Yesterday, Matt Cutts of the Google webspam team published a post on his personal blog calling for an end to guest blogging as an SEO strategy. Let’s be clear, he did NOT say that guest blogging is dead.
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. (Emphasis mine.)
If you’re pitching client content as a guest opportunity, stop for a moment and think if you’re pitching it because it really benefits the audience or if you’re pitching it because you’re looking for a quick link back to your site. Avoid doing #2, because its use as an SEO tactic is becoming spammy and unhelpful to audiences. Now that Matt has made the declaration publicly, expect algorithm changes from Google to begin penalizing guest posts in the near future.
What’s a good rule of thumb to determine the best fit for future guest blogging opportunities to include on your blog/website? Pretend you didn’t work for your company and imagine it was relevant to your personal audience. If you received a piece from a client, would you post the content on your own personal Facebook page or blog for no pay? If so, then it’s a good bet that it isn’t spammy and thus a great guest post that others won’t fit spammy.
Again, going back to quote Matt:
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 link building strategy.
Accept the content from someone who is a clear authority in your space, offer posts to the same, but maintain integrity and don’t pitch client content for the quick placement. That strategy is, indeed, dead.
Senior Marketing Analyst