Google appears to be making good on its statement that using guest blogging as a link strategy is a bad idea. Matt Cutts, head of Webspam made that statement in a post on January 20, 2014. In it he 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.”
So what happened? Weren’t guest blogs supposed to be a good thing?
First off, a guest blog is a submission you write with the intent to appear on someone else’s blog. This was used as a way to get the word out about the topic. Much in the same way a guest editorial works in a newspaper. For example, a writer might want to include a post about content strategies for SEO on our blog at PikesPeakSEO.com. Most guest blog posts come with a brief description explaining who the author is with a link to their site for more information. Think of it as an electronic byline. You could also link to the guest post from your own site in order to build a more powerful linked-to page.
This appears to be a classic example of too much of a good thing being bad. From Google’s perspective the practice of using guest blog posts as an SEO link building strategy has been abused. Cutts states, “We’ve reached the point in the downward spiral where people are hawking guest post outsourcing and writing articles about how to automate guest blogging.”
Now they are starting to punish sites that have too many guest blogs and are trying to “game the system”, in Google’s opinion. The industry concern is that this is a somewhat subjective judgment. The result has been legitimate authors and guest bloggers are asking for their links to be removed as a precaution.
If the goal is to provide useful content for a similar audience, guest blogging is still a good idea. Cutts adds, “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.”