Matt Cutts is a software engineer that heads the web spam team at Google that’s responsible for improving search quality.
In other words, he’s the guy everyone wants to talk to about search engine optimization.
When you’re the one who determines good links over bad links, you should know which SEO practices and link building methods are most valuable.
In January of 2014 Matt published a blog post on the decay and fall of guest blogging. He speaks about how guest blogging has become heavily spammed and has lost its respect. He even advises webmasters to be done with guest blogging and stop accepting posts unless you have a personal relationship with the author.
Matt’s opinion on guest blogging is clear. He’s seen it overrun by spammers simply trying to get their 100% unique articles on high PR blogs to get their rankings up. It has become another low quality link building tactic that doesn’t meet Google’s quality guidelines. It has decayed and is no longer the authentic approach to building a business that it once was.
Does this mean Guest Blogging is really Dead?
The legitimate reasons for guest posting such as building your brand, gaining exposure, increasing reach and building a community are still present.
Matt discussed this in his blog post and addressed the fact that bloggers using guest posts for these reasons, rather than SEO, are still having success and benefiting from guest blogging.
Guest blogging isn’t bad for SEO. Don’t let Matt fool you.
What has happened is guest blogging has developed a bad image and it has merged into a link building tactic, which is what Google doesn’t want SEO to be viewed as.
In a sense, guest blogging has become bad for SEO because it’s misleading webmasters into thinking guest posts are great links and that’s why they are so valuable. The real benefits of guest posting, branding and exposure, is starting to become secondary and this is when good SEO practices turn into bad ones.
If you’re only posting on high PR blogs that can benefit your rankings, then you’re doing it purely for SEO purposes and are neglecting its real potential. Google used to value guest posting really highly when it wasn’t abused and mistreated for links.
Consider using no follow on your Blog’s Guest Posts
One way to protect your own blog from link spam is to use the no follow attribute on links.
Link spammers are after do follow links that pass Page Rank. They typically don’t chase no follow links and are unlikely to write a guest post for you if the link is no followed.
Nofollowing links is a good way to weed out the spam and accept only legitimate guest posts from bloggers that are not trying to manipulate Google, but simply expand their audience.
Build your Brand and Gain Exposure
Guest posts are excellent for building your brand, getting traffic and gaining exposure online. That’s what they are known for. They aren’t known for links. Getting a link from a site you guest post on should only be viewed as a benefit, it’s not the sole purpose for guest blogging.
When you write a guest post, think of it as a promotional tool. How can you reach your audience in a way they haven’t been reached before? What can you do to really grab their attention and captivate the reader with your content? The better your articles are, the better your results will be with guest posting.
Don’t Pitch a Guest Post Requesting a Link
If you’ve gained anything from this article, it should be that guest posting for links is bad. Matt will tell you it’s bad, I’ll tell you it’s bad, and there’s thousands of spammy sites to showcase that it’s bad. Just don’t do it.
When you contact a blog and pitch a guest post, don’t request a link in your intial pitch. The link is not what you care about. The exposure and the potential to reach their audience with your content is where the money’s at.
Once the article is published, if the blog hasn’t credited you with a link, you can ask for one, but even then you shouldn’t make it obvious it’s for SEO. A link is useful to drive traffic and give the reader a way to explore your site.
Don’t get caught up building your website to get ranked on search engines. Top rankings take time and they can’t be obtained through low quality links. The best way to build a credible link profile that will keep your site at the top of the search engines is to forget about link building altogether. Focus on legitimate outreach and the links will follow.
Author Bio: Dylan is the owner of CopyThrive, where internet marketing thrives. Their free guides on website marketing are excellent resources for today’s entrepreneurs.