Is guest blogging well and truely dead? I wonder!!! Well, Matt Cutts set the alarm bells ringing a couple of weeks ago when he published an article on the decay and fall of guest blogging. Citing an all too familiar ‘spam’ email requesting for guest posting opportunity on mattcutts.com, he went on to add that the act of publishing articles with the sole aim of getting links that pass PageRank is a clear violation of Google’s quality guidelines. So, let’s cut the chase, how then does one get backlinks, which we all know to be a fundamental part of search engine ranking algorithm?
I will try to answer this question in two ways. The first approach is to shrug your shoulders and assume or conclude, albeit prematurely, that guest blogging no longer works. Perhaps, you have already convinced yourself that this is the case and Matt Cutts article was just the last straw. However, you can also choose to read between the lines and try to understand what search engines, particularly Google, are actually saying through their webspam team.
In a bid to ‘clear the air’ following acquisations that the webspam team are trying to throw the baby out with the bath water, Matt does go on to add that there are still many good reasons to continue guest blogging. For example, you could write guest articles for exposure, branding, increased reach, community and so on. Consequently, we cannot actually say that guest blogging is dead because the problem isn’t really the practice of guest blogging in itself but guest blogging for search engine optimisation purposes.
‘So why should we guest blog?’, you ask. Therein lies the problem. Google wants to introduce a shift from over-reliance on link building as a result of the increase in spamming and production of low quality content. This tallies with the search engine’s shift to improving the experience of its users or simply user experience. Quality should be the buzz word and guest bloggers should no longer think of writing to build links but instead producing quality content to meet the needs of someone, somewhere, somehow. Indeed, you will find that guest bloggers who think more about their audience, and have specific goals not simply associated with link building, tend to produce more quality content and if we are to believe all the noise coming from Google HQ, their reward is not too far away on search engine result pages.
Make sure you read the next article which will use Matt Cutts webspam email as a guide or an example on what to look out for when accepting or writing guest articles in 2014 and beyond, so as not to become a victim of Google’s webspam policy, in the fast changing world of SEO and digital marketing.