Google’s head of webspam team, Matt Cutts cause a minor tremor on the interweb on January 20, 2014 when he declare…
Stick a fork in it – guest blogging is done.
In response, we asked some of the World’s top bloggers and SEO experts a simple question:
“Are you abandoning guest posting / blogging and what ONE piece of advice would you give someone?”
Read the advice from the world’s top experts in SEO and blogging.
“Guest Posting OK – Guest Posting For SEO is Not”
Google’s not planning to penalize you under its new “guest blogging equals spam” warning … Rather, the company says, guest blogging is only bad if the main reason a post is run is to gain links meant to influence rankings in Google.
[Google] wants to reward sites that have “earned” links, rather than sites that have gained links without any real effort.
Think Traffic – Not Links
Guest blogging isn’t dead by any means. But being a Spammy McSpammer only caring about links, and not caring about real content, community building, branding, and all those other great benefits… is dead.
First, stop thinking about links. Think about traffic and exposure instead. Don’t let a nofollow policy keep you from contributing to a major site with lots of traffic in the clients’ niche. Second, develop a relationship with the publisher outside of ”guest blogging platforms.”
Jennifer Sable Lopez, Director of Community at @Moz
Guest Posts Get Your Name Out There
Of course [guest posts] still have value. There’s nothing like a quality guest post to get your name in front of a different audience and generate direct traffic back to your site. That’s something that Matt [Cutts] ended up clarifying…
Act Like Google Doesn’t Exist
Matt Cutts is very clear about what type of guest blogging he means: Low-quality one (focusing on links rather than relationships and quality). If you are concerned with what Matt says, chances are you were doing it wrong.
Do guest blogging as if Google didn’t exist: Forget about rankings, anchor texts, nofollow, etc. Get real!
Ann Smarty, Founder of MyGuestBlog.com
Use Guest Posting as a Traffic and Branding Strategy
Guest blogging still works. It works for traffic and it still works for SEO.
If you actually read Matt’s post (and his follow-up note), he was calling out spammy guest blogging.
If you’re doing that, you may want to move onto something else. But if you’re contributing awesome content to the premiere sites in your industry, you have nothing to worry about.
Look at guest posting as a traffic and branding strategy more than a link building strategy.
Yes, links from high-quality guest posts can help you. But it’s possible that they may get devalued someday.
But contributing to sites like the Huff Post, Forbes and Mashable is a great way to generate traffic, leads and (ultimately) sales to your site. Why would you ever want to stop doing something awesome like that?
Brian Dean, SEO Expert, Backlinko
Guest Posting Goes Beyond SEO
Guest blogging isn’t just an SEO tactic – across the web it’s much more than the low quality spun article spam tactic that Matt Cutts was referencing.
In reality there’s plenty of quality guest blogging going on across the entire internet. That’s why Cutts had to immediately change the title of his post and add a clarifying note to the end.
Guest posting goes well beyond SEO and Google. It’s a natural part of the web that Google couldn’t put a stop to if they wanted. That’s not to say they can’t target the spam, because they can. But labeling all of guest blogging as spam was absolutely ridiculous.
Do it intelligently, with thought and care. Use an editorial process, and make sure you’re creating high quality content. Make sure the website is discerning, and requires authority. And make sure you’re not leaving a large footprint, which brings me to my next point: use multiple, diverse strategies.
Create relevant, useful links that add value to the web and for the users of the web. Build links like Google doesn’t exist – those are the links Google values.
Jon Ball, Pageonepower
Stop Chasing Easy – Start Chasing Great
“We speak at conferences, we write great content, we do some outreach, we even write the occasional guest post. You see, all of those things are tactics.
If we relied on any one of them too much, we’d be in trouble…
…These tactics are part of our larger strategy that is aimed at making us a bigger brand in the spaces of SEO, website optimisation, conversion rate optimisation and WordPress. So, what is your strategy and your goal? Which tactics fit into that strategy?
Would you still pursue guest blogging if there was no SEO, if Google wasn’t looking over your shoulder? Yes, absolutely.
Branding is the new link building. Build a product or service people love (or at least talk about), and attach a brand value to it that people will relate to and the links will follow.
Joost de Valk, SEO and WordPress App Developer, Yoast
Build Quality No Matter What
I’ll use the words of Copyblogger, CEO Brian Clark to answer this one:
“Why change the type of site you create because Matt Cutts said something? Build quality no matter what. Treat it like a magazine, with quality standards, and you’re fine.”
Jerod Morris, Director of Content for Copyblogger
Don’t do guest blogging with the intent of improving your rankings, links or SEO.
Barry Scwhartz, Editor, SEORoundtable
Be happy that guest blogging for SEO is dead.
In other words, behave as if there were no Google. Would you still pursue guest blogging if there was no SEO, if Google wasn’t looking over your shoulder? Yes, absolutely.
If you’ve been relying on spammy guest blogging practices for SEO purposes, then it’s time to move on. If you’re still bringing in guest bloggers who you know, trust, and vouch for personally, then chances are Google isn’t going to hurt you (at least based on what Matt said in his post).
The sky falls selectively in the world of SEO, but it tends to fall on “easy” first. Stop chasing “easy” and start chasing “great.”
Christopher S Penn, VP of Marketing
Thin, Low-Quality Content is the Problem
Guest blogging isn’t really the problem; low-quality, “thin” content full of link spam is the problem, but that’s a separate issue.
Some guest posts are crappy and spammy and some aren’t; some non-guest-posts are crappy and spammy and some aren’t. So I think we need to focus on the real issues: thin content and link spam, and these are issues that Google has been attacking for a while.
You should have the same quality standards for your guest blogging as you do for your own content marketing. Aim high in both areas.
In the future, Google will probably depend less on links as a signal, and other types of engagement metrics will be what helps you rank and get more attention.
Elisa Gabbert, Wordstream
Good Guest Posts Increase Visibility & Attract Targeted Traffic
BAD guest blogging is dead. Real content marketing and inbound marketing using guest posting is alive and well and always will be because it is not about links.
Guest blogging is about visibility and attracting your potential customers back to your site and making them more aware of how you can assist them. Not continuing to do guest blogging would severely limit your businesses’ visibility, sales, and profits.
Gail Gardner, Growmap
In fact, it’s alive and well, and it’s a great marketing tactic to open up your business and personal brand to opportunities and audiences that you normally would not have a chance to reach.
Bill Hartzer, SEO since 1996 and Reputation Management Specialist
Matt Cutts on the “decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO?”
“It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. 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. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
….I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.” SOURCE= The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.
The majority of experts agree that blogging for links and SEO is dead but guest posting is still an outstanding tactic to reach your audience, increase your visibility, build your brand and attract direct traffic from top tier websites in your industry…verified by Matt Cutts, himself.
1. Stop filling up blogs with cheap, useless posts that only exist to give you or your client a link.
2. Stop accepting cheap, useless posts that only exist to fill you site with content and give a link to someone. Make sure the content you accept on your site is high quality and from reputable authors.
3. Spend less time and energy chasing garbage links and invest your time in content that premier sites will post, increasing your visibility, direct traffic and builds your brand.
Stay calm and act as if Google didn’t exist.
Long live guest blogging.
QUESTION: WHAT DO YOU THINK?
What did we miss? Have you thrown in the towel on guest blogging or still using it? Do you have a different way of looking at it?