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the fall of the guest post in 2014

fall of the guest post

Recently Matt Cutts, from the web spam team at Google, has revealed he feels that guest blogging for link-building in 2014 is a form best left well alone. 

Why?

As he elaborated in a recent blog post "Guest blogging is done...I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well." - True, bogging up your own site (or your employer's) with irrelevant, poorly written posts, will certainly do nothing for your cause aside from bore your potential customers or irritate your boss. However, is it really wise to tar the whole practice with the same brush? On the whole, we’d say not. Matt talks about receiving an email offering, essentially, links to increase page rank for money and talks about it as a break of Google's quality guidelines. Needless to say, this is definitely the wrong approach. However, from where we’re standing, the principle isn't the problem: the content and relevancy/irrelevancy is the problem. 

As SEOs, we know how the cycle goes whenever a new technique appears: first it starts off as being 'the new sliced bread', before moving towards 'the accepted norm' and finally reaching 'everyone's doing it, to the extent that it’s become automated.' After that, the technique is pilloried by Google and articles start appearing all over the web condemning it. However, as far as we can tell, there’s always been a slight difference between what Google say, and what they do. In the end, guest posting remains a viable way to obtain links, but here’s the key: the content has got to be seriously, seriously good. If it’s good enough to the extent that people might actually read it and pass it on, then the fact that it’s taken form as a guest post is hardly a capital crime. Essentially - if it isn't spammy, it isnt spam!

Ultimately, good, relevant, well-written content will always be a good thing. That’s the whole point. The key question is and will always be this: are you adding value to the lives of your readers? If the answer to this is yes, then we’d put a fair bet that you’ve probably got nothing to worry about. In fact, if you’re good enough you might well get people actually asking you to contribute to their websites, and that’s cool too.

As the old adage goes: don’t hate the player, hate the game! There are those out there that continue to create mind-expanding, brilliant articles that really make the reader stop and think. And yes, sometimes those author bios might have a little link back to the writer’s own website. There’s nothing really wrong with that, as long as it’s not done too sneakily. As long as you’re open and honest that the content is yours, and your website is here, then what’s the problem?

Photo Credit: Sean MacEntee via Compfight cc 18th of March 2014 By Simon

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