SEMRush launched the SEMRush Marketplace about a year ago and at some point, within that marketplace, began selling guest posts that drive “natural links to your site.” Now, we all love SEMRush, but John Mueller of Google said on Twitter this is “an unnatural link – the kind the webspam team might take action on.”
The guest blog post sales page says “The Guest Posting service from SEMrush Marketplace provides you with a cascade of high-quality, natural links to your site, boosting your rankings and helping you get more organic traffic. Without doing any research or routine work yourself, you can order unique content with an integrated backlink to your site, which is then placed on a relevant site within your niche.”
Now, I am not sure when that verbiage was added, if it was a mistake or an oversight but it is there at the time I wrote this.
John Mueller said if you want to do it so it is not against the Google guidelines, then “making sure the links use rel=nofollow / rel=sponsored would still allow sites to get visibility without having to worry about manual actions.”
Here is a screen shot (click to enlarge):
Here is John’s tweet when asked about this:
That’s an unnatural link – the kind the webspam team might take action on. https://t.co/kfQQithCnK & https://t.co/q5GmAxx2YM have more. Making sure the links use rel=nofollow / rel=sponsored would still allow sites to get visibility without having to worry about manual actions.
— 🍌 John 🍌 (@JohnMu) June 3, 2020
John was actually replying to SEMRush on Twitter, but SEMRush deleted the tweet. George Majic captured it, here is his screen shot.
The funny thing is that Tom Rayner said on Twitter “I bought a couple of the SEMRush links. I then put the site I bought them for into SEMRush’s backlink audit tool. SEMRush’s backlink audit tool flagged the links that they sold me as toxic.” I do believe it.
This must be some sort of oversight by SEMRush. I doubt Google penalized this yet but SEMRush will have to figure something out about those who already purchased links on this guest blog network without adding nofollow or rel=sponsored attributes to the links.
I did reach out to SEMRush for a comment, but did not hear back yet.
Forum discussion at Twitter.