Friday, 24 January 2014

Google Gives Guest Blogging the Thumbs Down

In the same way that Google has targeted spammy backlinks, keyword stuffed prolific articles and content that is written just with rankings in mind, Google now has their eyes on guest blogging, which may be a blow to many.

To be clear, Google is not trying to stop multi-author blogs, nor authentic high quality guest bloggers who are invited to write for other websites offering entertaining insight and information and well written posts, but those who perceive guest blogging as just a way to get up the rankings and offer to pay for the opportunity. I'm sure that the line will be blurred with some blogs and Google may come down hard on some unfortunates who have done nothing wrong - blame those who have made guest blogging another form of black hat SEO.

Guest blogging has grown hugely in the past year or so, ever since Google started targeting other content strategies, so it's not really surprising that this is now happening.  Don't you, as I do, get endless emails from people asking if they can write a guest blog post for you to include a 'relevant' link or two within the copy (about the subject of your choice), and offering you some kind of recompense if you let them do so?  Avoid these like the plague.

Basically this is back to paying for backlinks - a spammy practice that Google has frowned on for a long time and as with any kind of paying for improvement in page rank may well get you penalized - so it's time to stop and really consider what you're doing.

This is unfortunate as there are many high quality guest blog posts being written, totally authentic, which are now going to get caught up in this mix, however as a strategy for SEO purposes it's not going to work any more, as the risk is that Google will pile all the guest blog posts into one 'we don't approve of this' pot, largely because of those who have scrabbled around looking for some other way to improve their rankings post Penguin and Panda.

Of course this comes back to you writing relevant content for your website, using keywords and phrases totally in line with your product and services, and which you know, from your research, your audience/customers are looking for.  Relevance is the key word for 2014.

Read more about this on Matt Cutts Blog

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