If you’ve been paying attention to the ever-changing world of SEO in recent years, you know that guest blogging has become one of the most prominent link building tactics. Here’s the way it has worked up until now:
- Person A submits a guest article to a popular blog
- The popular blog publishes the guest post and includes a link or two back to Person A’s website
- Person A’s website starts getting better rankings as he acquires more and more links
Think of it as article marketing for the new age. Instead of posting content to article directories, SEOs have been posting their content to other blogs in their niche. And it has worked great…until now.
In a recent post on his blog, Google’s Matt Cutts (head of the company’s Webspam team) had this to say about guest blogging:
“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.”
Cutts talks about how guest blogging used to have merit. Getting a guest article published on a blog used to be a sign that you had something valuable to say. Early on, guest blogging maintained a high quality standard. And then, of course, the spammers abused it and it essentially devolved into old school article marketing 2.0.
The problem is that guest blogging has essentially become a “pay for links” scheme for many SEOs. Cutts actually cites an email pitch he received from someone offering to pay him to publish their guest post with backlinks on his blog. This is a total violation of Google’s quality guidelines!
Like other things, guest blogging started out as authentic and valuable. It was something legitimate that added value to the user experience. But then it got abused, and now, we’ve reached a point where a lot of guest blogging is nothing more than total spam.
Cutts sums up his point by saying, “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. 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 linkbuilding strategy.”
Is Guest Blogging Really Dead?
So, does all of this mean you should really stop guest blogging? It depends. If your goal is solely to acquire links, guest blogging probably isn’t the best way to do that. However, it’s important to remember that there are plenty of other benefits to guest blogging. You get increased exposure, position yourself as an expert, grow your network, and so on. The key is to make sure you’re creating great content and choosing your guest posting opportunities carefully, only affiliating yourself with trusted, relevant sites.
What do you think: is guest blogging still viable?