Google Says No More Guest Blogging – Are They Right?

targetedaudienceFor 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.

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9 Responses to "Google Says No More Guest Blogging – Are They Right?"

  1. E Brian Rose says:

    What are your thoughts on this article?

  2. Liudas says:

    I think Matt’s position comes completely from SEO perspective, that if you do guest blogging to build links to your blog and rank higher then it’s not good.

    But guest blogging to get visitors is still good, but you would probably want to go just for no-follow backlinks.

  3. Matt and Google need to STOP trying to be the internet police. Google will get theirs one day – they won't stay the top search engine/tool forever.

  4. Bill Platt says:

    Matt Cutts has never told us what we "need to know"…. He has only told us what Google thinks we should believe, so that they can end spam in their search results more easily….

    In this case, you are absolutely right to take EBR's advice and to ignore Matt Cutts' advice…. You should submit content to blogs as a guest poster to reach out to your target audience, period. And, Matt Cutts should take up kite flying. :)

  5. Jay Poole says:

    If people have to ask to guest blog they probably aren't much of an authority anyway so I guess it's more advice for web site owners to steer clear of unknown requests. Interesting that a more recent video from Matt Cutts indicates they may soon be changing the importance they place on the use of keywords in anchor text. He doesn't usually drop hints that big. A higher proportion of a specific keyword in anchor text = more an indication of authority. I guess Google sometimes create unwanted results/behaviours due to people acting in unison with something gleaned after a google update. Maybe with so many web site owners eradicating keyword rich anchor text links, they're having to try to put some context back before search results suffer. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfLaC325S6M#t=157

  6. I think guest blog does not spam because if you do it in a right you will still got lots benefit from it. If you follow organic SEO, you will never face trouble.

  7. Stan says:

    great post

  8. To be clear, Cutts is warning us to "steer away from low-quality guest blog posting", and referring to out-sourced, bare-minimum article spinning for link juice, and they're willing to penalize those who've ranked with spammy content.

    Original article here: http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/

  9. Chris Mollo says:

    Personally, when I post as a guest author, I am entirely interested in tapping into the traffic of the blog I am posting my article on. The link in my author bio ALWAYS goes back to one of my lead capture pages, as my motivation for guest blogging is solely to build a list of targeted leads, not get "link juice" for any of my websites. Furthermore, I have never relied on traffic from Google and I have managed to build a huge list of leads and build a six figure Internet Marketing business. Telling people to stop guest blogging is ridiculous. I would NEVER build an online business that relied on getting traffic from any search engine. Those people are way too fickle. All they want to say is "Do this" and Don't do this" and "This is OK" and now "This is not OK." I mean, who the hell knows what these people REALLY want anymore?

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