In the past, guest blogging was a perfectly viable strategy for building up links. Everybody and their grandmother embraced it. Google had absolutely no issues with it. However, things ended up changing. Companies realized that they could spam guest posts, awful guest posts, and they would be able to get a link back to their website. This meant that they received a world of benefit for very little effort on their part. This is not how things should be done. Google decided to nip it in the bud…sort of. Matt cutts said guest blogging is dead is it really dead?
What is guest blogging?
For those who are unaware, guest blogging involves you posting content on another website, hopefully relevant to your site. This results in a lovely little link back to your website. This can give you a nice boost in the search engines. It can also attract people to your website who are interested in the niche that you work in, which is always a plus! Basically, guest blogging is awesome.
What did Matt Cutts say about Guest Blogging?
Matt Cutts noted that while guest blogging was not an inherently bad concept, or at least it was not, Google had to do something about it. This was because there were far too many people out there using guest blogging for ‘spam’ purposes i.e. tossing out as much content as possible, with no regard to the quality and where it was posted, in a bid to get as many links back to their site as possible.
As a result; Google decided that they wanted to stop this happening. Any post which seems like a guest blog will no longer be considered when it comes to the ranking of a website. Basically; guest blogging is dead…sort of. Guest blogging where you just work hard to build up links is dead. Standard guest blogs, not so much. Let us give you three of the reasons as to why.
Google Can’t Effectively Sort Through The Spam
When an SEO technique has been proven to work, more and more people do it. You have tons of spammers out there. However, you also have a plethora of people doing things the ‘right’ way. The whole reason why everything seems like spam is because there is so much more of the content. This means good and bad content. Honestly, computers are intelligent, but there is no real way to sort the good from the bad. Well, unless the content is really, really bad (which it tends not to be). There are some people out there who believe that the comments Matt made were an attempt to try and get people to police themselves rather than have Google do it. So, in reality, those ‘spam links’ will still get picked up providing they are not too bad.
There is no difference between guest blogs and other types of content
A guest blog should be a quality article which has a couple of links in it…at the most. These links must be relevant. Now, when things are done properly, there is absolutely no way in which you can separate a normal post from a guest post. There is no algorithm out there that can do that.
Even if there was an algorithm which could work out what a guest post was, it is unlikely that Google will ever use it. Why? Because they absolutely thrive on ensuring that quality content creeps to the top of the search engines. That is how they have become such a big name in the world of search. When you use Google, you can almost be certain that the first link that pops up when you Google something is going to be highly relevant to your interests!
If you think about it hard, and you head to websites such as Buzzfeed, New York Times and Huffington Post, you will quickly discover that many of the posts that appear on these websites are very ‘guest post’ in nature. In fact, the ones that appear on Huffington Post are guest posts. They are quality guest posts, but the freelancers are posting this content for free in a bid to get exposure. Do you really think that Google will punish these sites? Hint: No!
If you are writing a guest post, then you will want to make sure that it does not seem like spam. This means conforming to these rules:
- Make sure you guest blog on reputable websites. This means sites that curated their content. If the site is willing to accept anything thrown at them, then run away!
- If you can, build a relationship with the site that you want to write on. Many people make the mistake of producing a single piece of content and running away. Do not do this. If you can build up a good readership on these sites, then having the links is not going to matter. This leads us onto our final point about why guest blogging is not dead:
You don’t even need the links
When guest blogging started out, it was a way to share content with the world. Build up exposure for your brand. Many people did not even have links in their posts. One of the main reasons as to why Google wants to cut down on guest posting is because of the number of links out there. If you can produce quality content, and it is clear what site or company you work for, then you do not need the link. People who love what you have to say will come and seek you out anyway. This is the main reason why you are blogging anyway. You want to build up a reputation in the industry and get people to visit your website. Does it really matter if they are coming from a website as opposed to the search engines?
So, in summary, if you do guest blogging right, then it is a perfectly viable way to get people to your website. However, you will need to ensure that you produce quality content and have it published in the right places.