The End of Guest Blogging is Here…or Not

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If you follow SEO news as religiously as we do (which, let’s be honest, probably isn’t the case), you may have seen this interesting piece about guest blogging penned by our friend Matt Cutts last week. In case you didn’t click on that link, the article is titled “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO”; and, if you read that and had your heart stop—just a little—don’t worry; you are not alone.

Once again, the entire SEO community was thrown on its head for a second as bloggers everywhere began prematurely mourning the loss of guest blogging as we know it. How will we get links from authoritative blogs now? How do we continue our quest towards content marketing domination? In the case of spammers, what will they do with all their free time now that they can’t spend it writing, spinning, and posting random low-quality blog articles?
 

Is this Really the End?

Well, as is always the case, it turns out that reaction was just a little unjustified, except for spammers. Moments later, as the outcry spread across the blogosphere, Cutts released a revision to his statement (tacked on to the end of his article) which dialed the SEO death alert level back from Red to Green. Turns out, he wasn’t calling for the end of guest blogging at all and it was just a big misunderstanding! 🙂

In reality, he was calling for the end of spammy practices such as low-quality blog farms, and guest blog posts. You see? It’s all going to be okay. And yet…when you read his article—even with the addition—there does seem to be a fair amount of gloom and doom concerning guest blogging; so, what are we supposed to make of this situation? What is the true fate of guest posts for SEO?

Well, that’s precisely what I am here to help clear up.
 

Do it the Right Way

What you really need to do, regardless of what Matt Cutts seems to be saying here, is not stop guest posting altogether, but stay away from the spammy practices so many seem prone to gravitate towards nowadays. Don’t just write some garbage and start sending it out to low quality sites and SEO link farms; that may have worked long ago, but it doesn’t anymore. I’ve said it before (quite a few times, actually) and I’ll say it again: there is no value in low quality spam in today’s search engine optimization world. And, whether you like it or not, this is only getting truer with each passing day.

Of course, that isn’t to say that guest posting is dead altogether. In fact, in my opinion, this just makes guest posting done the right way a much more powerful tool in the long run. Instead of sending out garbage, take some time to write a truly quality article, one that respected and established blogs will see as bringing actual value to their site. And yes, include a link in that post. Not only will you get more articles accepted that way, you also will be receiving backlinks from the kind of sites you actually want to be associated with! This makes that post and link more valuable than you’ll ever receive with spammy blog post practices (you’ll also avoid incurring the wrath of any current or future Google penalties, something we can all get onboard with).
 

3 Simple Rules to Follow When Guest Blogging

Just to make things a little bit easier in your guest posting endeavors, here are a few simple rules that should help you when guest blogging in the post-“Matt Cutts says guest blogging is dead” world; doing so might save you some grief in the long run:

  1. Write about what you Know: Whether you research for hours about your topic, or you’ve been working in that field for years and you know what you’re talking about, always make sure your guest post is coming from (at least what seems like) an expert source. English teachers say it all the time, but writing what you know really does ensure higher quality and value, which is precisely what you should be going for when writing a guest post.
  2. Keep your Posts Long and Informative: It’s easy to fake a short article with generalizations; but, simply put, you aren’t trying to fake it here. You want to treat this blog post like one that you would put on your own website, so make absolute sure your guest post is long and detailed. Readers enjoy this—particularly in technical verticals—as do blog owners and search engines.
  3. Write something that People Actually Want to Read: This is probably the hardest part of guest posting you’ll encounter; nonetheless, it is crucial, and something that you simply cannot ignore. Blog owners aren’t looking for posts that have been written 100,000 times before (and with better quality); they are looking for something that either is truly creative, hasn’t been touched on, is a different viewpoint on a trending topic. These are the articles that have true value for their readers, and thus—in many cases—will be the only articles they accept; after all, their goal is to attract views, and posting interesting articles does precisely that.

So brush up on your grammar, use your expertise in your vertical, do some research on what people are searching/interested in right now, and get writing; these are the best ways to get a blog owner to post your article and to receive quality exposure to expand your brand. Guest blogging isn’t dead, and Matt Cutts wasn’t saying that it’s going to be dead anytime soon. As he notes, he’s not taking a baby with bathwater approach; guest blogging, in his eyes, is still good in many cases and shouldn’t be done away with completely. What he is doing, however, is calling for the death of spammy blog posting, and that’s something we can definitely agree with.

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