Matt Cutts, who runs Webspam at Google rocked the SEO world with his latest post titled “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”. I have received countless blog posts, newsletters and questions from people all over since then.
And therefore, I decided to consolidate my findings in this post and provide my perspective of what is happening and what really is going to happen with regard to guest blogging in the short term and in the long term.
The Cause Of Panic In The SEO World
This is what Matt Cutts said and it has a lot of SEO experts worried (especially those who have been using guest blogging as their main SEO strategy):
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.
And then, he went on to say:
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.
What Experts Are Saying About Guest Blogging Now
In just a couple of days of this announcement, Matt has received over 408 comments and counting and then even he has added additional clarification about what he intended to say. However, here are some of the important articles I would like to share with you so you can find out what other internet marketing and SEO experts are saying about this update:
According to Search Engine Journal, one of my favorite places to go for some awesome SEO tips, guest blogging isn’t dead. However, they say, that you may want to re-evaluate your strategy if guest blogging has been your main strategy for link building.
In response to Matt Cutt’s declaration, SEJ advises this:
First, SEO isn’t dead. Guest posting isn’t dead. Our lives aren’t over. If guest posting was your main strategy for getting SEO links, you may want to re-evaluate what you’re doing. Guest posting is NOT dead and can be a very good source of links, but more importantly interactions that drive REAL people to your site. Create amazing content and links that will help inspire people by it’s content. That’s what’ll really help your SEO. That type of SEO will never die.
Copyblogger is one those sites I have recommended many, many times in the past and I value their expertize. According to what they have researched and found, they say in a very authoritative tone that Guess blogging is NOT dead and if you are a quality guest author (or if you allow quality posts on your blog), you have absolutely nothing to worry about.
Here is what I would like to quote from copyblogger’s post:
Google fails as a search engine if it starts penalizing sites that deliver quality content just because that content happens to be in the form of a guest post. And we all fail as publishers if we follow a strategy of chasing hypothetical algorithm changes.
Quality will always win. Guest blogging is not “done,” dead, or destitute. Have standards, do right by your audience, and play to win in the long term.
And then, one of the bloggers and well known SEO expert Neil Patel, who runs his famous blog QuickSprout.com, published his article yesterday on this topic where he again says that guest blogging can’t die.
Neil says that the match of SEO and guest blogging was made in heaven and it can’t die, and I believe him because he has tremendous logic behind what he is saying. Here is what Neil has to say:
Guest posting is a great way to drive traffic, increase sales, and grow your brand. Matt Cutts stated it himself. By no means is he trying to say that you shouldn’t guest post. Instead, he is stating that it is becoming spammy.
I still think guest posting will help your rankings, just not in the way it used to. Because you have to avoid using rich anchor text and only link to your site when it benefits the reader, you won’t rank for head terms as easily as you could in the past.
In addition to his thoughts about Matt Cutt’s declaration, Neil also shares 5 helpful tips of using guest blogging as an effective tool for long term benefits.
My Conclusion On This Guest Blogging Fiasco
Every good thing becomes bad eventually when people start to abuse it and guest blogging has been essentially used to abuse the web for a couple of years now. This must end and Matt Cutt’s declaration points in that direction.
Google is going to hunt down low quality guest bloggers, their posts and blogs that allow such guest posts. This is a good thing for quality of the internet and quality of search engine results you and I get when we go to search.
However, quality always wins no matter what!
Google will always reward quality websites and quality guest posts. As long as you are doing sensible guest blogging with intention to help your readers, you will be doing just fine.
I have done a few guest posts on websites I know because of personal connection with the blog’s owners and I will continue to do so as and when opportunity presents itself.
Also, I will continue to allow guest posts from those who will satisfy the prerequisites for guest blogging on my site. I don’t think any spammer will be able to fulfill the expectations I’ve set for guest blogging on my site. Therefore, as I have always been able to filter out bad ones, I think I am going to keep my doors open for quality people on my site.
Over To You, What Do You Think?
What do you think is the future of guest blogging? If you have a blog, are you going to allow guest blog posts on your website? Do you think I should allow guest posts on my blog? Please share your thoughts through your comments because your opinion matters!
Thank you kindly!
