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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Is Your Blog in Danger of Google’s Guest Post Shakedown?

Did you know blogs that publish guest posts could be penalized by Google? I didn't at least not before reading about this latest news regarding the practice, a few days ago. Yesterday, I also received an email containing tips from another blogger on how to play it safe when publishing content from guest bloggers.

The overall message from both of these posts is that our blog’s search engine rankings, traffic and general reputation could be affected if we publish content written by third-parties. Sounds scary, right? I don’t blame you if you’re scratching your head wondering what the heck is going on. Just remember that this guest posting penalty thing isn't as simple as A-B-C; Pun intended for all you folks gearing up for the April Challenge!

Most, if not all concerns surrounding the matter stem from a video that Google released where it’s CEO explained why they frown upon guestblogs. Just like mainstream media, however, some bloggers who have brought attention to this news are sensationalizing the situation by yelling “penalty” first but ignoring the rest of what he said. If you are among the bloggers who did (or will) watch the video and listen – I mean, really pay attention to what is being explained, then there might not be much for you to worry about. Does this mean you’re safe from being hit by some type of sequel to the Panda and Penguin updates? Not at all – and this is where things get kinda risky for those of us in the blogging arena.


All of these practices are simple to implement – for me, at least. I do suspect, however, that it might take some time for a lot of bloggers to adjust their guest posting routines and develop a new – more Google-friendly practice in how they manage guests on their blogs. So, the news comes at a very inconvenient time. I considered outsourcing the posts for my blog via guests -- after shelving the theme that I initially wanted to use for this year’s A to Z challenge. I was going to invite 26 people to write a post for my blog and now I’m going to have to change that plan up a bit.

I’m also currently at the beginning of making what will be several, or more, guest appearances around the blogosphere; promoting my short film campaign, which runs all the way through March. How in the world am I going to swing this? I’ll tell you how – the same way you’re going to save your own blog from being shot down by search engines like there’s a hit out on you by Frank Costello (as played by Jack Nicholson) in “The Departed.”

Here’s how we’re going to make this happen through a summary of proper guest posting practices that I learned from blogs managed by Darren Rowse and Neil Patel.

  • “Guesting” Language Hurts Your Blog
Stop using language such as “guest post” and any derivatives of the title including “guest author,” “guest blogger,” etc.  on your blog. Do not address people as guest bloggers nor posts as such in your titles, within the body of the content itself or in any introductions or closings that you add to the post.

The Remedy: A good rule of thumb is to publish blog posts in a manner similar to magazines and newspapers. When was the last time you saw “guest writer” in an issue of Rolling Stone, VOGUE or Architectural Digest? There is a reason you didn't  so take heed of how these publications do things when it comes to featuring posts on your own blog.

  • Say No to Bios/Bylines Filled with Several Links
Author bios and/or bylines should not contain more than two links. In fact, links aren't even be necessary if you just create a page with short bios of all your contributors and then link to their blog or wherever else readers can find them.

The Remedy: Create an author page for each contributor and link their name to those pages, OR, link their name to their blog/website/social media page or whatever. That could count as one of the two maximum links, so they wouldn't even need to add more to their bio, OR, just stop allowing guests to send you bios containing a link to every single online site or social media profile they have online. Since I don’t have a staff of people and am short on time, I’d likely opt for the two latter solutions.

  • Don’t Pimp your Blog’s “Write for Me” Page in Exchange for Guests
Telling potential readers that they will receive link(s) when contributing to your blog is a violation of Google’s linking policy. Receiving a link back to a blog or social medial profile should not be the sole benefit of someone being featured on your website.

The Remedy: Change your “Write for Me/Us/this Blog” call for submissions to something less saturated. Again, this is a good time to check out what the Big Boys do and follow that model. Next, establish editorial guidelines that include a requirement for original content that was not previously published elsewhere.

If you wouldn't eat food that somebody else already chewed up and spit out, then why would you accept blog posts that were seen on another website? It’s what’s known as “duplicate content” by Google’s standards. By the way – secure the rights to these posts, while you’re at it. Doing so brings the extra satisfaction in knowing that a contributor won’t spin something they wrote for you today, into a post for another blogger, tomorrow.

