We’re not sure if you heard the news, but Google spam chief Matt Cutts has told us all to stick a fork in it – guest blogging’s dead.
One of the most surprising things about the video wasn’t in fact the announcement, but more-so genial Matt Cutts’ frustrated demeanour – in fairness he had just received a spam request for a post (who does that?)
Of course, a change has been on the cards for months now, Google, often through Matt Cutts has voiced concerns over guest posting. We’ve been told on a number of occasions to nofollow links, avoid spam sites and take precautions in the link building guest blogging sphere.
Spam Guest Blogs
In a lot of ways you can’t blame Google – anyone who has attempted guest blogging will understand the sheer amount of rubbish out there. Template WordPress sites with nothing more than poor quality, spun content – in fact, I’d find it hard to say they’re even a step above article directories. Another common offering is the repurposed domains, with vastly inflated PageRank and minimal if any domain authority. Just rubbish created to pass some Link Juice and of little or no other use.
Conversely, Matt Cutts comments are so absolute they’re irresponsible. To declare guest blogging dead in such an outright manner doesn’t make sense – for example are you saying that a post on one of the highest rated SEO websites in the world – Moz.com is now going to cause more damage than good? Very Unlikely!
Back to the initial site examples – guest blogging in such cases is dead and if you were using it in the first place, you should have known that the low hanging fruit was always going to be a lot poorer than that from higher up the tree.
However, guest blogging on high authority, industry relevant sites through the use of highly informative content that showcases your expertise is still alive and kicking. Why wouldn’t it be?
Google has spent its entire lifetime trying to curate a web that provides high quality relevant answers to its searches and if a guest post supplies that answer is Google going to ignore it – hardly.
So, what are the guest blogging takeaways in light of the Cutts’ post and also a little time to digest it?
- Look for quality partners with sites in your industry that edit and moderate content to ensure it’s of a high standard
- Metrics matter – so look for sites with a holistic metric strength – not just a high DA, or high Page Rank. Look at these, as well as traffic, social interaction and trust factors too and you will get a better idea of the sort of site it is.
- Relationships and true partners help each other out and you need to garner these relationships to flourish and get those high quality links
- Be creative and write interesting and compelling content and that is not just for a link, but offers entertainment value. From the headline, to the body of the content, to the media you add – always create something worthy of the best sites. As they say, ‘if it’s not good enough for you, then it’s not good enough for anyone else’.
- Links should not be the end all of a guest post. Building your brand, choosing sites for the traffic based get from them in return and providing value to the audience to place you as a thought leader should come before the link.
So, what we’re saying is use some common sense and keep things above board and high quality and guest blogging is a fine tactic. Guest bloggers who look for loopholes and produce poor quality content will end up in trouble and we’re willing to hedge our bets that those who produce quality posts will keep their noses clean come the next algorithm update.
Our final piece of advice, don’t email Matt Cutts looking for a guest post!