Guest BloggingIt’s time to plan another funeral, this time not for SEO itself but for a popular SEO strategy: guest blogging.

Before you break out the black dress (or suit for our gentlemen friends), let’s take a look at the facts.

Google’s Matt Cutts recently said:

Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done,

outrageAs you can imagine, there was a lot of outrage over that comment.  First of all it’s a popular strategy that people have put a lot of effort into and there are also so many legitimate guest Bloggers out there that are sharing real high quality content.

After hearing some of the commentary, Cutts later revised his post to say that guest blogging is still a great way to build branding and exposure but it’s not a valid SEO strategy anymore.

Rant: I don’t understand why this is so hard for Google.  With over 85 different factors used to determine if a link is good or not, you would think they could determine what is a high quality post on a high quality Blog and allow those links to count?!

I will say, as with most SEO strategies that start out as valid, guest blogging did get taken advantage of.  It was over used and abused and that is ultimately why Google needs to shut down its impact.

guest-bloggerThe thing that most people missed is that Matt Cutts did say it is still a viable marketing strategy.  It is a great way to build your credibility and authority status.  It’s a great way to reach a new audience and engage people.

So, don’t abandon the strategy altogether.  Just do what you should have been doing all along, which is focus on high quality posts on high quality sites (and in also only accept high quality posts on your own Blog).

There will be some scrambling and chaos as people all rush to remove guest posts and nofollow links, in fear of it hurting them.

Time will tell how this plays out but my guess is that this is a lot of talk from Google to try to discourage people from abusing the strategy.  I don’t think anyone is going to be penalized for legitimate posts on legitimate sites.  It will be important to monitor your positioning, links and traffic over the coming weeks to ensure that nothing goes wrong.  Especially if you’ve done some questionable guest blogging in the past.

Keeping Google happy while also benefitting from viable marketing strategies is an on-going struggle these days.  While you want to be compliant with Google guidelines, you also don’t want to miss out on opportunities to build your exposure and credibility.  The best advice I can give you is to keep Google’s stance in mind and make good decisions.