  • Be Selective About Who You Feature on Your Blog
Don’t just accept posts from anyone and everyone who submits something to you – especially content that is already written. In fact, why are you even accepting open submissions in the first place? It’s much easier to review, accept and reject queries or proposals or cover letters or messages of intent than to have to read through entire blog posts.

I thought that most bloggers already knew this (…even I don’t write or submit guest posts blindly. I query FIRST and then wait for a response from the blogs that I’m interested in submitting a post to), but, I guess there are blogs out there who just put up an “open call” and take everything that comes their way.

The Remedy: Only accept posts from people who have a track record of writing great content on other blogs – and on their own website! Do a Google search for the name of your potential blog contributor; this search should not yield a bunch of spammy websites and spam links. If it does, then that’s a red flag and you may have a spammer trying to ride his or her spammy wave through some of your blog’s link juice. Also welcome contributors who are community builders and can add some discussion to your blog, by responding to comments on their post.

  • Restrict Access and Privileges
It is not necessary to give contributors author accounts to your blog, like handing out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Maintain a filtering system that compliments your submission guidelines, by restricting the publishing privileges allowed on your blog to you only. Are there exceptions to this tip? Yes, of course there are exceptions. Does this mean that leaves more work for you in terms of formatting, scheduling and publishing posts on your own? Yes, but in many cases, that’s better than the alternative -- being penalized by Google. 

The bottom line is that unless they are a part of your main administrative team or a regular contributor who has established a good track record of posting on your website, everybody online shouldn't have the access and authority to publish anything they want on your blog. When contributors publish blog posts about weight loss or diet pills on your homeschooling and parenting blog – you know you have a problem!

Solutions to the Guest Post Dilemma in a nutshell: 

Stop telling people you have guests. Those who read your blog already know who is who, thanks to author bios, tags and/or bylines. Speaking of author bios, those of contributors on your blog should contain two links maximum – and they better not be spammy (diet pills, SEO marketers, Viagra, anyone?). The bio link concerns could be solved by designating a page on your blog for all of your contributors. Of course, this part (making a “contributors” page…which also takes a lot of time to setup and maintain) is optional – I’m surely not doing it unless I feel it’s useful. That day isn't coming any time soon.

Now that we’re all up to speed on the happenings of blog post authors, Google rankings and best blogging practices, I’m pleased to report that this long post is done.

~Nicole


*Photo by: atduskgreg


35 comments:

  1. Just another reason I hate Google. When blogging ceases to be fun, or if I have to worry incessantly about the dictators, aka Nazis, over at Google, that's when I'll stop doing it. I occasionally host guest bloggers, and I will continue to do so. I refuse to run a blog in fear.

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  2. Geesh. What a world. Thanks for the info. I shall consider the matter most carefully.
    ~Just Jill

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  3. Ugh! Just another thing to think about when blogging. Thanks for the info, though. I hadn't heard about this, and I'll still have guest posts here and there, but I guess I'll have to be more careful on what I call them.

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  4. How odd. I really don't see how it affects google or blogger if people want to feature guests on their blog. This doesn't apply to me but I know a lot of bloggers who do feature guests. The only time I was ever feature, I wrote my post and emailed it to the blog owner who copied and pasted it to her blog.

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  5. nd with that, my head exploded...(but thank you)

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  6. Whoa. OK. I just removed the "Guest Posting" page from my blog. I have gotten offers from people a couple times who I really didn't want to accept posts from...this is a great way out of that. Just don't ask. DUH. ;)

    Weird stuff... that we could get penalized for having other bloggers write on our blogs... but I guess it makes sense in some ways. :) And good heavens, I NEVER give guests publishing privileges. I have to look over the text of their posts first, edit it myself if necessary, and then I publish it myself. I'm not a contributor blog.

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  7. Thank you Nicole for this very informative post. I had no idea how Google treated guest bloggers before and I'm not surprised that there'd be a "penalty" for article/link banking. The video reiterates that "great content" trumps all.

    -Sopphey

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  8. I'm not concerned. I think the biggest problem they are talking about are the spam bloggers who recycle the same posts just to add links. I've responded to some of the requests I've received from them by telling them that I will accept totally new content and give them specific guidelines to follow. I usually don't hear back from them.

    I don't mind adding "Guest Post" to my guest spots. Usually my guests are those whom I've invited or bloggers with whom I have an online relationship. I don't see where naming the post as a "guest post" creates a problem. If it does then I'm unaware and ultimately it probably doesn't matter since I don't have a commercial or pro-blog that is seeking rankings necessarily. Then again, I don't know all that much about SEO and all those search engine things. Now I just blog and whatever happens happens.