Hi Kumar, I agree that we can still do guest posts and have guest posts on our sites but we must be careful of who, where and the quality of the content. I have several contributors on my blog and will continue to use them on occasion throughout the year. I may require a little more of them in the future to comply with higher standards. I’ve set higher standards for myself on the blog so it goes to say I should do the same for the contributors. Matt really set off a firestorm with this one! Thanks for sharing all the other perspectives on this topic too Kumar. Have a great day.
You are very welcome Lisa. And yes, Matt has definitely detonated a bomb to wake up web spammers to the reality. He definitely has announced something that will bring back the lost glory of guest blogging and force spammers to be a little less spammy with guest blogging.
Have a great Thursday you too!
I think what Cutts was saying was that Google will no longer cotton to websites that post several guest blogs in a day and if your guest blog is found on one of these sites that will cost you. Google will be looking for websites that post a large amount of good, original content and occasional worthy guest posts won’t hurt those blogs.
Cutts was clearly worried about blogs that have become nothing more than blog mills for guest posts and, in all likelihood, paid guest posts. Thus the “…unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally…” comment. What he was saying, IMHO, was that there will be no more guest post factories and if you run one, or post at one, Google is going to catch you.
I agree wholeheartedly Kumar, Google has a goal of presenting a quality product to their clients when they use their search engine. It does not matter if the best answer to someones query is on your blog, my blog or a guest post on somebody elses blog.
If you guest blog and it is a fitting post on an appropriate website for that post and well written you still get a link! Nobody ever said you would not. However I have never had the goal of packing as much “for me stuff” (links & other) into a post as possible.
There is an outcome accepted by all involved. That is to go into the writing of the guest blog with the intention of energizing your host’s already entrenched audience to his or her site and adding to that readership.
There is a byproduct of achieving this goal. The byproduct is some of their audience will be introduced to your work and if you perform well enough some of that energized audience that is already interested in you, your writing and your subject matter will visit your site that may never have gone there.
I will take that over a search engine’s approval any day! Oh sure, there will be some Google kudos too.
Absolutely Lance! I will take that over a search engine’s approval any day for sure! And as Matt said, guest authoring has been around here even before Google existed or this term became well known. So, this is here to stay as long as it is done in a respectful and sensible manner.
Thank you for dropping by and wishing you a wonderful weekend!
Ah…this seems to be the hot-topic of this week! I’ve already read sooo many posts about it, and just another one at Adrienne’s blog too, but yes, they all are different though end up with the one thing we all need to keep in mind – be careful 🙂
Guest blogging isn’t dead, and if you are careful about the people you accept on your blog to guest post, you are doing good. I think something common that Adrienne and myself follow is to invite people whom we know for a while, which happens through our comments, and once that trust builds up – they become your guests, something that is acceptable. The problem arises with those who are out there just for leaving spammy comments and backlinks, and you can make out such bloggers from far, isn’t it?
Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week 🙂
Oh you can spot them from far away 🙂
A couple of them didn’t have proper social media presence and I couldn’t check their credibility (or may be I didn’t pay much attention to that at the time). However, they promised to stay around and respond to comments and wrote fairly good articles as well.
However, once the post got published, they never showed up. Now what do I do? So I went ahead and marked their links as “nofollow”. And to this day, they never came back to check with me either.
So, such situations deliberately need to be avoided first hand itself now that Google is watching on these things as well. It is a good thing indeed.
Happy Friday to you 🙂 and have a productive weekend!
I think the invitation model you have been using is really a handy tool now! Believe me, I am seriously considering that move myself! However, I must carefully weigh its merits and demerits before taking a final stand.
Guest blogging cannot die…it logically precedes even Google itself. And Matt kindly acknowledged this.
The watchword here is carefulness and higher standards…I think the time has come that we all need to know the people sending us guest entries before we accept to publish them…
And the ‘Nofollow’ attribute is always handy, remember.
You are so to the point Terungwa. I agree! This has been around even before Google did and so it is here to stay. However, Google’s move will keep the spammers away and that is good for overall health of web.
That means, when credible people guest blog, it will mean something of value while spammers will get less mileage going forward and they may get even penalized.
Thank you for dropping by and adding value. Have a wonderful week my friend!
Well Kumar, this is definitely the hot topic of the week and (as you know) I blogged about it myself on Tuesday (after reading the Search Engine Journal article that you referenced).
