Back in January, Matt Cutts made the now notorious announcement about the death of guest posting. After a burst of backlash from SEOs across the web, Cutts followed up the announcement with further clarification: spammy guest posting was dead.
No shock there. This stance is entirely appropriate for Google, who has never made secret its priority of perfecting its algorithms to weed out inorganic SEO methods.
But then in March, guest posting website MyBlogGuest was penalized and completely removed from the search engine results. Later, DocSheldon.com, an SEO website, was also struck with penalties.
Why? Well, in Matt Cutts’ words, in a tweet he sent out after the penalization of MyBlogGuest, he said, “Today we took action on a large guest blog network. A reminder about the spam risks of guest blogging.” DocSheldon.com had published an article acquired from MyBlogGuest, and a single post had prompted Google to make an example of them.
Ann Smarty of MyBlogGuest, along with others, have accused Google of stirring up fear unnecessarily. Unfortunately, the reality of Google’s dominance over the industry is unquestionable and we have no choice but to adapt. Luckily, Cutts has gone on to say that “there are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there.”
So there’s good news in all of this, and it’s that guest posting is most definitely not dead. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t abandon guest posting as a content strategy.
Keep Guest Posting! Here’s Why:
- Google will always value good, original content. If you weren’t spamming before the crackdown, chances are you’re not spamming now. What does a spammy guest post look like? Well for one it’s going to have an irrelevant link, and it will be hosted on a site that has nothing to do with the topic of the post.
- It’s a great opportunity for exposure and brand awareness. Cultivating your guest posting contacts is going to take work, but it’s work that will pay off. When it does, it won’t just be about the link back to your site (SEO), but the new readers you’re reaching as well.
- Establish yourself as an authority to a new audience. If sharing good, important content is your goal, guest posting must be a part of your content strategy. When you’re writing just for the link, you are opening yourself up to Google’s punishment.
You may also receive advice not to publish on guest blogging farms, and this advice is perfectly valid. Such sites that will publish anything at all will inevitably be seen as spammy. MyBlogGuest allegedly had not fit into this category, but Google had the final word on that and the guest posting giant lost.
One site to check out is FreeGuestPost.com, which certainly does not publish everything and authors and publishers that show signs of spamminess are flagged and blocked. This is a service that simply assists authors and publishers of similar backgrounds and topics in finding each other. It’s a great place to start looking for your long-term guest blogging contacts and contributors.
Gabbert, Elisa. “3 Reasons Guest Blogging Isn’t as Dead as Matt Cutts Says It Is.” http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2014/01/20/guest-blogging. (June 30, 2014.)
Grigg, Ally. “Google Goes After MyBlogGuest, SEO Marketers Protest.” https://www.nethosting.com/buzz/blog/google-goes-after-myblogguest-seo-marketers-protest/. (June 30, 2014.)