The latest discussion happening in the SEO community is whether guest blogging is still a viable way to do SEO (link building). The discussion was jumpstarted in response to a frustrated-sounding blog post made by Matt Cutts, the head of Google Spam team.
In his post “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO,” Matt tells everyone to stop guest blogging as a link building strategy. This single sentence pretty much sums up the post: “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”
So, here we are again. As with many of the past SEO methods that have been used and abused, history repeats itself. Like directory link building and excessive link exchanges, guest blogging has come to a point where too many people are over-doing. Not just over-doing it, but doing it badly. It’s one thing to do guest posts, but if you’re not putting any time into creating quality and unique content, then it becomes nothing more than another method for mindless link building.
It sucks. The few that abuse the system ruin it for everyone else. It’s always been like that with SEO, ever since Google began its fight against spammy and poor quality content. This is a big shake up for the industry. There are many businesses built around guest blogging as a service, and many SEOs using this method as their primary way to build links. But the reality is Google doesn’t care. Do you think they cared about who went out of business when web directories were hit 7 years ago? No. They’re not here to please business owners – they’re here to provide unique and quality search results. It was what got them to this point, and it should be their focus going forward.
Is guest blogging over?
I don’t think so… because at the end of the day, it’s really about unique and quality content. Unique and quality content is what brings the users. And, users are what brings in the money for you, me and Google.
If you asked me which I would prefer to publish… My own blog post that is mediocrely written, or an amazing guest post, I would tell you immediately that I would publish the guest post. And, if Google chooses to penalize me for publishing a guest post, then let it be. There is another component to this – the link within the article. This link is what is really bothering Google. But why? Links are everywhere. If I’m not linking to this site, then I’ll be linking to some other site. What difference does it make? Would you rather have me link to a lesser quality site simply because it is natural? Why would it be wrong of me to link to a suggested link that is of higher quality? Again, isn’t it really about quality?
If you understand Google’s philosophy and you have been putting those principles into practice, you shouldn’t have much to worry about.
Later in his post, Matt goes on to say “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.”
This, to me, says that guest blogging isn’t over. It just means there is greater emphasis on quality, uniqueness and credibility (authorship).