Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam Team, posted a blog on Monday that’s gotten quite a bit of attention from internet marketers, bloggers and SEOs alike: The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.
This is big news, because seeking out quality sites to guest blog on has been previously promoted as a prominent “white hat” way of garnering quality inbound links to your site. Even I blogged about incorporating guest blogging into your internet marketing strategy last March.
Cutts indicates in his blog that he recently received a guest posting query from an agency offering him money to get links that pass PageRank, which violates Google’s quality guidelines. Thus, it is his belief that the practice of guest blogging has gotten too spammy over time:
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.
He 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. 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.
This is yet another reminder to be mindful about how you shape your content marketing and SEO strategies. Although effective content marketing can affect your SEO, it’s more important to focus on the former (i.e. writing quality content — on your site and when you’re guest blogging — that will encourage your readers to share and engage with you, your site, and your products and services) and let the latter more or less organically fall into place. Of course it’s important to understand the basics of SEO and to have an SEO strategy, but it should be secondary to providing your readers and your customers with quality, relevant and helpful content.
For further reading, I found this article on InNetwork’s blog to be very insightful.
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