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What’s Happened to Guest Blogging?

For a number of years SEO and marketing companies have championed the value of guest blogging. It’s not hard to see why. It’s a great way to share your knowledge and experience with others in your field. It’s also an easy way to secure a relevant backlink to your blog, website or social media account. If you’re looking to increase your pageviews, enhance your reputation and strengthen your SEO profile then guest blogging has a lot going for it.

That is, perhaps, until now.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, recently published a blog which would appear to signal the death of guest blogging. His controversial article, “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”, bemoans the way that guest blogging has been abused by SEO companies:

“…Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”

This raises a number of questions for us. What’s happened to guest blogging to solicit this kind of response from an influential member of the Google team? How can I make sure that I’m not penalised for this kind of content? Should I continue to pursue guest blogging or look for alternatives?

What’s Happened to Guest Blogging?

In a nutshell, Matt Cutts’ article is targeted at what he would call low-quality, spammy guest blogging. He makes it clear that Google will not reward this kind of content with a higher profile in the search engine results pages. Cutts’ advice is that this kind of policy should not be expected to deliver significant SEO results.

However, it’s important to realise that guest blogging is not dead. In fact, Cutts’ article is intended to reiterate the guidelines that should be applied to this kind of content. He puts it this way:

“I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. 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.”

There are many, many good reasons to be involved with guest blogging. It’s a great way to get talented, informative people to add value to your blog or website. It offers excellent opportunities to collaborate with others. Furthermore, if you’ve got something important or informative to say, guest blogging and sharing this expertise with others in your industry can add significant value to your brand and reputation.

In conclusion then, there are two answers to the question about what’s happened to guest blogging.

On the one hand, we know that Google and other search engines will continue to clamp down on low-quality content.

However, high-quality guest blogging will remain a vital part of effective digital marketing. Including guest blogging as part of your wider SEO strategy will help to ensure that you give your business every opportunity to connect with a wider audience and ultimately reach more customers.