should do we follow some John Mueller’s thoughts on SEO? Search Engine Optimization

Since John Mueller has now stated in 2 interviews that links on guest posts are being devalued and we all are getting emails offering guest posts every day, I think it's delusional to think Google doesn't know which blogs are publishing guest posts, when lists of thousands of blogs are basically public, and most link vendors are all selling the same blogs. Paid or unpaid guest post, both are asking for link which is against terms. I'm sure they don't know every single guest post publisher, but how do I know the guest post I just paid $240 for is not being devalued. Thoughts?
[filtered from 96 💬🗨]


Why do you listen to what John M has to say? He is known for spreading disinformation.

MiStone ✍️ » Jester
I have heard this before, But I don't know anyone has ever shown evidence he spreads disinformation, Do you have any?
Marcus » Jester
that is new to me. But I often experience people "reading" his comments the wrong way
I can’t find it but there was a great blog post that broke down all the things that John Mueller and other organizations like Moz have said that “don’t work” with case studies proving that they do work. Always good to question your assumptions about SEO and try new strategies but sometimes they are outright wrong.
MiStone ✍️
Chane Steiner can u give an example?
MiStone ✍️
Hopefully someone can find actual evidence he has spread disinformation
MiStone ✍️
I would bet there are a large amount of people who bought guest posts with the opposite result. If doing them properly means powering up the post, how would u know if those same power up links would not have worked on a $50 high quality PBN post or a DR90 podcast page with dofollow the same way and saved you $200
Lewis » MiStone
Stop listening to the spokesperson for the company whose algorithm you're trying to reverse engineer. You can safely assume anything he says is a tactic to distract from it [his topic]. Realistically Google has no way to know at an algorithmic level when guest posting or blog networks. So how can they get people to do it less? Come out and say "We're onto you!!"
There's not one single post that will outline every time G has come out with blatant falsehoods, but it's easy enough to find blog posts that debunk things that are supposed "not working" as actually working.

Every sort of link building includes asking for a link, whitehat at least

Marcus » Karim
well, all "white hat" links I ever got were without asking. They simply "appeared" because webmasters find my content to be interesting to link to
Jana » Marcus
so you didn't "build" these links!
Marcus » Karim
that is the definition of "white hat". You build a linkworthy website. In the moment you build links, it is not "white" any more (while I don't say I wouldn't do that as well, but you can not call it "white hat" then).
That's not how I define things, what does the SEO dictionary say about that?

Guest post is dead, time for PBN.
Yep, looks like time for PBNs but with a trustworthy person.

How can a robot determine what links are paid for and those that are obtained naturally?
To take extra precautions:
I only build links to information pages, with random anchors, my writer writes the guest-post (between in 700-1200 words) and we also link out to 2 other authority sites.

Mark » Delah
Well some sites have a "write for us page" or even "guest post guidelines". I definitely avoid people who are so blatant.
Jason » Mark
many link sellers like to use Google Sheets to store and share their list of websites too.
Guess they think it's a good idea to store their plans to destroy the Death Star on the Empire's computers…
Holgate » Mark
I'm pretty sure I read that Google even mentioned this but it's extremely easy to avoid those types of sites.
Gregory » Mark
I have to disagree not all guest posts are done for links. Sometimes a upcoming writer may just wish to showcase their work on a respected website
Phil » Delah
I reckon I could write a pretty good algorithm for determining what links were likely paid.
It wouldn’t be 100%, but it would catch a lot.

Guest posts work, period. Have ranked in the toughest of niches by purchasing gigs. You just got to be careful in evaluating the domains properly on Fiverr as there are plenty of scam sites with 301s, fake traffic, shady keywords etc. I actually put out a Guest Posting Guide for Fiverr here …
How To Use The Magic of Paid Guest Post Links To Rank Any Site – InspireMe Labs
By your definition, PBNs are also public, they are indexed and google can see the sites linking to you have no traffic and are giving you a link from their home page. They have been working for ages. It is impossible to analyze the insane number of websites to predict which one is selling guest posts, unless they are doing it in a really obvious way.

