Guest Blogging Is it Really Dead?

guest-blogging

Last week Matt Cutts from the Google SPAM team stated that Guest Blogging is done. Dead, Kaput, Nadda, Zilch.  No… he didn’t really say that at all. In this article I go over the highlights and cut through the paranoia on what he was actually trying to say. I’ll also give you some sound advice if you do have guest posts of a ‘dubious nature’. And I will give you some solid tips to follow before you have a Guest Blogger write an article for your website.

The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging?

Last Week Matt Cutts from the Google Spam team posted an article stating that Guest Blogging was essentially done. You can read his post: “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging“. He starts out with an email from an “SEO” or “Content Marketing” firms that mass email blogs stating they will provide “High Quality” original content. What they really are is a cheap link exchange to dump their clients anchor rich do-follow links onto your blog to pass Page Rank. Which according to Google is against their guidelines.

Further down the article he stated:

So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.

And a lot of bloggers seemed to be scared of what this meant for their own websites. I don’t know if people were reading just the ‘guest blogging is done’ part but there really was a lot more information in the article that would have benefited them.

The issue isn’t necessarily Guest Blogging itself… it was more on how it was being abused.

So what Matt Cutts was trying to say throughout the article is:

Stop Using Guest Blogging for SEO Tactics

Matt is stating throughout the article that he and his team over at Google are really tired of articles by guest bloggers that are poorly written and usually include anchor rich spammy links. Usually these are either sold to bloggers for a nominal fee, or to bloggers who are desperate to keep their blogs updated and take the article. (*ahem* guilty..) And they offer little to no real value to visitors who read them.

Check out the Video on Google’s thoughts about Guest Blogging:

Is Google Going to Penalize You?

Matt replies in another YouTube response:

In the video he states that yes they could penalize your site if they were to deem your site just another ‘article farm’ full of spammy low quality guest articles. The reason being is that if the links in those article points to sites that are considered low quality or spammy they can end up hurting your own websites authority.

So although he hasn’t outright said it. Google is always working on ways to make changes to specifically target anything considered as spam tactics to gain links and better SERP results. My guess? If they think it is a big enough issue they are already working on doing something about it.

OK, So How Can I Fix This?

There are two steps you can take to help get your own blog back in order:

Step One: Do not accept ANY type of Guest Post that is from a “Content Writer”, “SEO Firm”, or “Marketing Firm”. Unless they are from someone who is highly reputable just don’t accept the article to begin with.

Step Two: Audit your blog and if you have any of these types of articles? Either fix them by removing the links and re-writing the content, or just remove the posts entirely. Some people are stating to go even so far as to disavow any of the links you had on your blog altogether.

If you do wish to accept Guest Bloggers on your site? Then you need to get:

Back to Basics with Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging isn’t Dead. You just can’t use it for the sole purpose of trying to build up massive links back to your website. I would highly recommend that you do the following from this point forward:

  • Do your research. Make sure that the potential author is someone you would be willing to have their content posted on your site as well as making sure that the article is 100% original and not ‘re-spun’ or copied content.
  • Only accept articles from Bloggers that you can personally vouch for.
  • Make sure that the articles fit your site and add real value for your readers.
  • I would highly suggest making any links ‘no-follow’ that point back to the author’s website.

It’s far past the time for the web to get back to its roots when it comes to Guest Blogging. I realized during my own blog audit that alot of the Guest Posts I have here on avgjoegeek.net ended up hurting the site more than helping it.

Conclusion

If you are Guest Blogging for what it was meant for: Providing authoritative content that is in line with the website you are writing for, Looking to expand your brand awareness and audience, and trying to bring traffic to your site by doing things right? You should be just fine.

If you are trying to use Guest Blogging as a tactic to build up your SEO/Link profile? Google is stating stop it now.. or they will for you.

What Do You Think?

So what are your thoughts about Google’s ‘slam’ on Guest Blogging? Think they are correct with Matt’s thoughts? Or do you think they are going ‘Mad With Power’?  Leave a comment below!

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  • Justin Germino

    Curious about one elaboration Joe, you said a lot of the posts hurt it rather than helped it, what tool or indicator did you have that the content was hurting your site? Was there a warning in Webmaster tools or some other tool that you used to show that your site was hurting as a result of hosting the content?

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Justin – Sorry should have elaborated my findings. I was speaking on both from what Matt said about having low quality or keyword text rich links which I have a few articles like that. Also going through my audit using Raven Tools and Moz found that they didn’t really add any value to the site in terms of traffic/engagement etc. So they hurt the overall site by having them on here.

