ad than a natural link, our system works to detect and neutralize these, and if it’s a big problem, we can take stronger action there is potential.”
After posting that poll last week, I saw rampant comments from SEO guys saying that these guest posts could be dofollowed but not, or that Google didn’t mean what they said. was doing. Of course, SEOs always say, “I’m doing it because it’s working,” and they know it’s against their guidelines, and they think it’s working and they’re doing it anyway.
Anyway, I think the problem is that most SEOs consider this to be a legitimate SEO tactic, but Google has repeatedly said otherwise. Perhaps the spam policy document should be more explicit about it? Isn’t that what people read anyway?
Forum discussion on Mastodon.