Lamba » Talal
and if they leave obvious footprint patterns that google detects. Like IPs, hosting etc etc. …. and if detected, then the whole single network gets wiped out overnight.
Talal » Lamba
That's not what we are talking about here. What you are saying is irrelevant. Only an idiot would use the same IP/host/theme for all of their PBNs. We are talking about patterns of Guest Posting, which do not relate to PBN setup, but to the characteristics of a PBN (0 or almost no traffic, link from home page, resurrected domain expired or auction)
Lamba » Talal
PBN can be used for guest posting and are being. SEOs use shared hosting IPs while building out clusters in groups to save costs. They put say 5 sites on one IP hosting account which is in addition to those hosted by hosting co. They don’t link out to same domain from one IP … but yet the biggest networks in the business have been wiped out overnight back in the days .. so yes they have made mistakes and hopefully we learn from them. More on this here if anyone cares …
The No-Nonsense PBN Guide To Building Your Private Blog Network in 2020 – InspireMe Labs

None of these statements are new.
I recommend to demand links being run through LRT Link Simulator before building. Most accurate analysis possible still today.
Simulate Links with the Link Building Simulator

Lobo » MiStone
– Most sites which have traffic and link to relevant sites, should be fine to take guest posts from. This because it looks natural. Also, the site should not have an obvious "write for us" page. But I agree with you, when its as easy to get white hat outreach links you don't pay for, why get links on sites which may be penalized for taking money in exchange for links. I do genuine outreach to sites for links and DON'T pay for the links. I give social traffic, non-reciprocal links or visual media in exchange. The response rate is very low and it takes longer but the links are safe.
I offer it as a service if you are interested:
For each new project I give you access to the gmail account that I do the outreach from (I share the login credentials with you so you have complete access and can check our emails and the responses of the webmasters).
This is how we do outreach:
1. You inform us of the blog post/website/article that needs the link and the keyword you want to rank for
2. We create a list of relevant and related keywords (For example for getting links to a web hosting review site, we target keywords like web hosting, website hosting, web designing, website designing, etc)
3. We extract a list of raw websites which have the keyword in either their title, url or content. We then filter for DR (30 and above) and traffic (1,000 monthly unique visitors and above.) This is the raw list of websites that we send to you for your reference. This list is checked for relevance when we do the outreach.
4. We send two variations of the script in the five link plan (one for each of the two anchor texts). We generally mention that we are the website owner/content manager, etc so that the response is higher. We generally offer free social traffic in return for links. We also offer free media like images and video, etc depending on the niche. We offer non-reciprocal links too. This ensures that the links are safe links.
5. We generally contact 50 websites per working day via email or form filling.
As mentioned, everything is completely transparent and you can login to the gmail accounts and check the email trail anytime you like.
Our plans start from $99 per link. We have two plans Link insertions and guest posts. I recommend link insertions as they are faster. Also link insertions help you to rank faster as they are on aged posts which already are either ranking, have internal link juice or external link juice.
You can check more details on
Link Building Outreach Services – Russ Lobo Services

MiStone ✍️ » Lobo
I think everyone would agree you are doing it the right way. I don't have the patience to wait and most clients want to see some results quicker than outreach with no money exchange can deliver
I have a team of 5 of members so have a capacity of 200 links per month 🙂
DanCrys » Lobo
smart. Traffic & kw rankings is the best metric to look for. It shows how healthy a website really is.
I could care less if a site has 20DR or 5k RD. Traffic is the metric that cant be manipulated based on rankings
Thanks DanCrys, I agree. Learnt that from Diggity.
Jeffrey » Lobo
How do you manage to get the right anchor text with link insertions? Do you add a sentence or paragraph with the anchor text to the existing content?
Yes Jeffrey, I add a sentence with the anchor text in the existing content.

I literally get at least 10 PMs every day about guest posting. And I block at least 10 people every day. If I'm taking the time to create content that's good enough to be published on real top quality sites, I want it on my site, not somebody else's.
Whatever happened to the rule "If Google says something doesn't work, keep doing it"?

