Matt Cutts, head of Google web spam team, stated in his blog post about the decay and fall of guest blogging in search engine optimization back in January 2014. This sent many SEO experts and webmasters into panic, especially those who are heavily relying on guest blogging as a main source of backlinks. Matt Cutts simply based his opinion on the poor quality guest blogging request he received, which he tagged as spammy in nature notwithstanding that there are some top-caliber authors that can make a difference to one’s blog through their guest posts.
But since Matt Cutts is a top ranking personnel of Google, no one can argue that his say about this SEO method must be taken due consideration of. He may have a point about the declining quality of guest posts today due to the rampant spam and the massive abuse of guest posting for backlinking purposes only instead of giving value to the readers. However, he should have also took a 360-degree angle of the whole guest blogging industry. There are still many highly-respected blogs that rely on top quality guest posts from respectable authors for freshness. Today, guest posting continues to provide readers the needed information and the updates, and you cannot just disregard it altogether.
Guest Blogging is Dead
For blogs mainly made for guest posting, it’s definite that guest blogging is dying and leading to eventual death soon. The post of Matt Cutts is already a cue that Google will be eyeing on spammy guest posts. The chances are high that this could be the next major algorithm update for this year.
In 2011, Google launched the dreaded Panda update to get rid of content farming. In the ensuing year in 2012, it released the Penguin update to clean up the SEO world of link spam. Last year in 2013, Google celebrated its 15th year in service by releasing the Hummingbird update aimed at improving content quality by promoting engaging posts that interact with the readers.
No one knows what’s next and what’s in store for the webmasters this year by Google. The year-starter post of Matt Cutts could perhaps signal that the search engine giant will now focus its eyes on guest posting by releasing another update this year aimed at cleaning the web of spammy guest posts. This would not be a surprise if this happens towards the middle of this year.
So webmasters should be proactive in their strategies by getting rid of spam guest posts in their backlink profile to reduce the chances of getting hit by the probable next major algorithm update of Google. At the same time and moving forward, guest posting should be minimized. Ideally, stay out of submitting guest posts to spammy sites because they are more likely on the radar of Google.
Guest Posting is Not dead Yet
Even if guest posting is highly discouraged by the web spam team head of Google, many respectable sites still thrive and continue to provide value to their readers through guest posts of well-respected authors in the field of their expertise. In return, these guest posters also received high quality backlinks through their author profile.
There are many reasons why guest posting is still not dead yet, despite the warning of Matt Cutts. For one, many of Matts’ friends are guest posters themselves, and they do not spam blogs but they do it to share their thoughts and insights, to give some priceless tips, and to provide updates about online marketing and about search engine optimization. However, most of them are not one-time guest bloggers but regular contributors. In other words, they publish guest posts regularly and not just a one-shot deal.
This is, perhaps, where guest posting is heading to. This may no longer be categorized under guest posting but under a contributor publishing scheme wherein you will be associated with the blog as a regular contributor or regular guest blogger. Along this line, it is best to regularly publish guest posts to blogs you are connected with as a guest author. This way, you will be less suspected of building guest blog links for SEO purposes.
Guest blogging may be decaying in the search engine optimization field, but it should not be stopped altogether. There are other benefits of guest posting aside from SEO. One of them is branding and reputation building. Aside from that, this will also give you more social signals and direct referrals to your site.
But more importantly, this will still continue to add more good quality backlinks to your site if done right. The Panda update has changed the way content marketing is done. The Penguin algorithm also changed the system of link building. And yet, both content marketing and link building are still done today and continue to give SEO benefits. The point here is that even if Matt Cutts tries to signal the decay of guest blogging, this method will thrive and continue to provide valuable link juices and boost your search engine optimization. But you must give more focus on quality, this time, by writing for the readers and not for the search engines.