Earlier this week, Matt Cutts – head of Google’s Webspam team – wrote a blog post proclaiming that guest blogging for SEO is dead. It’s no surprise that this article went viral because of its potential impact to websites and guest bloggers globally.
According to Cutts, when his team reviews spam reports, there is usually a clear distinction between organic guest blog content and someone who is paying for links.
Given that guest blogging has become a popular fad, and viewed similar to directory submissions or forum postings to obtain backlinks, it was inevitable that Google would start to take notice. In fact, several months ago there were hints of changes coming to the guest blogging world when Google announced that guest blogging should be done in moderation. Here we are a few months later, and Google plans on taking steps to ensure this SEO tactic doesn’t get overly abused.
He emphasizes that if guest blogging is all you are doing to drive traffic to your site, you’re probably not doing any favors for your site’s reputation.
Could this mean that all your guest blogging efforts will be penalized?
The short answer: NO!
As long as the following are true, you and your site will not be impacted:
- You haven’t focused solely on guest blogging for SEO. Diversify your efforts
- Your guest blogging efforts are closely related to your subject matter or area of expertise
- You avoid over-using rich anchor text in your guest posts
Adhering to the above guidelines should be a best practice regardless of whether you swayed from them in the past or not. Now, there’s even more reason to focus on quality content. Here’s the video of Matt Cutts explaining the guest posts issue:
Should you continue to guest blog?
Since the announcement, there have been plenty of articles written about guest blogging for SEO. To summarize, here are a few quality posts recently published that do a great job of summarizing the topic.
- Search Engine Land sums up the Matt Cutts post quite nicely.
- Here’s an article by Neil Patel advocating the benefits of guest blogging. He supports using guest blogging as a linkbuilding strategy provided its done within your area of expertise.
Assuming the plethora of spammy guest posts is removed from the blogoshphere, there will still be good reasons to continue your link building efforts through guest posts. So don’t panic, and focus on your subject matter. Showcase your expertise and keep it relevant. Compliment the guest bloggin with other link building tactics to ensure you are diversifying your SEO efforts.