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Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, posted a pretty clear death knell to guest blogging as a link strategy yesterday. Here’s what 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.

Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book. It’s not that way any more.

If you’re like me, you get several requests for submitting guest blog posts each month, and most of those are from people halfway across the world in businesses only vaguely related to what you do. They’re sending the same request to hundreds and hundreds of others, each just as vaguely related. These spammers have given guest blogging a bad name–so much so that Google is now discounting guest blogs in ranking weight.

So if your SEO strategy includes guest blogging, you’ll need to rethink that. There’s really no way to shortcut publishing high-quality, original content that people will naturally share and link to.

Now, of course I need to clarify my headline, which I admit was intended to be a bit melodramatic. Guest blogging for SEO purposes is dead. But if you’re guest blogging because you want to improve your recognition as an expert in your field, or if you want to feature a guest blogger on your site because you think that person and what they have to say is awesome, then it’s a great strategy.

 

photo credit: TomvdW

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