The death of guest blogging


Tyson Downs

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Yeah, I'm not a big fan of it. I'm not up for gaming the system or trying to provide spammy links simply for rankings.

However, I thought that Google was about providing value, the best search results, and a good user experience.

How does viewing a guest post by a dentist on an industry related health website NOT provide value? How is it spammy?

All Google is saying by this is: We can't figure out what the spammy blogs and posts are, so we will just count all blog posts that aren't on your own blog as spammy.

I like Matt quite a bit, I'm just at a loss with this blog post of his.
 

djbaxter

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However, I thought that Google was about providing value, the best search results, and a good user experience.

How does viewing a guest post by a dentist on an industry related health website NOT provide value? How is it spammy?
I don't know if you've been the recipient of submissions for guest posts but I have. My experience has been that they tend to be a lot of verbiage with little or no substance, which is pretty much what you'd expect from an "article" built around link-flogging.

I stopped even considering them a long time ago for that reason. I had several submissions and none of them were usable from a quality control standpoint.

Note that I (and Matt) am talking about unsolicited submissions to blog owners for SEO purposes, a practice that became popular following the death of article repositories. Requesting a guest post from an expert in your particular niche is a different matter entirely.
 

laurie

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I have to say that it has gotten harder and harder to find guest blogging opportunities, or maybe it's just the niche we are in. Maybe everyone has become wary of it.

So, what are the best ways to get backlinks now?
 

Tyson Downs

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Yes, I get emails all the time about it.

But to say that all guest blog opportunities are spammy and so they shouldn't be counted is just ridiculous.

Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Land

and countless others rely on guest blog posts. Those are hardly spammy, and shouldn't be looked at as such.

I'm not gonna win the battle, just expressing some minor frustrations.

There. Hopefully I'm done. :)
 

djbaxter

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Tyson I was adding this clarification to my post above while you were responding:

Note that I (and Matt) am talking about unsolicited submissions to blog owners for SEO purposes, a practice that became popular following the death of article repositories. Requesting a guest post from an expert in your particular niche is a different matter entirely.
 

djbaxter

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I have to say that it has gotten harder and harder to find guest blogging opportunities, or maybe it's just the niche we are in. Maybe everyone has become wary of it.

So, what are the best ways to get backlinks now?
Good content with something truly unique to offer, something that other people are going to want to quote or cite.
 

Tyson Downs

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I don't know that Matt was saying that. Yes he referenced a solicitation he got, BUT, he clearly said:

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

In the article he didn't mention that just unsolicited submission to blog owners would be bad. Blog Posting is what he said. How would Google know if a blog post is added because it is unsolicited or not? Google doesn't know if Tom, a HVAC contracting Company owner is sending out inquiries as to whether he can be featured on their blog, or if he was reached out to.

To add to that, many sites have something along the lines of: Become a Contributor. How does that affect things?
 

djbaxter

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I don't know that Matt was saying that. Yes he referenced a solicitation he got, BUT, he clearly said:

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

In the article he didn't mention that just unsolicited submission to blog owners would be bad. Blog Posting is what he said. How would Google know if a blog post is added because it is unsolicited or not? Google doesn't know if Tom, a HVAC contracting Company owner is sending out inquiries as to whether he can be featured on their blog, or if he was reached out to.

To add to that, many sites have something along the lines of: Become a Contributor. How does that affect things?
That's the key:

if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop
When a blog the stature of those you mention invite a post from an acknowledged "expert" in that niche, the "expert" is not writing the post for backlinks. It's done (1) for the honor of doing it, (2) for "fame", or (3) for the public good, or all three. I've done a few of those in my time too and backlinks weren't even in the picture.

And as I said above, the difference between an invited post and a submitted post is typically blindingly obvious...
 

Tyson Downs

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Thanks for the feedback.

Blindly obvious? I'm not sure.

Check out this guest blog post I had at Zopim.

I wasn't invited. But i saw they accepted guest posts. They read through my material, and they wanted me to post. I now have another guest post for them scheduled.

Did I do it for backlinks? Partially.

I did it for other reasons as well.

