Guest Blogging Is No Longer An SEO Tactic – But Is It Still Important?

Laura Ginn

Photo by Ann Smarty
Photo by Ann Smarty

It’s only a few months since the man with the power, Matt Cutts, announced the end of the line for guest blogging. He made it very clear that this common practice was going to soon be known as a link building tactic of the past. As usual, some people took note, and some did not. Matt Cutts isn’t always absolutely to the point with his indications about the way Google looks at what we are producing, but when he is, it’s normally worth paying attention! Perhaps unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for a major guest blog network to get hit.

Google Strike

A month or so ago, Google announced that they had taken firm and decisive action against a large guest blog network, and although they didn’t go as far as to say who it was, it’s quite clear that My Blog Guest is the site in question. The site is now failing to rank for its own brand name, which is often a very direct indication of a site having been hit by a Google penalty. Search for ‘guest bloggers’, and it’s only visible in the paid search.

Do Or Don’t Follow?

This comes as absolutely no surprise to us, but we have to say that there’s a very obvious reason why this has happened – do follow links and spammy articles. The moment Matt Cutts announced that this was going to be the death of guest blogging as an SEO practice; it was obvious he was indicating that do follow links, strategically placed within blog posts for the benefit of either the writer of the post, or the recipient, are not what Google is looking for. Frankly, Matt Cuts didn’t even need to say this – it’s obvious. It goes against the grain of what Google is trying to encourage – natural and organic growth through great content and social sharing.  When the links were being accompanied by a poorly written blog post, and placed on a dropped domain or spam blog – well, it’s no surprise that we have ended up here.

Good Guest Posts Are Valuable – With A No Follow Tag

This is one of the main reasons why high quality bloggers, publishers and SEO companies have persisted with guest blogging – for the sake of guest blogging. Before people came along and saw an angle for a sold or bought link, guest blogging had an important part to play for the internet. Quite simply, a good guest post which has been produced for the right reasons is going to add value to any site for very organic reasons. You can provide your followers or your readership with different insights into your industry or business, and of course you can give a great guest blogger a fantastic platform for what they do. His or her followers are likely to encounter your site simply because they follow the blogger, so it’s still a great situation for your web position. Who knows, if you have a really fantastic blogger, you might find that his article goes viral, and you end up being the beneficiary of some great rewards.

We think that the best thing to do is to continue with guest blogging, but be sure to add a no follow tag to any link within the post. You are then clearly telling Google that you’re not looking for link juice – you just want to publish a great article for all the right reasons.