Matt Cutts, Head of WebSpam At Google, published an article yesterday that caused an uproar throughout the blogsophere that basically called for an end to guest blogging.
Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company. – Matt Cutts
Before you flip out, the key part of his statement is “…if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014…”
Do you guest blog for just SEO purposes? If yes then he’s definitely talking to you.
Ask yourself this: A webmaster says you can guest post on their site but the links will be nofollow, do you still write the post for them? If no then you’re probably up the creek without a paddle. Sorry.
But let’s be honest if you write low-quality guest posts or even high quality guest posts just for a backlink, then you know Google is after you anyway. SEO and guest blogging were never intended to go together. This article by Matt shouldn’t be a surprise for people who are abusing guest posting.
Should I Allow People To Guest Post On My Blog?
If you run a legitimate blog, you need to up your game on whom you allow to guest post on your site. If you know the person and can vouch for them that the quality will be high, then go for it (remember quality will always win- Google makes money when they have the trust of the user. The only way they gain trust is by sending them to a high-quality page). If the person seems at all spammy say no, and move on. You don’t want your website to be associated with them. If you’re on the fence about allowing a blog post or not, either just politely decline or tell them you’ll post it but all the links must be nofollow. If their adamant about the links being dofollow, then say no thanks.
Let’s take a look at a reply comment Matt made to one of his readers:
David, if the links in a guest post are nofollowed then it doesn’t affect PageRank, so that would be within our guidelines. I agree that some guest blog posts can be a good way to get exposure to a new audience. I just wanted to highlight that guest blogging as a whole has gotten pretty spammy at this point.
When in doubt just make those links nofollow. Easy as that.
Here is an example email you should ignore:
- We have a guidelines that explains the process you need to follow if you want to be considered as a guest poster on SteamFeed. This person clearly didn’t read it.
- This person asked for dofollow links right away. RED FLAG! Delete from inbox.
- This person gave no information at all as to what type of article they had in mind, or why they think they would add value to our community.
Why Should I Still Guest Post?
Guest posting was never intended to be about SEO. Guest posting was and is about getting your name out there and telling your story. It’s still a great way to increase your exposure and bring readers to your blog (even if they come from a nofollow link).
If you can find quality sites to guest post on, then here are some of the benefits you can look forward to:
- Increase your authority/credibility
- Grow your reach
- Build a community
- Brand awareness
Take a look at Matt’s video from December 2013 for some more insight from him.
What If I Contribute To A Multi-Author Site?
Once again it all comes back to quality. If you believe the multi-author site is partaking in posting low-quality articles from spammers just to have more content, then you don’t want to be associated with them, especially if you’ve connected yourself through Google Authorship. Matt made it very clear that Multi-Author sites that post high-quality content are not what he’s referencing when he says “…guest blogging is done..”
I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. 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.
So let’s all take a deep breath together… everything will be okay for you. Focus on quality, quality, and QUALITY, and you’ll be fine. Google is going after spammers, not you (unless of course you’re reading SteamFeed and you’re a spammer, which would be weird). So be cautious out there but don’t stop guest posting if you’re doing it for the right reasons.