Paid blog networks… I hate them. They take $59.99 (or something like that) from crappy websites and cheat their way into better search results, in many cases on the expense of LEGITIMATELY hard working site owners (like me).
But today we can mark a small win for the good guys.
It appears that on March 19th Google has de-indexed almost completely one of the most prominent and popular paid blog networks out there, BuildMyRank. BuildMyRank released a blog post where they’ve confirmed their network de-indexing (meaning out of Google’s index):
“Unfortunately, this morning, our scripts and manual checks have determined that the overwhelming majority of our network has been de-indexed (by Google), as of March 19, 2012. In our wildest dreams, there’s no way we could have imagined this happening.”
But As much as I hate paid blog networks, I have to give BuildMyRank the credit- They’ve acted fast and announced they are shutting down their service while they will process refunds for current subscriptions. Even though they’ve probably promoted (polluted also fits) many spam sites in the search results, they at least was honest towards their clients.
If you don’t understand exactly what are those paid blog networks let me brief you shortly:
Paid blog networks are basically a bunch of websites, where people can pay money and receive links back to their own sites from the blog network (through the customer’s posts or pay them to write for you). The result is that the customer’s site appears to have many “natural links” and gets promoted on the search results.
These kind of paid links schemes are clearly against Google guidelines. The company obviously doesn’t wants that the search results will be manipulated and whenever it reveals a paid links scheme (such as paid blog network), it take severe actions against it (removes it from its index). Google even penalized its own product after it was caught in a paid link scandal.
Besides manual actions like in this story, Google are always tweaking their algorithm to devalue paid links from these sort of sources. The Panda algorithm which targets low-quality content farms is one example. Maybe the soon-to-come overly SEO algorithm will be the next one.
I highly recommend any of you that even just consider engaging with paid links services, NOT to do so. Not only it can be a great waste of your money, it can even come back at you! This time Google only went after the paid blog network itself, next time Google might go after the sites it “went to bed” with…