Earlier this year in 2014, Matt Cutts, who is the head of the web spam team at Google headquarters, proclaimed that guest blogging would no longer have any importance. This news sent jitters down the SEO community. Guest blogging though does still have a role to play according to search engine marketers although it is not going to follow the link building strategy going forward.
The role of quality content has increased more than ever before with the Google update
Guest blogging revolves around a simple concept. The guest post is basically an article which is on a blog that is not their own. But Cutts did mention that multi-author blog like Boing Boing where content is pooled from a variety of authors can work well.
Contrary to the opinion that guest blogging is an evil thing; many SEO experts believe that guest blogging will survive albeit in different avatars. What Matt Cutt implied was that guest blogging was being abused by scrupulous Internet marketers. There was value attached to getting a link from high quality sites and guest blogging was one of the ways to get those links.
But since most people start paying for large guest blog posts, the quality of the guest post was violated it crosses the line and became a tactic that violates Google’s terms of service. Buying links is clearly frowned upon. And Google will no doubt do whatever they can to penalize those who cross the line.
Quality websites and blogs still represent an excellent source of referral traffic
With SEO, most tactics have been abused and this has landed various sites and vendors in trouble. But if you are careful, one would always be thinking about the long-term impact and even be mindful to stay clear of manipulating search results. With such an approach, search engine marketers can likely continue and stay clear of pandas and penguins or any other updates that Google throws at us.
However, it does not mean that guest blogging would not be a good strategy for SEO.
Although the SEO tactic has been declared dead but it can still function as a valuable tool for companies who are willing to share knowledge with the rest of the world. Keyword targeting and link building are much abused in the SEO world since years now, which has prompted the Google staff to avoid guest blogging altogether. Actually, the move is used to counter the spam, which has entered SEO tactics. Google has tweaked its algorithm to penalize sites, which abuses the methods of keyword targeting and link building. But still, links will continue to be a valuable technique for most SEO strategists if they continue to use the tactic within limits.
Google can never differentiate guest blog posts from other articles
Also it is almost impossible for Google to differentiate a guest blog post from other articles, which means that which Google cannot identify, is sure to go without being penalized. Guest blogging is also going to survive since it has always proved to be a great way of marketing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the use of guest posts on other people’s blogs since companies can get exposure to new people and new markets. Additionally, the strategy builds credibility and most likely to get you new customers.
No threat to multi-blog authoring, says Cutts
Cutts came out with an update to his assertion that guest blogging is dead that said that guest blogging had inherent value. He cleared up saying that he was talking about penalizing guest blogging and not multi-author blogs as was presumed initially.Of course, Google has taken up measures to avoid the threat of spam through guest posts. The Internet giant has started to penalize large guest blogging networks including My Blog Guest, which were out of the search results in a jiffy.
Building relationship with publishers is important along with quality content
Going forward, guest blogging is sure to survive as a viable technique for online marketing but one should consider whether the strategy is good enough as per Google rules. Quality content is still essential and contextual search results are going to check the quality more than the typical keywords used in general posts. Relationship with publishers is essential in the long run for the success of good SEO strategies. The post should provide value even if there is a link or not. Additionally, the blog post is expected to be relevant to where it is going to be posted online.
Google has taken measures to reduce spam techniques. But if posts are written in the right way, there is no reason why one should fear the use of guest posts or any other strategy, which are occasionally abused by others.
Conclusion: According to the new Google algorithm, there have been varied changes in the way Google goes through search mechanism. Contextual search is in and supposedly guest blogging is out. But does it still make sense in the future? What say you?
image credit: circussocial.com