2016 Update: Guest Blogging is still a very effective online marketing tactic for growing organic traffic and improving SEO. However, there are stricter guidelines for including your link in guest blog posts. If you want help with guest blogging, then you may want to checkout our guest blogging services.
Recently Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team. (The guy who has the power to put websites in the sandbox, removing them from search engine results.) Tweeted something pretty interesting.
New blog post: The decay and fall of guest blogging http://t.co/P0BnRufnKQ
— Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) January 20, 2014
There Was Quite a Stir in the SEO Industry After Cutt’s Announcement
It caused such a stir that all the authorities out there on SEO had something to say about guest posting, after reading Cutts’ post on the topic.
- Moz post saying that now is the time for guest blogging with a purpose
- Quicksprout post confirming that Guest Posting and SEO are still a match made in Heaven
- Search Engine Watch’s Post says there are definitely still cases for guest blogging
- Search Engine Land compiled a list of bloggers reactions to post
You see Google has historically relied on links as a major factor in its search algorithm, including the links in guest posts. The value of these links has changed and diminished over time and may even one day result in a penalty. Matt Cutts wrote his blog post on the end of Guest Blogging as a warning to SEO’s about the links contained in guest blog posts. This created quite the stir because during the last year guest blogging has been one of the main tactics that SEO link builders have been using.
So the Big Question: Do Links From Guest Blogging Still Improve SERPs?
Building links has become a lot more complicated over the past two years compared to what it was five or six years ago. So, naturally all SEOs and business owners were very sad to think that another link building method was going down the drain. Some of these people invested many hours and lots of dollars in guest blogging for SEO, so they can’t be happy seeing their work being disavowed in such a way.
Since guest blogging became such a widespread practice, that began to be abused and overused within the SEO community, there’s no wonder Google felt obliged to do something about it. Many webmasters were relying solely on this method to improve their SERPs (search engine ranking positions), so they were bound to fall onto Google’s radar at some point. And sure enough they did, big G is claiming that they have decided to put a stop to any SEO benefit from guest blog posting.
Guest Blogging Has Been Over Done for SEO Rather Than for Its Original Intent.
The reasons for guest blogging in the first place were to truly market and connect yourself with related websites. Your best bet was to find related websites and offer some good content that was both useful to its audience and helped to build your brand and authority, while widening your reach online. However, due to the value of the links for SEO, guest blogging became primarily used only as an SEO strategy in itself, instead of as a marketing strategy that also served as an SEO tactic.
Natural links do not tend to come from the exact same type of websites repeatedly, they come from a diverse portfolio of website types. So, guest blogging for your business shouldn’t be performed on a large scale focused on SEO benefits from links. Guest blogging efforts should focus on creating quality content targeting related authority website audiences and not on a high quantity of low quality, spammy guest posts.
There isn’t much difference between the old SEO practice of submitting your site to lots of web directories for getting link juice and guest blogging with the same purpose of just building a lot of spammy links from guest posting and not offering the web any good content.
Is This the End of Guest Blogging for SEO, Really?
As Matt Cutts put it, guest blogging still has value, but only if it is done properly, with the purpose of making yourself known and improving your brand awareness and not only for gaining links that pass PR. So there is still life in guest blogging, but only the smart SEOs will manage to put it to good use for their search engine rankings.
What’s Next for SEO and Link Building?
The SEO community should be more responsible with the methods and strategies used for improving SERPs rankings. SEOs should stop focusing on building any one specific link versus acquiring a wide variety of quality relevant links. Focusing primarily on the quantity of links you are building, may work for a while, but Google is going to figure it out sooner or later. Once a footprint is uncovered, penalties will be delivered. Sometimes actions taken by Google can affect the entire SEO world, not only those who caused all the trouble in the first place. So, it is important for SEOs to adhere to Google’s Terms of Service when optimizing websites for improved search engine rankings.
SEOs and internet marketers need to understand that there are no easy ways of building backlinks. If you want results that last, if you want your website to become a true authority in your niche, you really need to work hard and become an active member of your community, so people recognize you naturally as an expert and, why not, as a leader or a trend setter.
By using guest blogging and social media for growing your brand rather than improving your rankings in the SERPs, you can grow your brand, audience, traffic and boost your SEO a little too. If, on the contrary, all you are after are some easy links from crummy websites, you may benefit in the short term, but such a flawed strategy won’t last long. Eventually Google will slap you with a manual action and your site won’t appear in the SERPs until you cleanup your links.
Guest blogging with a purpose will help to build your brand, grow your audience, increase website traffic, and some SEO benefit still comes from your guest post links. Make sure to only guest post on high quality authoritative websites relevant to your niche. And also make sure to provide content tailored to the website’s audience, provide value by answering a question or sharing a helpful insight.
Want some help? One of our complete internet marketing campaigns will include professional targeting of the best sites to guest post on and will also include professional writers creating great content that serves a purpose for being guest posted on them.