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January 27, 2014

The ‘Death’ of Guest Blogging is Great News for Serious Content Marketers

Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If you keep up with Matt Cutts’ blog, you saw that he recently proclaimed the death of guest blogging.

…Well, sort of.

While plenty of marketers are running around like chickens with their heads cut off in response, if you dig into Cutts’ blog post, you’ll see that he’s actually done serious content marketers a big favor.

Cutts starts out his post with a spam e-mail he received from someone who was offering to pay him in return for publishing a guest post on his blog (with a couple of “dofollow” links, of course).  Cutts then goes onto say, “So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”

Cue the Chicken Littles.

Instead of sticking around to read the rest of Cutts’ post, most people took this one sentence to mean that the guest blogging sky was officially falling.  They didn’t bother to read the parts further down where Cutts specifically refers to “the clear trend towards guest blogging being overused by a bunch of low-quality, spammy sites” and “low-quality/spam guest posting and guest articles.”

The panic over Cutts’ post was so widespread that he actually added a follow-up at the bottom, saying in part:

“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… I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.”

If you’re a SERIOUS content marketer, this is exactly what you want Cutts to say.  

You want to know that Google has the ability — and the desire — to punish people who try to manipulate the system with low-quality, spammy guest posts.  After all, that’s not part of YOUR plan.  If you’re a serious content marketer, you already knew that guest blogging was a fantastic way to establish expertise, built trust, and generate exposure on authoritative sites.  As a result, you already knew that you had to publish the very best guest posts in the very best places — and you knew that the sites you were publishing on were very selective in the guest authors they worked with.

Cutts is simply reinforcing everything you already knew.

If you have the RIGHT guest blogging strategy, Cutts’ post should feel like a breath of fresh air.  After all, he’s telling you that your slimy competitors won’t be able to out-rank you by getting a bunch of junk published on equally-junky websites.  He flat out says that “High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the Web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.”  It’s clear that he respects guest blogging and the people who do it the right way.

As long as you’re one of them, you have nothing to worry about.


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Nicole Beckett has helped countless business owners create the right guest blogging strategy. If you want to publish content that both humans AND search engines love, you need to work with Nicole and the team of professional journalists at Premier Content Source.

6 Responses to “The ‘Death’ of Guest Blogging is Great News for Serious Content Marketers

    The timing of this article is very interesting considering the recent events of Expedia and their penalty with regards to a Link Scheme that included guest blogging. I believe Matt Cutt’s has probably had enough of these poorly written articles that has a sole purpose of trying to “game the system” versus putting an article together that has good unique content and that is useful to the user.

    Getting an unsolicited spam email proposition about a guest post article to get links that pass PageRank was probably the final straw that caused Matt to speak his mind.

    I agree, Abel! I think Matt has about had it with people trying to manipulate the system. Imagine all of the scams/schemes/garbage he sees that we don’t even know about!

    Matt has always been a fan of quality content (he even mentions how useful it is in his postscript at the end). That’s something I wanted to remind people of, because so many of them started panicking! Do right by Google (and your human visitors!), and they’ll do right by you 🙂

    avatar Paul says:

    All online busines owners have an agenda. That is to get as much traffic and exposure as we possibly can. We all want to become a success and sometimes we fall prey to tactics that are considered spammy or unethical.

    Sitepronews is still allowing guest posting. Will they every stop? I don’t think so. I am sure they have stringent rules regarding what passes and what gets published.

    I am still new to the blogosphere and undecided whether to pursue guest posting as an SEO stragety or not. From what I’ve have read so far it is still a viable way to gain a following if done correctly.

    Thanks for this post Nicole.

    Paul, I can tell you from personal experience that Site Pro News (and other authority sites) turn away FAR more guest posts than they publish.

    As long as you’re sharing high-quality content on an authoritative website, you can’t go wrong. After all, Google has been putting a major emphasis on quality content for years — ever since Panda rolled out.

    Paul, I would certainly recommend guest blogging as a MARKETING strategy — remember, there is more to succeeding on the web than SEO! 🙂 Anytime you can get your name and your expertise out in front of a targeted audience, you need to take advantage of it! How else would you be able to establish yourself as a legitimate authority?

    avatar Tarik says:

    Guest blogging will always be around. I’ve been doing it since 2008 with great success. What I think Matt Cutts means is spam guest blogging is finished. There’s a big different. A good guest post drives hundreds of referral visitors to help you build a list. People tend to forget another human is reading your content. The better the article, you will also get other people linking to your guest post, which furthers your reach.

    Private blog networks abuse guest posting, which is why I require 300+ words of good unique content on all my domains. This keeps them sticky and helpful!

    Thanks for chiming in, Tarik… you’re absolutely right! The benefits of a GOOD guest post can literally transform your business overnight. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to gain exposure and establish your expertise.

    You’re absolutely right about the “human factor”, too. So many marketers get caught up in what Google does/doesn’t like that they forget about their human customers!

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