    But I'm listening!

    Lee
    Please check out my memoir blog:
    Wrote By Rote
    An A to Z Co-host blog

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  9. Good to know - I hadn't ventured into that realm, and when I do, I can configure the post correctly.

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  10. Jolie,

    Having to concern ourselves with Google's practices surely does take the fun out of blogging, indeed. Although I'm going to continue welcoming guests on my blog, I will start adjusting the language used and how they are presented to readers. Taking action from a place of fear won't get us anywhere but it helps to be able to make informed decisions on the way choose to blog. Thank you for commenting.

    Jill,

    Tell me about it! I spent days and hours trying to figure out how to let fellow bloggers know without dumping a truckload of sour apples in their lap with all this information overload and causing panic. Thanks for reading and GEESH! is the word of the day when it comes to this stuff, for sure!

    Cherie,

    I feel you...we don't need new "Google Laws" to worry about. I am going to continue publishing posts from fellow bloggers, on my blog because this shakedown seems to be mostly about zeroing in on spammers, article marketers and online SEO sharks who've been trying to game the system for a long time.

    It is unfortunate for us that since all the misbehaving bloggers and website owners are violating Google's policies, the search engine is taking it out on everybody. Since I read periodicals often, I'm just going to take a note from their book and present my guests the way that they do. Problem solved! - I think.

    JoJo,

    My guess is that its a case of too many bad apples spoiling the bunch....unscrupulous online marketing practices affect the ability of Google to give their users accurate and useful search results.

    Since there are blogs and websites that do payola schemes and stuff their sites with unusful content filled with links just to rank high on the front pages of Google, this guest posting issue is where they're taking it out on everybody to weed out the violators. I'd liken it to the War on Drugs and/or Gun Control policies in our country. I don't think bloggers like us have to worry the guest posting thing much, so long as we stay on the up and up. If all else fails, just ask yourself one question: What Would Vincent Do? ;)

    Andrea,

    Thanks for taking it all in...I understand how all this information could have such side effects. It will be alright. You'll make it through :)

    ~Nicole

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  11. Jaime,

    It sounds like you were already following good blogging practices by not accepting spammers' guest posts. You don't necessarily have to go to the extremes of taking down the "guest post" page altogether. I still get requests from them every now and then and I NEVER had a guest post page on my blog....so, it's not about whether you have a designated page or not.

    I think its just a matter of changing the language and, as you have already been doing, being selective about the guests that you accept.

    Sopphey,

    You are right on target, in that great content beats the alternative! I'm not surprised, either. Thanks for understanding the most important points to consider and double thanks for watching that video in this post. Google sums it all up in 3 minutes.

    Lee,

    You are absolutely on to something there with Google's policy enforcements being about cracking down on spam and self-serving bloggers who are up to no good. I've had a few requests from them and I either tell them what I will and will not do...for which I stop hearing from them, or I just ignore them altogether because I'd rather focus my energy responding to real bloggers who really do have something of value to say.

    If you keep the same language, I don't think the Google effects apply to you because you've already established a loyal readership of people who come to read your blog directly...they don't have to Google it because they're already familiar with the place. At the end of the day, Its your blog...I say, do what you want to with it! Thanks for listening :)

    Tami,

    Knowledge is power! I'm sure your ventures into guest blogging will be just fine. Take a deep breath...you got this :)

    ~Nicole

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  12. I think Arlee has mentioned the key issue and that is Spam Bloggers. There seems to be much more activity from Spammers targeting Blogs and using blogs, and I can understand why Google would wish to do something about that.

    I'm sure I read somewhere that there are in excess of 150 million blogs so our individual blogs are like a grain of sand on a beach.

    I dont have guest bloggers and I suspect will never be asked to do one. I did offer once for the A to Z many moons ago when they were after some but everyone went AAAauuuugggghhhhh NO . . .

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  13. This is a very helpful post. I agree with Lee. We need to just do what we do and let the chips fall where they may.

    I've never done a lot of guesting, nor have I invited a lot of guests to my blogs. When I do, it's because I can offer something to their blog, or know their contribution to mine will be a positive in the blogosphere.

