Rethink How You’re Using Guest Blogging for SEO in 2014

google search screenMatt 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.

 

Image: Google

 

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4 Responses to “Rethink How You’re Using Guest Blogging for SEO in 2014”

  1. Thanks for adding my article at the bottom, Jennifer!

    Matt has been hinting at this for a while now. He made a comment a few months back about sponsored posts, and how links need to be “nofollow.” He’s always promoted quality, natural backlinks over quantity. And with their updates over the past year to eliminate spam links, this just made sense.

    I would assume that a high-quality guest post wouldn’t get penalized. I think the intent here is to reduce the amount of spam bloggers and marketers that are trying to game the system, which I’m completely fine with! :)

  2. Even though I blog a good deal, I’m not very educated about links in blog posts. This was very helpful, Jennifer, and I am curious about Daniel’s comment. I often have several links in a blog post. Should I automatically set all the links to be nofollow? Is google going to think my blog spammy if I don’t?

  3. Jeniffer Thompson says:

    Thanks for the comment Daniel – Agreed. It really goes back to one thing – genuinely networking with people in your industry and writing for your audience (not the search engines). If we write to our audience everything else will fall into place- naturally.

  4. Adam Methew says:

    Jeniffer Thompson, Great post. Guest blogging still really important and good for our websites. Just we need to check relevancy.