Lab Weekly – Has Guest Blogging Burnt it's Bridges

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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Hello once again, sorry we haven’t been around for a few weeks with our regular round –up on what’s happening in the industry but as you may be able to guess from some of our recent posts we have been very busy attending a few of the major shows for the beginning of the year.
Last time we spoke and quite appropriately for this update saw Matt Cutts taking a real stand on the subject of Guest Blogging, even going so far as to say and I quote:-
“So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well.”
Many in the industry at the time believed that this was very much a FUD tactic including ourselves and took the stance that if it was done correctly it was still a powerful technique. However by now I am sure many of you are aware that this has been taken to another level with the Google team penalizing MyBlogGuest as was confirmed by its founder Ann Smarty on Twitter.

 Ann Smarty Twitter Response 01

Ann later followed this up with another tweet stating that she didn’t think their publishers would be penalized, putting the question directly to Matt Cutts himself.
Ann Smarty Twitter Question
Matt Cutts has since responded to this stating “when we take action on a spammy link network, it can include blogs hosting guest posts, sites benefiting from the links.” And you can read more about this here.
What do you think, has the latest round of “Cutts” by Google gone too far?
In other news.
Twitter are currently said to be experimenting with a newer version of its services which would see @-replies being phased out. The head of news at Twitter Vivian Schiller reportedly called this “arcane”, when questioned about this further she reported “There’s a lot of creative thinking going on around how to make Twitter more and more intuitive. Watch this space.” 
The thinking among many industry sources was that while the change could be seen as making the service more accessible to new users it could alienate and has already upset loyal users of the existing service. What do you think of the change and would it affect the way you use Twitter?
This week also saw more updates to the user interface of the Google+ social network which has seen changes to the way link posts are displayed. The changes were designed to make these types of posts stand out more in the stream with extra large images and bold titles in a not too dissimilar way to how these posts are handled by their network rival Facebook.
Some anticipated benefits of these changes that were implemented, withdrawn and then re-instated over the weekend appear to be higher click through rates and more follows although some have said the biggest advantage is that it makes the stream look prettier.
Finally, and following on from my colleagues article on mobile and the great big Google hint we came across an interesting video by Matt Cutts in response to a question about mobile sites in his latest webmaster help video. Is there a way to tell Google there is a mobile version of a page, so it can show the alternate page in mobile search results?
He goes on to mention several items that can help with this and the full response is definitely one worth watching.

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