So unless you have been hiding under a rock the last few days, or have no social media accounts, you have probably seen the masses of tweets, shares, and blog posts written about the latest SEO news released by the head of Google's Web Spam Team, Matt Cutts. He flat out said that guest blogging for SEO is dead, and it has stirred up a lot of discussion.
Why is this happening?
Now this statement has gotten a lot of SEOs and business owners freaked out, and they’re worried that Google might be planning another attack on their latest/favorite way of building links. Which, in itself, is where lays the problem in the first place. Too many people have utilized solitary "tactics" as their one and only "strategy" to acquire links and be included in the SERPs.
With that being said, is it really any surprise that Google wants to crack down on people that are using guest blogging as there one and only way of acquiring links?
Guest blogging was never meant to be a full-blown link building strategy. It was best employed as a "tactic" that business owners and online marketers could use to grow their social media presence, online community, and website audience by showcasing their products, services and industry knowledge on other relevant websites.
Instead, too many online marketers have used guest blogging as the new form of article marketing. By placing "guest blog posts" on low quality sites, often unrelated to their industry, for the sole purpose of getting a link back to their own website is, by its very nature, a SPAMMY tactic. Just like submitting generic content to old article sites in hopes that Google will rank the site for their targeted keywords and phrases, this was a strategy that simply couldn’t last.
Online marketers need to get away from the mentality that we build and place content to simply get a link. True online marketing, or guest blogging for that matter, is about creating content that will help your company get the attention it deserves by providing real value on different websites. It should never be about simply getting links to your site.
So Is Guest Blogging Really Dead?
With all this being said, No, guest blogging, if done right, is not dead. Just think of it as Google putting a bounty on the heads of sites and companies who are guest blogging purely for links and rankings. Matt Cutts recently updated his post to clarify this point by saying:
If we, as an industry, want to stop Google from constantly throwing wrenches in online marketing strategies marketers need to stop turning good quality “tactics” into the only “strategy” for getting noticed and earning rankings.
There are tons of ways to acquire links the right way, such as whitepapers, infographics, videos, images and the list goes on and on. Marketers need to stop looking for the easy way of getting links and focus on things that serve a better purpose. (For more ideas on how else you can market your site you can download our eBook “11 Types of Content You Should Be Creating For SEO Right Now”)
If you are going to use guest blogging as a tactic to grow your business then use it to increase your brand, communities, audience referral traffic and reach. Stop using it to purely build links and manipulate the SERPs.