Guest blogging was once a respected way to receive valuable insights from reputable sources. In some cases, it still can be. However, the practice of guest blogging for SEO and link building purposes has become increasingly spammy over time and is no longer a recommended source of links.
In Matt Cutts’ recent article, he references four sequential videos of his thoughts on guest blogging that depict the decline of the practice in the eyes of Google. In each video, he answers user-submitted questions which seem to shift from viewing guest blogging in a positive light to a negative light. The second video in the sequence dated November 2012 already mentions some spammy usage of the tactic.
It’s clear that guest blogging has become overwhelmingly spammy. Does that now mean that all guest blogging will come across as spam? Cutts’ article had originally sounded adamant about stopping SEO-related guest blogging completely. After publishing this post, there was an uproar of concerns from the SEO community and Cutts had to clarify that there are still some good reasons to guest blog. The key takeaway is that guest blogging can still be beneficial; however the main goal should be more closely aligned with exposure, community, or relationships rather than a link back to your website.
One SEO copywriter believes that guest blogging isn’t dead and argues that every successful SEO tactic has spammers who use the tactic poorly and are therefore penalized by Google. For instance, keyword targeting is a core aspect of SEO content strategies. Unfortunately, many sites have keyword stuffed content and meta tags. Does their overuse of keywords on a single page make the whole practice of keyword targeting spammy? Of course not – well thought out and relevant keyword placement will be rewarded while spam is penalized. This will be the same principle that applies to guest blogging.
On the whole, guest blogging is not completely obsolete yet. However, there are key precautions that webmasters and marketers involved with the tactic should take. It is highly recommended that nofollow links are implemented on guest posts that they have previously posted and potentially remove any lower quality posts. In addition, any high quality guest posting done in the future should be with someone you can personally vouch for or are certain the site is an authoritative media source. A comprehensive breakdown of the matter from SearchEngineWatch contains all of the information you need in a post-guest blogging as an SEO tactic era.