    Google can do what they will. Our job is to provide quality content to those who enjoy our work, and if that includes guest posting or having guests on our own blogs once in a while, I'm all for it.

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  14. Hi Nicole - very interesting and thanks for sharing with us ...

    Honestly there must be billions of bloggers - and most of those billions must be us - people who just like to blog and connect with others ..

    I very rarely have guest posts but occasionally I'll do a guest post ..

    It looks like we might need to adjust slightly to the dictat - but it is so frustrating .. c'est la vie ..

    Thanks Nicole - we can just be sensible can't we ... and use common sense .. cheers Hilary

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  15. Great post.

    And, ugh! Do you know if they have a similar reaction to quotes (I have a number of them in my sidebar), and photos from the public domain? I've been using my own photography for the past year or so, but started out using public domain images, crediting the photographers, of course. Any info will be much appreciated.

    Peace and all good things for you in blogging and in life.

    Diane

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  16. I read an article and watched a video about that the other day. It's links to things that don't pertain to the blog in any way. Think they are going after links to companies that have nothing to do with the blog.
    I'm selective on who I feature, usually call it a visitor, and my blog's focus is broad enough that none of my guest's links will raise a red flag.

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  17. Oh good flippin' grief is the answer from the girl in charge of "alternative authors" at the A-Z Blog.

    I'm part Jolie, part Arlee, but mostly pissed off because this couldn't come at a worse time busy wise for me. So I'm whining. But I also have a pitchfork hole in my arm, so I do have some justification for being in a nasty mood. Well that, and now the other kid has the puke thing. The fun never ends.

    Thanks so much though Nicole for a very well written, organized, summarized, chock full of really good advice post. I guess I just wish we didn't live in a world where this was a big deal...

    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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  18. Thanks, Nicole. Very interesting. I wondered about having guest authors (sorry, visiting contributors, roving correspondents...) but have so far been too busy. Author interviews is about as far as I've got!

    I'll have to bookmark your page and come back to it (that sounds like a spam comment!)

    Jemima at Jemima's blog

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  19. Hm. I regularly host guests. Not only for my own gain but to give bloggers access to my 900+ readers.

    I think the benefits I get from helping other bloggers might outweigh those of turning up first in searches. Which I do anyway. :-/

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  20. Still... It would be a lot easier for me just to make my guest posts comply.

    Thanks for the heads up!

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  21. Since I've started following A to Z Challenge blog and the co-hosts I'm learning a lot of new stuff.

    I never had guest posts because I haven't been interested in consistent blogging before but I cand see the disadvantages.

    Interesting censor and conditions of censor! So of you're known you have the right to promote others and be promoted; if you're not known, stop trying to get known online.

    Hmmm, I was just watching a documetary about the censor during the Romanian dictatorship. I can see the similarities!

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  22. Oh brother-- listening to this was like watching the naked emperor parade through the streets. Lots of words saying very little, throwing lots of alarm. I agree with Alex, unless you are hosting "guests" that are offering spam-type, links being doled out to many blogs, it's not to be worried about. The word "Guest" is not evil or bad. It denotes inviting someone to write a post pertaining to the subject of your blog for others to glean and learn from. I will continue to invite friends to write and post and talk about their books. It's a good way to help promote the writing community.

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  23. @Nicole,

    No issue with you, Nicole. You wrote an excellent post. I just hate Google. I've seen a lot of my writer friends (especially article writers) damaged by Google's ever changing rules. I'm sick of them.

    I host a lot of horror and paranormal authors at my blog. I want to continue to do that. I'm not going to let Google stop me.

    Jolie

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  24. Thanks for this info. So I'm thinking that the 'syndicated posts' that I'm seeing reblogged might not be such a good thing at all.

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  25. I'm with Julie...

    I do offer guests posts, and will continue, but only to people who already follow me and whom I have a "relationship" with.

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post :)

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  26. Well said, and good points all around.

    I work in digital marketing in my day job, so guest posts were a big part of what I did. Now with this latest change, it's less about guest posting and more about building relationships with other bloggers that are mutually beneficial. Writing 400 words and slapping a link at the bottom just doesn't cut it anymore.

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom

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  27. Thanks for the warning. I didn't know about this. I don't have visitors very often, and I'm not even sure what language I use. I know that between Twitter, FB, blogs, websites, and book links, I have way more than 2 links. Wow. What to do now?

