Misinterpreting Matt Cutts – All Guest Blogging is Not Dead.
Urgh. I knew as soon as Matt Cutts launched that blog post (the decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO) that the floodgates would open and there would follow a shit storm of other blog posts declaring that guest blogging is dead, that we should all remove all of our previous posts and ultimately that anyone failing to do so would be the first in line for some form of decapitation when Google’s version of the Grim Reaper decides to round up the sinners and sort this shit out once and for all.
I haven’t removed a single post. Nor will I.
I’m not trying to bait some sort of rebuttal, piss anyone off or prove a point. I’ve just read what Matt Cutts wrote closely and have decided that continuing to contribute high quality, relevant, insightful editorial on other people’s websites and publications is a valid marketing technique.
Let’s look at the key points.
Matt Cutts called his post, “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.” For SEO.
He didn’t call it, “Everyone stop writing shit for other people’s sites or we’re going to remove all your visibility and kill your pets.”
The Added Clarification
Matt Cutts added to his post after publication:
It makes it clear that what Matt Cutts is talking about here is low quality content published on sites just for a back link. He makes it clear that there is a lot of additional value to be had from contributing to others’ websites.
Google Accepts Guest Posts
Check out http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/using-wrong-tracking-code-can-cost-you.html and http://analytics.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/google-analytics-dashboards-for-quick.html. The latter links to a Plus profile rather than a website, but so what? None have no-followed links. The key point here isn’t the links. THEY’RE BOTH GREAT POSTS and they’re genuinely useful for the people reading them. There’s way more than both authors have to gain than just the link.
And that, to me, is guest blogging done right.
Quality and Diversity
The emphasis is on quality. I’ve written about upping your game with guest blogging before and spoken about it a lot. If the only thing you are going to get out of a guest post is a link then what a waste of effort. It should be about branding, audience growth and adding some real value.
Multi author blogs (sites like Moz’s YouMoz, for example) are awesome when the moderation policy and policing of content quality is right. And Matt Cutts made it clear that he agreed with that.
So ultimately, what this should tell us is that once and for all, Google have again (albeit via Matt Cutts’ personal blog) made a statement of intent to deal with poor quality crap blog posting. But, this is 2014. I reckon many of us have been running quality centric search campaigns for years by now and I’d hazard a guess many of us will continue to contribute.
When I have a chance to contribute content to the Guardian, will I turn it down?! No chance. Or when I get a post approved on YouMoz, will I ask them to remove the links? No way. I’ll just continue to ensure content I’m publishing anywhere (whether here, on the Guardian or on any site I write for) is quality driven, offers something of use and isn’t just a thin piece of crap designed to get a cheeky link at the end of it.
The other point here is diversity. If your website doesn’t accrue links another way than through thin posts you’ve written for other people’s websites, then you’re on borrowed time. If you rely on any single tactic for 100% of your link building or online marketing techniques, then you’ve got a huge problem.
Guest blogging isn’t dead. But crap guest blogging is on its last legs.