I think it’s safe to say that guest blogging purely for the sake of generating backlinks is endangered (if not in fact dead) while guest blogging to build awareness of your brand is here to stay. Some people will still try to sneak spammy backlinks into guest posts t but hopefully, the majority of them will move on to another tactic (and at the same time stop sending us those inane requests to guest post for us).
I’ve run into the same problem that you mentioned (in your reply above). Some guest bloggers will promise to reply to comments and then either don’t reply or reply with comments unworthy of yourblog. Thankfully, that hasn’t been a common problem for me but it is a clear indication that the blogger in question always intended to benefit from backlinks and not try to bring value to my blog or build relationships with my readers. (Needless to say, they weren’t invited back.)
Thanks for cutting to the chase with this.
Thanks Sherryl for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. It’s amazing how spammers have been troubling all bloggers and that is the reason you and I can be now happy knowing that the grip of Google is getting tighter on them and in turn it’s a good news for us!
Let’s see how things turn out in a few weeks and months from here on!
Ah as others have said before me this has been a hot topic on blogs this week. I was over at Sherryl’s yesterday and she had the video there. You have added in some great sources of comment here.
I totally agree with your conclusion. Unfortunately there are always people around that do not play as we all would. I think guest blogging has a role to play. Apart from building awareness of our own blogs or the others we host it ads variety.
So It is good that Google are clamping down on those they should be I am sure in no way is guest blogging dead.
Thanks for a great post.
I think the whole point comes down to people’s motives. Do they have something of value to offer or are they more interested in spamming and accumulating links? I like that Google will be penalizing those who do the latter. There are no end to schemers, so I’m sure we haven’t heard the last from Google yet either.
We should focus on quality thoughts and the links will eventually come, but one needs to also establish and build relationships with others to do so.
Have a great weekend!
Hello Mr. Kumar
I hope you are doing well.
Well it is a hot topic, but it is going to reveal the motives of those hearts that are crooked. (spammers)
As you know I am new to this, but slowly learning what I need to learn. One day I know I will have guest bloggers and hopefully I will be a guest on someone’s blog.
Thank you Mr. Kumar; enjoy your weekend!
Absolutely Ms Gladys! You are making progress consistently and I’m sure that’s what that matters!
Thank you for dropping by and sharing your thoughts.
Welcome to the online world, Gladys. You’ll discover that most of what you read online (or about it) is quite false. I believe, if you follow the right blogs, you will learn in no time and may even become a ‘pro-blogger’ in no time.
Fortunately, Gauraw.com is such a blog…and that confirms you’re in good hands!
This actually go back to the dawn of people using a lot of black hat strategies. I do have to admit that I was one of them, but that was when I was just getting started with blogging, which these strategies didn’t help me in the long run at all.
But I understood what Matt Cutt was saying. Already there are so many people using guest posting as a strategy, but you have to stay cautious of what’s quality and what’s not. If you accept guest posting, you want to set up guidelines for other bloggers who want to guest post on your blog. You don’t want to cheat your readers out of quality or else you’ll start to lose readers, traffic, and your reputation will go down.
So in another words, just stick with quality because it always win!
Thanks for sharing!
Its not really easy to be as honest as you are here…but I must say that its a great idea that you discovered gaming the system wasn’t going to help much and you quit.
Sometimes, I wonder, why all the black hat when you can win with your reputation and site intact?
Personally, I have done a post on my blog on why I feel guest blogging will never die…and I shall continue to accept guest entries that meet the very high standard I have set.
Kumar, I think guest blogging will always have a place regardless of its SEO value. It’s a great way for people to support each others sites and to bring new ideas and points of view. keeping your site fresh and interesting is so important and I feel guest posting is a great way to help a lot of blog sites achieve this.
Sorry I’m a little later getting over here but it’s been a darn busy end to this week. Great post though and thanks for including what these other sites had to say on this topic.
I do think that Matt’s original announcement had a lot of people up in the air about this topic but as you know, I wasn’t concerned at all. If we are online doing our best to provide quality and helpful content to our readers then it doesn’t matter who is writing it. Just like Copybogger said, shame on Google for even implying that would be the case. They’ve continued to state all they want to see is quality content so if we’re providing it and it doesn’t matter what form it’s in then we should have nothing to worry about.
