- Posted February 23, 2014 by
The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO
Just sharing Matt Cutts blog that aims a reasonable and valid reasons to reconsider guest posts that regular site owners should be aware of the risks. Because of rapid rise of low-quality or spammy sites trying to build tons of links via guest blogging, SEO Philippines are beginning to be skeptical, and not everyone realizes that.
Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.
Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book. It’s not that way any more.
If you ignore the bad spacing and read the parts that I bolded, someone sent me a spam email offering money to get links that pass PageRank. That’s a clear violation of Google’s quality guidelines. Moreover, we’ve been seeing more and more reports of “guest blogging” that are really “paying for PageRank” or worse, “we’ll insert some spammy links on your blog without you realizing it.”
Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains. We’ve reached the point in the downward spiral where people are hawking “guest post outsourcing” and writing articles about “how to automate guest blogging.”
So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.
For historical reference, I’ll list a few videos and links to trace the decline of guest articles. Even back in 2012, I tried to draw a distinction between high-quality guest posts vs. spammier guest blogs:
Unfortunately, a lot of people didn’t seem to hear me say to steer away from low-quality guest blog posting, so I did a follow-up video to warn folks away from spammy guest articles:
In mid-2013, John Mueller gave spot on advice about nofollowing links in guest blog posts. I think by mid-2013, a ton of people saw the clear trend towards guest blogging being overused by a bunch of low-quality, spammy sites.
Then a few months ago, I took a question about how to be a guest blogger without it looking like paying for links (even the question is a clue that guest blog posting has been getting spammier and spammier). I tried to find a sliver of daylight to talk about high-quality guest blog posts, but if you read the transcript you’ll notice that I ended up spending most of the time talking about low-quality/spam guest posting and guest articles.
And then in this video that we posted last month, even the question itself predicted that Google would take stronger action and asked about “guest blogging as spam”:
So there you have it: the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people. Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.
Added: It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. 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. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. 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.
I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.
As per the above article, to sum up as well, if the links are nofollowed, then they don’t affect PageRank. A high-quality guest post with nofollowed links can still be a good way to get exposure, so no worries! Let's all GO for a natural search engine optimization, and still be careful whom you share your links.
The above article is a repost from Matt Cutts.