Longrider expounds a bit more in his post titled "The Guest Post Scam." I have only had one guest post on my blog. It's truly flattering when someone comes knocking on your door saying how they like your blog and want to write something for your blog. Sofia Rasmussen wanted to write about Creative Writing PhDs five or six months ago, so I looked into her and decided to let her post. Her links appeared to be mostly legitimate, though it did seem she wanted to promote the Online PhD website, which did not seem like a big deal, considering that the link related to the content in her post.
This week I received an email from the Online PhD website owners:
From: Joseph Mcnealy [mailto:joseph.mcnealy[at]onlinephd.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 12:00 PM
Subject: Link Removal Request - OnlinePHD.org
You currently have a link on your site pointing to our OnlinePHD.org
website. We have recently received warning from Google that they are
suspicious of link trading schemes surrounding this, and we want to make
sure that you are taking the necessary precautionary measures so that your
site is not adversely affected.
We are requesting that you remove the link back to our site.
The link on your page can be found at the URL below:
Please let us know once the link has been removed. Thank you in advance for
your cooperation and sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may have
It appears that Google has been trying to deal with "link trading schemes," which seems like a good thing. If suddenly the results on their searches are unfairly schewed, then their search engine produce becomes less valuable.
In response to their request, I have made a screenshot image of their Online PhD website. Hopefully, this answers their question. Perhaps I ought to be a bit more careful who I allow to post to my blog.
It never hurts to apply the tried-and-true evaluation criteria. Here's a page on the ISU website with some criteria worth applying: Evaluating Information--Applying the CRAAP Test.