On Monday, January 20th, Matt Cutts made it very clear that websites that are relying on guest blogging as a way to acquire links better find a new SEO strategy. In this blog post by Matt, he stated, “I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.” He also posted the following image, which was an email that he received soliciting a guest post.
You know it is getting out of hand when the head of web spam at Google is receiving these messages. We receive at least a dozen emails like this each week, and here is one that we received this morning:
His post caused many people to go up in arms, but this is a good thing. He is simply trying to eliminate the crap out there. The useless posts that provide zero benefit to a reader. They are usually outsourced articles that are barely readable and have a big fat juicy link in them. He continued with, “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”
The purpose of guest posting is to get your message in front of a very targeted audience. It isn’t about getting links. There are networks of private blogs that exist only to manipulate the search engine results and pass page rank. These blogs do not have a following and these “guest posts” do not get read by anyone. They sit there to serve the purpose of juicing SEO efforts. This is what Matt is talking about. Legitimate guest posters do not have to worry, so continue to do what you do, and provide useful information and insight on topics and subjects that you are both knowledgeable and passionate about.
It all comes down to quality, and we have said it several times. Have the WWMS (What Would Matt Say?) approach. If Matt Cutts saw your guest post would he agree that it is a high quality and useful post or would he clearly think that it was simply there for SEO benefits. He later updated his blog post with the following:
“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.”
So, there you have it. It is pretty clear that he is only addressing low quality and manipulative guest posting efforts. Legitimate guest posting still is and will continue to be a very effective form of online marketing, branding, and exposure. It is a good move, and one that we support. If anything it will help to reduce the amount of email spam received. Here is a video Matt released back on October of 2012 where he addressed Google’s stance on guest blogging:
If you would like to find out more about how effective guest blogging can help your business and brand then contact us today. With a solid guest blogging strategy mixed into the online marketing plan it can result in a lot of traffic to the website, resulting in conversions and revenue. Focusing strictly on :links” will not get you far. It takes a complete strategy with several components in order to really see the amazing results.