Adapting to the Future of Guest Posting

Matt-CuttsGoogle has become a formidable empire, what with their dominance of the online search market, not to mention innovative technologies like Google glass, the self-driving car, and Project Loon (balloon-powered internet for everyone, or a literal sky-net, if you will). So it’s no surprise that when Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, issues a post entitled “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO”, people perk up and take notice. It was the fork-stick heard round the world, and everyone from bloggers and guest writers to businesses and SEO companies felt as if Cutts had just stuck a fork in their gut. But before you toss your guest-posting strategy in the trash, you might want to take a moment to read between the lines. In case you haven’t heard, guest posting is alive and well. And despite Cutts’ dire proclamation, the truth is that Google can’t survive without it.

The problem is not so much guest blogging as bad guest blogging. The introduction of Google Panda and Penguin, not to mention the advent of nofollow linking tags, has really put a crimp in the works for spammy, black-hat linking schemes. But not all guest posts fall under this category. In fact, what Cutts is railing against is the use of poor quality content as nothing more than a vehicle for inbound links, a practice that has to some degree been dealt with in recent years thanks to Google’s changing algorithms. What Google wants, is to provide their customers with the best possible service, like any good business. And when commercial interests push links in order to gain page rank, artificially increasing their standing with search engines without bothering to provide the instructional, entertaining, and engaging content viewers are seeking, they’re messing with Google’s business. We get it!

However, quality content plays right into Google’s hands, whether it comes from a guest post and contains links or not. If a user searches for information on a topic, Google wants them to find the best, newest, and most informative content on the web. Do you think they’re going to complain if that content happens to appear on a reputable site and provides valuable content and links, just because it was written by a guest and the links are paid for? Well, they might. But it wouldn’t be in their best interest and Matt Cutts is no doubt aware of this dichotomy, which is why he said companies using guest blogging for links should “probably” stop. He knows full well that this practice is not going to stop. But he wants to let people know that poor quality and linking schemes are not acceptable. In truth, this type of guest posting isn’t good for anyone; not Google, not their users, not the blogs that feature them, and certainly not the businesses that push them.

But guest posting is far from dead. Just consider all of the benefits to be gained from guest blogging when it’s done right. The blogs themselves get valuable content that keeps readers coming back, and satisfied readers receive the information and entertainment they’re seeking. Good writers get paid to do what they love, companies get the exposure they need and the chance to connect with consumers seeking their goods and services, and the guest posting service that offers quality assurance throughout the process takes the burden off businesses to learn the inner workings of online media management. Even Google profits from the process because they’re able to direct their users to the content that best matches their search queries. In short, everybody wins when guest posting is done right.

The trick is to make sure that the guest posts you provide meet high standards for caliber of writing, as well as content that is timely, original, informative, and engaging. Blogs that are riddled with spammy links and spun content will not survive the wrath of Google, as evidenced by their obvious scare tactics. But to put a stop to guest posting entirely would be to shoot themselves in the foot. And Google didn’t get as big as they are by giving up a good thing.

About Sarah Harris

Sarah Harris (or Guest Post Girl) is one of the leading authorities in the world of guest posting. She has worked with some of the biggest brands, agencies, and industry leaders to improve their rankings and enhance their overall online presence.

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