At some point on your journey towards building a web presence you will come across the term guest blogging. It is (or maybe I should say was) a fail safe way to get visitors to your website from other sites and to get a much coveted link too from what is hopefully a reputable site back to your own.

As always with something so good some spammers jumped onto it as a link building technique and have now turned it into something not so good because Matt Cutts recently announced, in his article “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”, that guest blogging will no longer be a great link building technique.

If you have been approached with an opportunity to add content to your site that sounds good (mainly because it saves you having to write anything!) and includes a couple of teeny-tiny links from your site to another one then you may be harbouring content that Google will now class as spam and they will smack your site hard for doing so.

If you do have that kind of content on your site (naughty) then you have been ignoring a very important factor that is always worth remembering and that is keep it QUALITY. If your site includes quality content then your standing within Google will be great and maybe they won’t smack you as hard.

In reply to Matt Cutts. . .

Copy Blogger urges us to: Build quality no matter what : Google fails as a search engine if it starts penalizing sites that deliver quality content just because that content happens to be in the form of a guest post. And we all fail as publishers if we follow a strategy of chasing hypothetical algorithm changes.”
Over at @pointblankseo Jon Cooper in his post “What to do after the guest blogging apocalypse” also reinforces the need for creating a high quality site first before you even consider tactics like guest blogging. He  recommends blending your link building tactics. Rather than rushing out and overdoing it on one or two link building tactics spread the love around a little and blend your approach.

My favourite Yoast replied to Matt Cutt’s announcement by telling us that branding is the new link building recommending we focus on building a brand and I agree. With my year-long hiatus over as of Monday this week and getting my head back in the game of local internet marketing this week, what will be different for Little Fish Media Company this time will be my efforts to build more of a brand. Visualisations abound in my head of people in business networks discussing their WordPress blog and local internet marketing strategies after attending my latest masterclass 🙂 – anyway, I digress.
It may seem like the whole area of guest blogging was thrown into the mix but that wasn’t the intention. There are quality guest blog posts written and adding to quality guest blogging sites, which hopefully won’t be penalised. 

On Guest Blog Poster Kevin W Phelps urges Google to “stop generalizing guest blogging and identify the real problem.” because the real problem is not effective and honest guest blogging but those who sacrifice quality in an effort to just get any old thing about there.

What now?

With everyone in a rush to be on the top spot of the search engines (a great place to be of course) as quickly as possible and doing whatever it takes, however dodgy it may be, the search engines have to take a stand and no one stands up to dodgy spammers better than Google does.
No doubt there is already another search engine optimisation tactic in its infancy about to hit the scene that everyone and his (or her) mother will jump on until it too is demolished by Google and ends up in a crumpled heap.

What can you do instead?  Well, most of the experts who took the time to reply to the announcement that guest blogging is on its way out didn’t talk about what to do about it, they focused more on saying don’t worry about it just continue building your high quality site with loads of great content and let everything happen naturally. Great advice IMHO.

Now, I’m wondering how long it will be before content creation is slapped about too, better keep a note of all those blog posts that link out to other people’s content like this one.