I’m sure that those people who only do guest posting for the SEO benefits though are the ones mainly panicking right now. I guess we’ll just see what happens as we move forward.
Great share and thanks for clarifying this for everyone. It was definitely the talk of the internet last week.
It’s alright. I know how busy life sometimes can be and plus, I know how much busy you can be replying to those 100s of comments on your own blog and then commenting on so many awesome blogs you take time to appreciate. It does take time you see 🙂
I appreciate the fact that you did make a point to come here and share your thoughts with us all here as well. So, thank you!
Yes, people who do guest blogging for SEO benefits will be doomed and we should be happy about that for sure! Less spamming on the name of guest blogging and thus, hopefully, glory of guest blogging will return!
Happy Sunday and have a wonderful week ahead!
Hell Kumar, I do not believe that guest blogging is dead and I do agree with what Harleena says you just need to be selective on whom you choose to be your guest on your blog. If they are frequent visitors and those who share and leave comments I do not think Google will not see this as spam. Just my thoughts of course.
You have really done your homework here and I to have been reading a lot of different views on this subject here. thanks for sharing Chery :))
Happy New Year to you! It’s nice to hear from you and I am glad to know you enjoyed the post.
Yes, I think we will be doing just fine even after Google’s announcement because we don’t do or accept guest posts for SEO purposes only. We do so to give variety to our readers and so, we will be fine 🙂
Thank you for dropping by and I look forward to your posts going forward as well! Have a great week ahead!
Awesome Post Kumar,
When I first started blogging back in 2006 and into 2008 I accepted a lot of guest post. Because of accepting all those guest posters google slapped me. Lesson learned.
I think there still is a future for guest blogging, your just gonna have to do a good background check.
Thanks for sharing.
Great article you wrote up about response to guest blogging and matt cutts. I really don’t think it is much to worry about. As long as you have quality content on your site from reputable bloggers/authors you should be fine. And for we as bloggers guest posting on other sites, i see it more as a way to build more reputation and gain some traffic in addition to a good backlink.
“SEO is dead”, “Guest blogging is dead”, “Email marketing is dead”. These are just slogans used to create magnetic titles that attract attention.
SEO is dead, if you suck at SEO. The same with guest blogging. If you don’t have a niche, you will use guest posting as a strategy to build links in order to increase the awareness of your blog (not of your brand because without a niche you don’t have a brand).
This kind of strategy, together with psychological tricks especially created to attract attention, will take you higher … for a while. On a long term there is no chance to succeed. You will lose because people will feel you are not … the real deal. They will feel you are too general, to vague and they won’t be able to relate with your content. You won’t speak their language so they won’t hear you.
I agree with those who say: drive real people to your blog, create interactions, inspire people and build long lasting relationships.
Unfortunately, we are not living in an ideal world so those bad practices and abuses you mentioned won’t disappear.
It is a matter of choice: fast and easy money with black strategies or a long term success with white strategies.
In the world of today, my guess is that 90% of people will choose the first option and will fail. That’s the way it was, that’s the way it is and that’s the way it will be as people never change. By the way, only the individual can change, the species remains the same.
Have a wonderful day
I can’t agree with you more, Kumar.
“Quality always wins no matter what.”
Google is not out to dismantle SEO strategies just for fun. It is out to penalize anything (including guest posting) that diminishes the quality of search results.
If you are hosting high quality guest posts, or if you’re writing them… Google will reward you, not punish you. It’s not “guest posting” that’s an issue, here… it’s the quality you deliver.
Thanks for such an important information
Just before this i am Guest Blogging only For Links ..
this post help me to improve my knowledge. The way you represent knowledge has made me your follower.. thanks again for sharing this post.
Great collection of all informative resources on Guest Blogging.
This is the type of topic, where a super non techie such as myself is glad to have you as a proven source, to turn to for the alternative point of view.
Certainly whenever a high profile authority such as Matt Cutts, makes a very telling statement, such as he did. It immediately has a huge ripple effect.
Thank goodness, there are other respected authorities like you that can and do offer a different opinion! Thanks for sharing! Now it’s my turn!
Absolutely Mark! I am glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you 🙂
It’s not dead. I welcome the tightening up of the guest posting community to weed out the spammy posts. When guest posts have good quality content there is no problem with it. I think after the initial fear many who have stopped guest posts will come back to it and it will be how it should be at last!