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  28. Rob Z,
    Yeah it's clear that spam bloggers are the ones that have caused this problem. It's also their practices, however, that are being targeted and as such...I just don't want a lot of the real bloggers to get mistakenly placed in the same boat as the spammers, from Google's perspective.

    M. J. Joachim,
    The type of guest posting that is beneficial to the readers and both parties involved is the kind that usually takes precedence among the A to Z community, so there's no worries about that. As you mentioned (and I agree), we can just do what we do and the cream will always rise to the top once the chips have fallen in their respective places.

    Hilary Melton-Butcher,
    It is frustrating, no doubt about it and common sense is one of many advantages that those billions of us who are blogging to connect with others have over those who are just out to game the system. I do plan to adjust the language I use on my blog and I will continue to have guest bloggers when appropriate. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

    Diane,
    I don't know anything about their position on the use of quotes but my guess is you'll be fine to post them on your blog...the same goes for public domain photos. They don't call it "public" for nothing, right?! LOL. Thank you for adding to this discussion.

    Alex,
    That is exactly what they're talking about....links that have no business being included in a blog post. I like the term "visitor" and think that you're among the many whose blogs are so diverse in subject matter, that there is pretty much room for you to welcome just about anyone who you would like to share with your readers.

    Even if your blog wasn't broad, I do think that there are still ways to publish an off-topic post without being too odd. For example, I'm certainly no food blogger, but I would welcome a foodie who wants to talk about recipes for fun treats that can be made for theme parties centered on movies...such as "Hulk Juice" beverages for The Avengers. It's on topic enough to fit within my blog while also introducing food into the equation.

    Tina,
    I understand your grief with this google guest news stuff. The best that we can do is just take a deep breath and not get too caught up in worrying about it too much...especially with all you're doing around the house and managing our "alternative authors"...did I mention, I like that name too!

    Jemima Pett,
    It's understandable that some blogs host guest authors and some don't. It all depends on the nature of the blog. You seem to be doing fine with the author interviews, so I'd say stick to what works for your blog. If it isn't broke, why fix it, right? LOL. Thanks for joining this discussion.

    Misha,
    So you have 900+ readers, huh? I want you to know I am available to be a guest or visitor or alternative author on your blog! -- and agree, there are benefits for everyone involved from the bloggers to the guests to the readers. I love the fact that bloggers who have a nice size readership don't really have to depend on search engine rankings to get people to visit their blog. Kudos to you!
    P.S. Misha...I'm serious about my guesting availability to ;) Let's talk!

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  29. Adriana,
    Between your "Romanian dictatorship" comparison and Jolie's "Nazi" linking of Google, that company isn't looking so user-friendly. Learning new things are one of the many advantages of following the A to Z Challenge blog as well as the co-hosts...I'm glad that you find it valuable.

    Julie,
    Some bloggers may be publishing guest posts from any and everyone, yet, not aware that doing so might make their blog look faulty to search engines. It's not about whether bloggers have guests on their blogs or not. It's about the quality of the guests and the manner in which they choose to host said guests. The information above is a heads up to those who care, complete with tips to help those who are interested in preventing their blogs from ranking low on google, prevent spam. It does not apply to every blogger on earth. It applies to each blogger who may be affected by google's policies, and even then, no one has to follow suit. It's a free society.To each, his own.

    Jolie,
    I understand what you meant and I agree with you that Google's rules cause more problems for their users than necessary. Last year, their Blogger platform suddenly went down for days without warning and users didn't have the ability to publish new posts, etc. when logging in. When the service was restored, there was information lost. I had missing comments that didn't show up to several days or weeks later. By then, I had been so fed up with their service that I moved my blog to a different platform altogether. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this matter. All in all, I agree...Google's policies suck, for sure!

    J.L. Campbell,
    That's a good question to consider. I don't know a whole lot about syndicated posts because I don't make a habit of posting any nor allowing my posts to be syndicated but that's because I'm just very particular about where I want my stuff to show up. It's also because I'm weary of duplicate content since that's a big no-no in the search engines too.

    Mark,
    There's no reason to get off track, especially for things that work. I have had a few guests on my blog and I knew most, if not all of them, so it wasn't a big deal. When I'm not promoting my own stuff, I like to help other people bring awareness to their work whether it consists of books, films or music, so (like you :) and many others) I will also continue to host guests on my blog....especially if I like what they have to offer.

