For the past decade, bloggers and authors have been encouraged to use a technique called “guest blogging” to get their content out to more sets of eyeballs, but a recent statement from Google’s Matt Cutts is advising the opposite.
According to a Forbes.com article, guest blogging “refers to finding other blogs in your niche and offering them content to post”. The online article goes on to say, “The webmaster gets high quality, original content to grow their blog and readership. In return, you get exposure to their audience to build your brand, links back to your site, and the chance to build a relationship with a leader and publisher in your space.”
That Forbes advice from 2013 has been echoed throughout the Internet for years. It makes sense: grow your audience by seeking similar audiences to publish to. However, a recent blog post by Matt Cutts, head of the webspam team at Google, says otherwise.
Cutts says that over time, the practice of guest blogging has become “spammy” and flat out advises that you “should probably stop”. He goes on to make the provocative statement, “if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”
Cutts clarifies that his recomendation of not making guest blog posts does not cross over to multi-author blog sites. He says, “High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.”
It’s hard to see advice, like this, from the man known as “Mr. Google” and not take it, but there are a number of us that believe Google traffic is not the end-all-be-all of building an online audience. Some of us see a lot of value in carefully placed articles on blog sites that have an audience you want or need to tap into. And while Google is hesitant to say this, tapping into a targeted audience can be much more valuable than cold traffic from search results.
Another article on Forbes compares a three minute segment on CNN, a 1,000 word op-ed in the New York Times, and a guest post on Tim Ferriss’ blog site. Guess which one won, hands down. If you said the guest post on Tim’s blog, you would be correct.