Another SEO/link building strategy is being pronounced dead and we are only in the first month of 2014. Although saying that guest blogging has been pronounced dead or dying many times in 2013 as well, so what are we to believe in 2014?
You’ll probably already know my thoughts on those people who proclaim “SEO is dead” and have been saying that for years. TOTAL LOAD OF RUBBISH! And I rarely pay any attention to anyone who genuinely states “SEO is dead” but that is another blog post altogether.
However with Google aggressively looking to ‘kill’ SEO tactics that aim to manipulate the search engine rankings, I do have to pay attention when someone like Matt Cutts is declaring something dead. Let’s be honest with ourselves, if you are trying to rank highly for a specific keyword or phrase, you ARE trying to manipulate the search engine ranking positions. Even if you have the best intentions of producing quality, useful content and are operating within Google Webmaster Guidelines.
I’m not sure if I have come across any link building strategy that hasn’t been declared dead by some ‘SEO Expert’ or another. Using Infographics for link building is ‘dead’, article marketing is ‘dead’, directory submissions are ‘dead’, broken link building is ‘dead’, whitepapers are ‘dead’, press releases are ‘dead’, forum and blog commenting is ‘dead’, link baiting is ‘dead’, some of this is true and some is most definitely an exaggeration of the truth. So what is left for link building? Guest blogging?
So, do I believe Guest Blogging is dead?
Short answer, NO!
Just like I don’t believe using Infographics and whitepapers are dead, and dare I say it press releases still have their place (when used in the right way for the right reasons).
But how can Guest Blogging live on when the mighty Matt Cutts has stated that Big G is looking at ways to devalue/ penalise websites that are using guest blogging as a way to build links?
It is important to pay attention to the details of Matt’s comments rather than taking everything so literally that every form of link building is dead!
What is Google really after, QUALITY, QUALITY AND MORE QUALITY.
Matt Cutts has commented saying “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.”
The emphasis here is on “spammy”, just like any link building tactic that improves search engine rankings, guest blogging is open to abuse and as soon as it becomes something that can easily be scaled with low quality content being published on lots of sites it becomes spammy and is something that goes straight on Matt Cutts and his spam team’s radar.
If you are going to guest blog then quality is the key. Write quality content that is useful for the readers of the blog, write for quality genuine websites and blogs. If you are not prepared to accept the article being published with no-follow links, then it probably isn’t the sort of quality website you want to be associated with anyway.
If a blog has poor or no editorial control steer well clear, I know this may be difficult, if it is easy to get an article published it is very tempting to use the site just for a link, I know this and have been guilty of this myself, but think about it, if they are publishing your content, good or bad, they will no doubt be publishing lots of other low quality content, and it is only a matter of time before Google picks up on this and penalises them and you for this.
As long as you know you are not producing spammy content for the web, you’re not writing content for blogs that only exist for SEO purposes and you are publishing content that will interest and engage people then guest blogging will live on and offer multiple benefits. If you are just doing it for a do-follow link with the sole reason of trying to rank better on Google, you should probably stop and rethink your SEO strategy and if you are relying on guest blogging as your sole link building tactic it’s definitely time for you to rethink your SEO strategy, diversity is the key. Google wants to see genuine, quality and natural links from varied sources not over-optimised spammy one.