    Jamie,
    Relationship building should be the top priority for any blogger, especially one who is interested in doing guest posts. The fact that it was once so easy for people to write 400 words and add links at the bottom is how blogs and websites got into this mess with the spam and advertising in the first place. Marketers ruin everything and that's why we're all in this boat and one of the reasons why Google makes all these crazy policies and does these updates that shake up the internet.

    Theresa,
    Your wide social networking presence will probably give you enough of a boost to not have to worry about search engine traffic. Two links, you have, you say? I think you'll be just fine :)

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  30. Interesting! As others have said, I'll continue to welcome guest bloggers, but you're right in that it doesn't need to be said that they are guests. Everyone will know. I just need to adjust the language a bit. Still, another irritation to deal with.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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  31. Really excellent information! I had absolutely no idea about any of this. The phrase "guest post" is no longer in my blogging vocabulary LOL. And I love the new look of the A to Z Challenge site!!! Well done, you awesome 2013 team!

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  32. If what he's saying should be taken seriously, then I foresee a problem for authors (for instance) who dispatch the same-old promotional message to host blogs. The trick is to set standards re. contents, for instance: I'm running my 2nd guest series; both are on specific topics, which really means that I 'prescribe' the content and in exchange my guests get to promote their books indirectly via the article.

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  33. Thank you Nicole,
    I had no idea that Google cared who I hosted. I can understand that having a guest post the same article with promo links she used on my blog to ther people's blogs is inappropriate. I think all post should be unique.
    However what is the situation regarding question and answer interviews? Is this frowned on by Google. Can this be overcome with by making it a conversation between the two people?

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  34. Going way back to the early 2000's I was a contributor to an e-zine.
    Do they even call online magazines that anymore? The mag owner was very strict that none of the content we sent for publishing on her site appeared anywhere else. She told us "they" would take down her site if recycled content appeared. She didn't even want us to revise the info for our own My Space sites. I don't know who "they" were that had the power to shut her down, but kept me scared enough not to do it. I haven't heard anything about it again until your information here. Thanks for sharing with us. I am in the midst of a virtual book tour and am guesting on several blogs. No longer will I say thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog!!!

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  35. Nicole,

    Google just reviewed me and suspended one of my blogs in December 2012 for a lot of what you are talking about. Their big fear is that they don't want pay-per-click items on their blogs period. Can't say that I blame them and when you have a lot of links their spam bots kick it out.

    Now, I run two author blogs where I don't post much at all. They are The Log Line Blog for a book's log line and The Book's Blurb Blog for a book's blurb. Now both of them have buy links and when Google shut down The Book's Blurb Blog as being a spam blog because of suspicious content, I couldn't understand why. It took me several emails and 7 days to get my blog back.

    What the problem most like was is this: I had placed a book's cover in the side bar of The Book's Blurb Blog. I unwittingly linked it back to the blog. Realizing my mistake, I redid the link and put it to Amazon. The spam bot picked it up for two reasons: one is that it linked back to the originating blog. Apparently, pay-per-clicks do that. It's something to do with spider blogs and such. The second reason was that I linked it to a third party retailer. Apparently, a lot of porn sites as well as other negative sites do that so it appears they aren't asking for your money but someone else is.

    I had to fill out several pages of questions at least 3 times. Each time, I was asked some very specific items. Things like what the blogs were for, who were my third party sellers, and what things had I done that might have set the bots off. It wasn't until the third set of questions and the intervention of people in their help forums did I realize the item with the cover. Once I pointed that out, they looked at all my blogs and cleared them as they consider them author type blogs and they do like those.

    So, if you do one of the negative things and somehow get your blog noticed by their spam bots, it isn't the end of the world. BUT be prepared to look at your ever action and have some angst filled days in getting them back. See, the people who do run the spam blogs, or blog farms, won't care if their blog is disabled. They'll jump to the next one in the line and start all over again. A clear head and persistence plus a lot of help from their forum guys, will get your blog back.

    Even though we may not like their tactics, we certainly need to understand their rules and abide by them. After all, the blogs are free and Google puts themselves at risk every day for the content there.

    Personally, I like Google and all they offer. And now that I know the system more intimately than I could ever imagine, I will be careful to do the right thing each and every time.

    Lynn Crain

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