Matt Cutts: “Stick a fork in it; guest blogging is done.”

Published by Designzillas on January 21, 2013

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Well, that’s it folks! Matt Cutts, the guy you should be listening to over at Google, has declared that bloggers and web masters knock it off when it comes to guest blogging for SEO purposes. This may come as a shock for those who believed that featuring guest blogs on their sites would be the shining beacon of hope for the colossal demand for consistent, fresh content, but is it really as bad as it seems? Definitely, if all you care about is seeing fast results. But for those of us on the internet who really care about the content we provide our loyal followers, this is WONDERFUL news.

NOT A WAR, BUT A DESERVED BATTLE

In his blog, Cutts is not declaring war on guest blogging as a whole. Many blogs and online magazines would literally be unable to survive without some kind of “guest blogging” practice. They feature articles from a wide variety of sources; but the thing is that these blogs feature quality articles from quality writers. Take it from someone who has loved writing since she could pick up a pen (or more appropriately, type on a keyboard) — the kind of guest blogging that Cutts is shunning is the kind that exists strictly to increase the amount of links pointing toward a site. It’s not great content written for users because the author cares about what they’re providing, it’s poor content written to trick search engines into giving them higher ranks.

“Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains… 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.”

To Cutts and now Google, the typical guest blogging practice we see out there in the SEO world looks like a clever way to conceal paying for inbound links. It’s like this: “In exchange for this badly written post that serves no real, human purpose and is chock-full of keywords, links, and crap, I’ll give you some random links back to your site that will probably end up hurting you in the future.” It has just become spammy, unhelpful, and frankly, extremely sad to those of us who love the content we create.

IF YOU CARE, DON’T BEWARE

If you think of guest blogging and writing in general the way we do, you probably shouldn’t be too worried about this news. It was bound to happen; SEO marketers who only care about fast results will always find some way to make solid, respectable practices spammy. But if you are working with or ARE a company who truly cares about your users and wants to provide them with exceptional content — real content — that reflects how much passion and love you have for your own industry, you’ll find a way around Google’s newest SEO surprise.

Bottom line, folks: read the Google Webmaster Guidelines. Read them. Follow them. Digest them. Dream them. BE THEM. The only way to have a 100% authentic, organic and worry-free experience with SEO is to understand the search engine you’re trying to impress and care about what you’re doing. If you choose to trick the search engines, sure it might work for a little while but it will definitely come back and leave a big, juicy bite mark on your keister.

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