Is guest blogging for SEO dead? Google’s Matt Cutts calls time on ‘spammy practice’

22/01/2014

The popular practice of writing guest blog posts in the hope of boosting visibility on search engines has come under fire this week, with Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team, declaring the tactic as ‘done’.

Watch this video from Cutts explaining how to get the most out of blog posts here:

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In his personal blog, Cutts- often considered the key authority on Google’s SEO practices- said he “expects Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

The move has caused many in the industry to question whether Google is planning an algorithmic update that would impact guest blogging, in a similar way to the Pand update, that cracked down on content farms and duplicate content.

The blog begins: “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.”

He shows the following email as an example of bad practice:

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Cutts later explained “… 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.”

In response to a couple hundred comments on his post, and perhaps to the discussion on social media, Cutts has added some extra information clarifying the intent of his post. He says he’s not referring to “high-quality multi-author blogs” and that he added “for SEO” to the title of his post:

Cutts added to his post “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.”

Read Mat Cutts' blog in full here

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