Matt's article made it seem as if stuff such as this is spammy and won't be tolerated in the future....
 

djbaxter

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I can't see a post with substance such as the one in your example every being "penalized", and I really don't think that's what Matt Cutts was warning against.

Quality isn't all that difficult to spot, really. It's a bit more difficult to quantify for algorithmic filtering but that's why guys like Matt Cutts get the big bucks. :)
 

djbaxter

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More from Matt Cutts Clarifies Guest Blogging for SEO (with tips) | Search Engine Journal:

Here at SEJ we get 20+ of these same type pitches daily. It’s annoying. We are a site that run by guest bloggers though we’ve tightened up our guidelines to only accept the best posts out there. I, much like Cutts is really getting sick of all the crap out there. Cutts later explained “… stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.”

So if you don’t get what he’s talking about. If you’re willing to have someone blog on your blog for you, they better produce good content and be a credible person. You’re staking your reputation and the reputation of your blog on them. I’d imagine that it will harm your blog/website if you have crappy content or crappy authors on it.

Moving Forward
First, SEO isn’t dead. Guest posting isn’t dead. Our lives aren’t over. If guest posting was your main strategy for getting SEO links, you may want to re-evaluate what you’re doing. Guest posting is NOT dead and can be a very good source of links, but more importantly interactions that drive REAL people to your site. Create amazing content and links that will help inspire people by it’s content. That’s what’ll really help your SEO. That type of SEO will never die.
 

djbaxter

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More from Matt Cutts himself:

Added: It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.


I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.


I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.
 

Phil Rozek

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If people need guidelines from Google / Matt Cutts on guest-blogging, it?s probably better that they stay away from it.

I?ve written 3 guest posts in my life - all 3 for Darren?s blog. The only guest post I?ve ever had on my blog was by Colan (and that was my idea). In all cases there were commonsense reasons for them to be guest posts - and links wasn?t one of those reasons.

There was also a norm: 97% of the posts associated with me are posts that I've written on my own blog. If my blog wasn?t ?home base? for me - if I was a nomadic blogger-for-hire - then those posts would have been worthless to everyone.

If guest-blogging on a small scale doesn?t help you, it?s not going to help you (or anyone else) at all.

---------- Post Merged at 06:02 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 06:00 PM ----------

But to say that all guest blog opportunities are spammy and so they shouldn't be counted is just ridiculous.

Search Engine Journal
Search Engine Land

and countless others rely on guest blog posts. Those are hardly spammy, and shouldn't be looked at as such.
Point taken, but SEL is an exception. There's a high editorial bar. Search Engine Journal, on the other hand, sucks.
 

JoshuaMackens

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Guys, you just need to accept the fact that our industry as a whole is not something Google wants to be around. Anything considered "link building" is gaming the system. Whether you think it's white-hat or black-hat doesn't matter. If you are building links, you're trying to game the system, pure and simple, and that's the truth, you can't run from it.

Google doesn't want you to game the system. They want you to leave the internet alone and let it evolve on its own. Which would actually probably make search quality soar if people quit trying to build backlinks and that's the truth also.

So, you have two options:

1) quit SEO
2) accept the reality that you're gaming the system and violating Google's policies

I hate to be that blunt but the writing on the wall was there long ago. Many people predicted Google coming down hard on guest blogging. Many white-hat enthusiasts said that would never happen.

Yet here we are.
 

laurie

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Guys, you just need to accept the fact that our industry as a whole is not something Google wants to be around. Anything considered "link building" is gaming the system. Whether you think it's white-hat or black-hat doesn't matter. If you are building links, you're trying to game the system, pure and simple, and that's the truth, you can't run from it.

Google doesn't want you to game the system. They want you to leave the internet alone and let it evolve on its own. Which would actually probably make search quality soar if people quit trying to build backlinks and that's the truth also.

So, you have two options:

1) quit SEO
2) accept the reality that you're gaming the system and violating Google's policies

I hate to be that blunt but the writing on the wall was there long ago. Many people predicted Google coming down hard on guest blogging. Many white-hat enthusiasts said that would never happen.

Yet here we are.
So is it truly all about having quality content on your own site now?
 

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