MiStone ✍️
My whole point is google does not need to find them. millions of emails and PM's with lists of guest post publishers have been sent already and there is so many public lists with the same blogs on there no way google even needs a robot to know which sites publishing guest posts. I am not saying all of them yet but how do you know that blog you just spent $240 on has not been devalued. How many vendors have exclusive deals with a blog not many, If you owned a blog would you only use one vendor and miss out on all that cash? they all sell the same blogs

Tulic » MiStone
if that was so easy, we would all nuke our competitors by putting them on such lists, claiming they sell links. Google would then smash them and we bubble up to top position. But the somebody does the same to us … it is not really that easy for Google to rely solely on these lists and make decisions based on them.
MiStone ✍️ » Tulic
It is not the selling of links it is also the asking for a link is against TOS. You would have to convince a few hundred other webmasters to say your competitor is selling links for this to be compared to guest posts
Lamba » MiStone
just use the rel=sponsored post tag?

Riddle me this…. Even if you get a "whitehat" link from a site, how do you know they're not going to start selling links in the future?
I've been getting great results for my clients with our guest posts consistently. The key is to focus on high quality sites with real traffic that aren't full of spam and low quality posts. As many others have pointed out, everything that comes out of the mouth of Mueller is propaganda designed to make your SEO efforts less effective so you end up paying more money to Google for ads.
Don't buy the same washed out guest-posts that everyone has in their list.
Step 1. Collect a list of guest-posts from a few dozen vendors, merge them, remove duplicates and check against your list of link opportunities. Remove the matching ones and you're good to go.
Step 2. Wherever you're getting a guest-post from, make sure your guest-post doesn't deviate in style from their regular posts. If their other posts have 2-3 internal links, then add 2-3 internal links to your post.
If their posts have an estimated avg of 4-5 external links, then you add 4-5 external links in your post. If the other posts have images, then you add images in yours… and so on. Blend in, and guest-posts will work just fine.
Yup they know it.
You don't know if that one, single $240 link helped you or not.
What you do know – if you do it intelligently enough for every single link you build – is that a good number of the 100 you built over weeks or months are helping you.
Some do, some don't, overall you rank and bank. 🤷‍♂️

Steve » Jenner
this is a great answer and it's also why you continue to build links. If Google devalues some, just build more and even if a fraction work at least you don't lose all of it when they do.

I look for obvious signs that a site is selling posts before I buy a link. No "write for us" or sponsored posts type footprints. No random posts about anything and everything. Niche specific blogs only that have real traffic is all I care about
John Mu isn't trying to discourage you from using Guest Posts. His information that he shares isn't bad advice or good advice. The job he's doing is trying to say what builds a good experience for Google.
Once you realize that, you'll realize he's doing us the favor. If SEO's and new SEO's hang off of his every word and they are discouraged to pursue the industry any further. That's one less person we have to worry about.

Cody » Morgan
he is like the riddler, always giving subtle hints without really getting into it. Here is what I've concluded from various comments he's made. Content……do it good, do it right and we will reward you. At the end of the day….does google care more if a site has banger content that makes users happy? Or just hundreds of backlinks to slop?

