Earlier this week, Matt Cutts, Google’s Head of Web Spam announced that ‘guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy’. Here I will try to answer some of people’s immediate concerns.
Has this come as a surprise? Well, no – it is a system which is open to abuse and in some cases simply wasn’t working – lots of requests from people to post their article on your website was spamming in itself. In addition, Google has been discussing guest blogging for some time, so to the SEO community at least, thus was not a shock.
Is guest blogging actually dead? No, not really. Guest blogging when done well is a great way of increasing your reach and building an online community, and Google is all for that. However, when it has been used for purely SEO purposes, that’s when Google got upset. And rightly so: irrelevant off-topic guest posts are purely there for links and it doesn’t so any of the positive things guest blogging can do.
So what’s changed? The focus for Google is always to deliver the most
relevant search results for their audience – it’s an audience focused approach. So if you want to keep Google happy, your approach should be the same. If you write guest blogs or host guest blogs and genuinely feel that their content is adding value to your audience, then you should carry on.
What do I do now? If you have been using guest blogging for SEO
purposes then you should stop right now. Google have given you a fair warning, and I think the penalties will start to hit offenders by the middle of February. But if you are doing the right thing, then you should carry on. You should remember that the whole point of SEO is to drive traffic – so your focus should be on that and not building up as many links as possible – that approach is the cart leading the horse.
What do you think about these changes? Is this going to change your approach to SEO? Leave a comment and let me know.