Earlier this year, during the morbid month of January, the head of Google’s webspam team Matt Cutts dropped a bombshell for SEOs. His words were exactly these:
“Okay, 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.”
Before we go any further, let’s just make it clear that Guest Blogging is not dead but simply no longer effective as an isolated SEO tactic. Matt has warned that Google will no longer respect keyword links built into dodgy, low-quality paid articles for the sake of link-building.
As Matt Cutts put it:
“Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains.”
Essentially, as guest blogging became easier and spammier, SEOs forgot about all the benefits they were missing from genuine, quality guest posts. If bloggers remember that linkbuilding is only one piece in the larger online marketing puzzle then they can change their perspective on guest posting and re-focus, to accomplish all of the following:
When all this is taken into account, it’s clear to see that Matt wasn’t trying to scare SEOs but he was trying to highlight what had been forgotten and essentially, help.
He later added to his blog post, confirming what the SEO world had eventually worked out he was trying to say:
“I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. 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.”
Now we’ve got past all that jazz about the fake death of guest blogging, we can look at how to move forward. First, take a look at Matt’s advice:
Google algorithms can’t actually distinguish between a guest post with an SEO intention and a genuine guest post. For example, many freelancers write for high quality publications and blogs all across the internet that may include links and keywords. The chances are, unless you’re mass guest blogging with REALLY low quality content that is REALLY rich in keyword links and blatantly spammy then you won’t get caught out.
Yet, mark Matt’s words…
“Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”