I would say a common theme I’ve heard over the last decade or so from SEOs is “google couldn’t do xyz”.
First panda. Then penguin. “They couldn’t be evaluating this”.
I mentioned it above, but given the data I know google will have access to, as an ex programmer, I could write a pretty good algorithm to determine the likelihood that posts had been paid for.
It wouldn’t catch everything, but it’d catch a lot with reasonable certainty, because people do the same things time and time again and leave little signals all over, even though they think they’re not doing.
So for me the question isn’t whether google *can* do this, it’s whether they *do*.
Google doesn't need to kill guest posting, it just needs to kill confidence in guest posting.
My guess is a massive ban wave on anyone who has lots of links from sites that have the words "Guest Post Guidelines" or "Write for us" AND "Guest Post". Not very hard for big G.
And it'd knock out a good number of SEOs, enough to cause waves.
This is why at we allow the customer to see the link they're buying, instantly once the order is placed. So they can have confidence, or change their order, if need be.
MiStone ✍️
John Mueller has also stated point blank on Q&A that traffic has no influence on the value of a link therefore is absolutely NOT a good metric to use in valuing a link. Plus the fact it has never been in any patent. It is a claim with no evidence spread by guest post vendors over the last couple years. Traffic does tell me if Google trusts a site but a site with some rankings and 0 traffic also tells me it is trusted its just on page 3. So if I own a blog I would be ranking for any BS easy keywords that would never make money, but can get me another 500 traffic and I can get $250 a post instead of $90. I can make $3000 a day from just guest posts and never sell one product or service. Guest post vendors have convinced the SEO community that traffic is actually a factor of link value even if you never get one visitor from that link

Lewis » MiStone
Listening to John Mueller's advice on SEO is like letting the opposing counsel give you legal advice.
MiStone ✍️ » Lewis
That is only a claim until someone can find example or evidence that John. M has spread disinformation
Excellent point MiStone, never thought of it this way.
Talal » MiStone
Traffic is more for verifying the legitimacy of the website, that it is a real website. It is similar to a metric such as DA/DR, but you have to take a closer look to see what kind of traffic it is, is the site ranking for the right keywords etc. People rank their websites solely using PBNs (no traffic). So traffic doesn't play into the power of a link, but is more of a legitimacy signal. At least that's my take on it.
MiStone ✍️
i agree so why are we all letting guest post vendors convince the SEO community that a guest post with 1000 traffic should cost $250 and a site with better link profile and 100 traffic should cost $100 , the link is not better

Look man – I'm going to straight with you – John is like that drunk uncle at Thanksgiving with really good intentions but that keeps saying stupid shit.
You pay for guest post? What are sponsored posts? Not the same?
MiStone ✍️
you pay too much for sponsored post and dofollow post plus we know there's a good chance the link is devalued anyway.

BRO…taking SEO advice from John Mueller is like taking "how do i get in this girl pants" advice from her father…Google lies…Google is EVIL…Google HATES you if you get any traffic from it without paying for Adwords…

Jeff » Stephen
I remember when Matt Cutts said that PR's didn't work or move rankings. Def BS, lol
Diggity » Stephen
That analogy!
MiStone ✍️ » Stephen
He tries to stay away from giving SEO advice on videos I have seen mostly answers specific technical questions. But do you have any evidence or example of disinformation or just more rumors and claims?
Mikula » MiStone
evidence? Ummm literally every site ranking using what he said won’t work 🤷‍♂️
MiStone ✍️
so, no example or evidence of anything he said?
okay, let's say I am a jew living in Germany just before the start of WW2…I need advice about how to escape, so my friend, a German soldier, suggests that I talk to a gestapo officer, I mean, clearly they are in the best position to advise me right? it's their job to catch fleeing Jews, so they will know all the routes that are guarded, trapped, etc…how do you like my strategy? I don't know you, so can only assume that you are a very nice person who has recently gotten into this field…it's very easy to fall into the propaganda trap…I wish you the best of luck
3 Lies The Search Engines Will Tell You

Kalin 🎓
You might overestimate Google's will to dig in manually. Several years ago I randomly found a list of all link sellers in Sape (270,000 domains, all selling links), this list was publicly available for sale for $50. Not a big price for the instant obliteration of the largest link marketplace in the world (both its buyers and sellers). Google don't care that much for doing actual work, it's mostly fear mongering and propaganda and keeping SEO culture white hat 🙂 And improving algorithms of course but the thing is a guest post is hardly different than a normal post with a link, just like a well done PBN (say Wayback restore) is no different than an actual website. This is why good guest posts and good PBNs have a bright future while say niche edits don't since they are unnatural by nature 🙂

MiStone ✍️
Kalin you have a good point but I put high quality PBN with rankings and traffic, and much lower outgoing links ,far above guest post and not overpriced like guest post vendors.


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