  • Phillip Dews

    Funny you should write this today is I received an email only this morning from an ‘Content Editor’ of a major technology firm here in the UK.

    This person had no FB or Twitter and on his Google+ profile there is nothing of value just lots of spammy links to his blog posts as well as just having 12 people in his ci! He sent me an email with subjects that have nothing at all to do with my blog as I list what subjects on my custom ‘Guest Post’ page on my blog! I would be surprised that he even took the time to read it.

    I liked it when Matt talked about Guest blogging as an endorsement by the blog owner! I love guest posting and I always make sure my guest posts are of my very best quality and I always make sure that I have visited and commented on the posts the blog owner I am guest posting on!

    It seems people have no patience these days and never take the time to read the blogs they want to guest post on hey! Thanks for cleaning up what a lot of bloggers don’t actually know yet, Have a great day dude!

    - Phillip

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Phillip – I get a ton of these types of emails as well. Alot of Gambling sites for some reason. I could have made a killing if I allowed them to post on here.

      Guest Blogging is still allowed if it is done correctly. Obviously from both of our experiences with the emails we received people are still trying to do it wrong. Thats OK, I’m sure they will switch to a different tactic such as Commenting… oh wait they already fail at that as well!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!

  • Samir

    Hello,

    I guess guest blogging for seo is dead but it’s not really dead. And I think we can still post guest posts on good blogs and it’s a best way to connect with bloggers.

    Thanks

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Yes, but my guess is that if you have any links in your Author Bio? They will end up being ‘no-follow’ and will no longer pass any real juice back to your blog. Although you can still benefit through the visitors/subscribers you receive from the post!

  • Uttoran Sen

    Hey Jason,

    Everyone seems to talk about the same thing – looks like Matt got some excellent link-bait as usual :P

    Whether it is Guest Blogging or any other way of building links etc. – one should always fall back to basics and check for two things:
    1) Is the content that you are getting has any value?
    2) Are the outgoing links – going to reputed websites?

    None of the other things makes any difference – no one knows if you were paid for a post, if you really know the guy who is guest blogging or if the post comes from an seo firm … No one really knows … what Google and everyone else will see is the quality – as long as you maintain that – it will work,

    thanks,
    Uttoran Sen,

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      LOL, well when Matt Cutts speaks the internet listens! Unfortunately people tend to read more into what he is actually trying to say.

      I agree with you that nobody knows about if you were paid for a post or not. In reality you were paid not for the content, but the link they wanted you to list inside of the article. Its going to get tougher for content writers who earn a living by providing such content. Now the links will end up getting no-followed due to the paranoia Google has been propagating with Matt’s latest post.

      Thanks for stopping by and Commenting Uttoran Sen!

  • Markus Duffin@BlueRocket

    I think it is good that Google is cracking down on spam, but I believe that there is still a place for true guest blogging in the blogosphere–it might just take a little time to recover.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Markus,

      I agree! I was getting so tired of people soliciting content to the site. I just started rejecting 99% of them! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

      • Markus Duffin

        You’re welcome. It’ll be interesting to see what spammers turn to next and how bloggers respond to the change.

        • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

          If there is money to be made.. the Spammers will find a way.

          • Markus Duffin

            Haha, isn’t that the truth. And it’s just more proof of how important it is to stay ahead of the game and always be ready for the next development online and in the tech world.

  • Robert Traynor

    I’m not a fan of guest blogging, because it means having to give an article away. I might get a boost in my web traffic as a result, but then I might not. I’d much rather my blog serve as ground zero for all my articles. If somebody wants my services, they can darn well pay for them.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Robert – I understand where your coming from. But I think your missing the point of WHY you would want to Guest post to begin with. Say if Neil Patel from QuickSprout asked for you to write an article for them… would you do it? I know what the answer would be for me: “HELL YEA”. The amount of exposure, traffic, social media presence I would get from that one article would be well worth its weight in gold.

      The idea is to find those blogs or websites where you would both gain the most benefit from them. If its a small website *ahem* like here? Then no I wouldn’t suggest Guest Posting unless it was something very relevant and you were trying to help me out (if you have a large readership).

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting – and good luck!

  • Shaun Hoobler

    No way it is. You just need to find authority sites with huge following.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      LOL true its not dead. But I would highly suggest using Guest Blogging for what it was meant for. Sharing content on another site that adds value first. Then you gain the exposure from your content. No more Guest Blogging for just the SEO benefits is the rule to follow – or face the consequences!