After frequent rumblings on the subject in the past couple of months, Google appears to be calling time on the validity of guest blogging as a search engine optimisation and link building strategy. It’s worth pointing out at this point that there are many other reasons both to guest blog and to publish guest bogs, but we’ll come to these later.

In a recent post on his blog entitled ‘The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO’, Google’s Head of Webspam, Matt Cutts, has effectively declared guest blogging dead as a linkbuilding practice.

In contrast to his previous blogs and videos on the subject, which suggested ways to make guest blogs more valid for an SEO purpose, Cutts made it absolutely clear that guest blogging for SEO and linkbuilding is now dead, at least as far as Google is concerned. This is evident in a number of soundbites from the piece:

  • “If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should stop.”

  • “Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”

  • “Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

Such definitive language can leave little doubt in the minds of business owners, SEO agencies and online copywriters that the jig is up as far as guest blogging for SEO is concerned.

What Google’s stance means for guest bloggers

While this represents a significant sea change for anyone who guest blogs as a way to promote their site, guest blogging is by no means a futile endeavour now. What it does mean is that you shouldn’t be pursuing it as a means of linkbuilding, and any links you include in your posts should be designated as ‘no follow’ (ie they won’t be followed by the search engine spiders and won’t affect your search rankings). As Cutts himself points out, “If the links are nofollowed, then they don’t affect PageRank, so it would be outside the scope of my team at that point.”

What it means for sites that accept guest blogging

This recent development also doesn’t mean that sites should stop accepting all guest blog posts. What it does mean is that they should only accept guest blogs from people whom they know and trust, and that they should ensure that posts are high quality, relevant and useful at all times.

Real reasons to guest blog

Guest blogging as a way of linkbuilding may be dead, but there are many other reasons to write guest posts:

  • Brand exposure

  • Authority building

  • Reaching out to a wider audience

Most importantly, guest blogging is a way of getting your voice out there and generating interest in who you are and what you have to offer.

For more information on the subject, why not take a look at our Guest Blogging page?

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