A few months ago, the world of content marketing and search engine optimization was set ablaze with one short message; Guest Blogging is Dead. In the words of Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done.” As with many quotes and updates from Google, Cutts’ words were taken all too literally by a good majority of industry professionals and smaller bloggers alike. When explored a little deeper, a clearer message can be found in this announcement. Guest blogging is not dead. However, guest blogging solely for SEO purposes is. A similar statement can be made about Link Building or Backlinking, which has been the focus of several Google Penguin updates over the last two years.
Quality Content Marketing Is Still King
Over the past several years, there has been a consistent message to all marketers that quality content will be the key to winning the search marketing marathon. This update on the state of guest blogging is just another affirmation of this message. High quality guest content, written with the intent to provide information and value, should still be considered a good tactic. Spammers looking to supply irrelevant guest posts on websites with questionable or low reputations as a link building strategy need not apply. Their days are numbered. Cutts went on to explain why Google has had to come to this boiling point.
“Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains.”
In other words, we can blame the spammers and short-cut seeking SEOs for ruining a good thing. Again.
Google Taking Action On Their Words
In what appears to be an effort to drive this point home, earlier this week Google took aim at a major guest blogging network site. Cutts made it very clear specific action was being taken to highlight the effects of spam risks.
While it has not been confirmed by Google, the targeted site appears to be none other than guest posting giant, MyBlogGuest. While the site has stated their position of defence as they do not agree with buying links, they still advertise link building as a benefit to guest blogging.
Cleaner Guest Blogging Rising From the Ashes
As with all things in Search, this boils down to making sure all content, including content provided by guest bloggers, is written for the benefit of your readers first and not for search engines. Skepticism is necessary when you are approached by anyone wanting to share an article on your site. As Cutts stated, “In general, I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well.” Guest blogging is not dead, but some parts of it are in critical condition. With any luck, all of the worst parts and it will stay that way.