Google’s Reminder of Unnatural Links and its Consequences

We all know how unnatural links can invite penalty from Google and how its removal can be a never-ending task no matter how hard you may try.

It is therefore an industry-wide understanding that such links should be avoided at all times.

Nevertheless, publishers, even big ones, have indulged in practices of building unnatural links that have become the cause of controversy and attracted the Search Engine’s attention.

What brought the spotlight on the issue again was a leading SEO publisher’s attempt at earning unnatural links for its customers.

SEMRush’s Guest Post Outreach Service

SEMRush ended their guest article service after it was brought to the attention of Google, over Twitter.

The Boston based SaaS Company offered link-building services to customers through publishing guest posts. 

It would reach out to sites that allowed guest posts, created content with the relevant keywords, and post the articles on the customer’s behalf at the sites that allowed it.

While clients earned traffic and visibility, SEMRush earned a fee from the clients.

The fee was for identifying a site for the guest post that allows the inclusion of the link. Thus, the payment made to SEMRush is not for earning a link but for identifying an appropriate publisher, that allows guest posts with links.

Then Where’s the Problem?

SEMRush’s publishing service came to the notice of John Mueller from Google who found the practice being tantamount to creating unnatural links.

He further added that this sort of service by digital agencies could attract penalty unless they used the ‘nofollow’ and ‘sponsored’ rel links.

As should be expected, no publisher ever wants to go through the pain of Google penalties. Worse still are the efforts of getting the penalties lifted.

To avoid such a situation from building up, SEMRush, quickly withdrew all such services and posted the same on Twitter.

Here are the Tweets in full-length.

It all started with this…

SEMrush 1

John’s Response

SEMrush 2

And the discussion Continued…

SEMrush 3

Finally, the tweet that put the discussion to rest.


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