Earlier this week, Google’s (GOOG) SEO defender, guardian and cautious warrior Matt Cutts posted a blog citing the decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. Normally, one expert’s blog update does not cause social media mass hysteria, but, as head of Google’s Webspam Team, Cutts is no ordinary expert.
As the definitive Google SEO visionary and industry sounding post for all things SEO, Cutts cannot issue a blog, statement, video or idle observation without literally thousands of marketing experts, SEO strategists and content gurus dissecting his every word, phrasing and even facial expressions.
Cutts is simply too powerful to take lightly. (He hopefully likely would be amused by that observation!) So, when Cutts implies that guest blogging is dying, it causes a big, ugly, social media uproar.
What did Cutts actually say about guest blogging?
If you are using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014 … stop.
- Guest blogging is evolving into a slimy, spammy practice.
- While guest blogging is a trend that started out as authentic, it has become compromised as more people have piled onto the guest blogging bandwagon, leaving only the barest trace of legitimate behavior in today’s guest blogging space.
- Low-quality guest blog posting is spammy, do not do it.
- Stick a fork in it—guest blogging is done.
On a positive note, it needs to be clarified that Cutts was not referring to the likes of high-quality, multi-author blogs conveying wonderful and compelling content.
According to Cutts, his goal in proclaiming guest blogging is over, done, kaput was an attempt to highlight the negative nature of low-quality, spam-like content drives that have latched on to the platform of guest blogging—all with the seedy, empty intent of link-building.
Reviewing Cutts’ blog in detail, it is evident he has not given up on the promise of relevant, objective, informative and engaging guest blogging. He is just sick and tired of individuals—and businesses—putting up shallow content under the guise of a guest blog with the sole intent of boosting SEO.
In many ways, Cutts is singing the praises of guest blogging! The Google guru is sharing that guest blogging, done appropriately and with a genuine intent to share knowledge, expertise, information and ignite discussion, is awesome. In fact, he would probably love to see scores more of it. He is just saddened (that is an observation, but likely not far off the mark) to see the upsurge of low-quality content.
So, if you are guest blogging—and truly sharing expertise—then by all means, keep guest blogging. If you welcome guest bloggers to your own website or blog, and they are legitimately sharing knowledge that adds value to your content outreach, keep on keeping on. There can never be "too much" quality content, which, of course, can lead to a sharing of ideas and even inspiration. Guest blogging, executed with a noble, authentic and authoritative voice, remains a strong opportunity for building brand loyalty and online reputation.
However, if you are ever emailed out of the blue by an expert begging to include a guest post on your blog and even offering to pay for the opportunity to write for you, simply hit delete. Then nod your head, raise your eyebrows lightly and say to yourself, “I get it, Matt Cutts. I get it.”
Guest blogging is far from dead. What is being laid to rest is the support of—or even remote tolerance for—faux guest blogging activities that are malicious, calculating SEO tactics more than educational, stimulating and influential content-sharing.
Doesn’t that sound like a great idea to support?