The death of….Guest Blogging

deadIt’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.

About Jennifer Horowitz

With over 13 years in the industry, Jennifer Horowitz, Director of Marketing for EcomBuffet, has amassed much knowledge and experience and has much to say about all things SEO (marketing, copywriting & social media). Always happy to share with an audience, Jenn is now a regular contributor at Level343.

Comments

  1. Yes, that is bad news, Matt Cutts has directly said no guest blogging, i was thinking that Google would actually come up with something for bad content, but it seems that they just simply want to kill ways for new bloggers to gain visitors.

    But that not all, even I got a warning message from google regarding unnatural links, the same has been discussed in one of my blog posts.

  2. This is wonderful news. Those self-annointed blog gurus screw up another one. They’ve already moved on to spamming facebook, their big target these days. They poisoned all that was good about blogging.

  3. I’ve heard that it’s just that Google does not want the unnatural links that everyone puts into guest posts. So it’s not the complete death of guest blogging.

  4. Hey Raghav, actually Matt cuts said “Stop’ Guest Blogging for SEO” Not to stop guest blogging… but herein lies the problem, how does one define the intent of a post? Is it for SEO or does it make sense? That’s something Google can’t seem to figure out. So imho, don’t stop guest blogging if it makes sense in your marketing strategy.

  5. Agreed Dave, but again let me reiterate my comment below, guest blogging is not bad when done correctly.

  6. This may sound like a simple question, but what is the difference between a Guest Blogging Post, and a Blog Post about someone or something we like, with a link to their website in the Post? That is blogging, guest or otherwise, right? How is Google going to discern those two things to be separate from one another? I blog about companies I like, and usually include a link to them so other people can find exactly who I am talking about. Gabriella posted on March 30th, a distinction, to “stop doing it for SEO purposes”. Once again, how is Google to discern that? How would they know I was linking to a local business because they paid me, or if I am linking to them because they gave me the best burrito I ever had in my life! I recently wrote a review of a New York City Running Tours on my personal blog: http://tonyhusted.com/new-york-city-running-tours/ They gave me great service, and I had an outstanding time. Can Google tell if we did it for SEO? If I did it because I had a great time, or that they paid me to write that? (The Testimonial is REAL, I had a wonderful time and recommend it to everyone who runs!)
    I guess the only way they could tell for certain would be for me to post on the page itself that “This is a Paid Guest Post”, which I don’t think anyone with a brain would ever do.
    I believe what Matt is getting at here is discouraging people from running sites that offer Guest Posting for a fee, and the page is filled with Guest Bloggers with low quality content, and lots of links out to their page.
    This also is interesting to consider with the push for Google Authorship. Many people I know insist that Google is giving preference to sites with Authorship set up, so could this be part of that?

  7. Hey Tony,
    I can see you’ve been thinking this through.. :P therefore I apologize for not seeing your comment until now.
    Great questions and I’ll address your “Once again, how is Google to discern that?” honestly, not sure. But In my humble opinion when an organic well organized plan is set into motion, from content, video, PR roadmap, conferences, meet-ups, social – SEO is not the top priority. Connections, building leads, creating a community, sales, ROI, ORM, technical issues, user interface, landing pages etc. etc. those are among a few things to take into consideration.
    So as much as I would like to spend hours trying to understand (keep up with the FUD) why Google is doing what they are doing? Seems people allow a search engine to tell them what’s right/wrong for their niche.
    Tony, in order to create and promote brands (online) for clients one must use marketing 101. Focus on the clients market. Use the AIDA approach. Then add the support of on-page SEO as one of the many disciplines and vehicles to choose from.

  8. But who can say that what will happened in next year again? In the last year Guest blogging was mostly demanding but in this year it is dead. So we don’t know that what will be happened in next year. It can be possible for GOOGLE to banned anything in next year. Always staying in the middle of confusion

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