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Is this the End of Guest Blogging?… Not for Me!

The ‘almighty’ Matt Cutts swung his mighty sword today (his words) and took at slash at the guest blogging industry which has been asking for a much needed smack in the face.  The biggest change in the industry right now?… Simply everyone talking about the blog post that Matt Cutts released on his blog.

Will there be changes in the world of guest blogging? Sure… but probably not enough will change as a “whole” to make much of a difference. Some sites will be made examples of, but unethical and bad link building practices still happen today, so guest blogging might get a slap on the wrist, but it’s really not going anywhere any time soon.

I look at guest blogging a lot like gun control, and the picture below pretty much sums it up.

gun free zones

In this scenario we would consider that “guns” are “guest blog posts” and that criminals are the freelance writers and agencies pushing paid links through their content. Site owners are going to run things as they always have and there are always going to be bloggers and site owners that have sites and are willing to sell links for a quick buck.

Putting the smack down on guest blogging might help this a bit, but anyone who really wasn’t aware of what these “paid” guest posts were doing in the first place, really shouldn’t be considered legitimate business sites.

Matt Cutts Makes Himself Heard

If you didn’t get a chance to read Cutts’ mega blog post on the apocalypse of guest blogging, you can check it out here. In short he had the following to say:

“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.”

For more of us, this is nothing new. It’s about time Google addressed the situation, as every over night SEO agency and freelancer has been cashing in on this tactic for a while now and ruining good blogs and web sites in the process.

However if you are currently using guest blogging as a means to promote your brand or generate content for yourself, you don’t need to run to the corner and cry about the destruction of your business. Google makes changes all the time and internet marketers are all about adjusting to the situation.

More than anything else, Matt Cutts is referring to the garbage guest blogging content that has been making it’s way around the internet for the past several years. This is the outsource 500 word minimum article that has one purpose… getting a back link to another web site at the end of the article.

We’ve all seen it before… “Fire the air quotes!

Air Quotes

This guest post was written by Steven Jacobs, who loves
writing about swimming with dolphins and home mortgages.

In this example, of course one of the high profile keywords such as “home mortgages” would link back to the person’s site that is paying for the distribution of this article. The advertiser gets a link, the freelance writer gets a marginal portion and the site posting the article is either compensated or is receiving “content” for their site.

These tactics of guest blogging will probably come to an end, but as we say time and time again… “Quality Content is King” – multi-author and crowd sourced based sites like BoingBoing, Mashable, Technorati and Forbes are going to continue building out their content with non-paid writers who are looking to build a name for themselves and still deliver quality.

5 Reasons Why I Will Still Guest Blog!

While the rest of the internet is talking about how guest blogging is dead and gone, the guest bloggers that have a proven track record and brand of their own will continue to run business as always. I’ver personally guest blogged on well over 100 different sites, and I will continue to write guest post on various sites as long as I am requested to.

Why?… because it’s all about the BRAND baby!

Its All About the Brand

1 – I’m not trying to place garbage links within my content
2 – Guest blogging allows me to connect with whole new audiences
3 – Quality blogs are always going to appreciate quality writers
4 – With every guest post I write, I gain new readers and site visitors
5 – My guest articles are a reflection of my personal brand and business

For these reasons alone I will continue to guest blog on various sites and respond to any and all interview requests that I receive. This is how I’ve always run my business and will continue to do so forever. I don’t care about the backlink, the size of your blog or where the majority of your readers are from… I care about the user engagement and reaching new people every day.

With these same principles in mind, Matt Cutts later added the following quote to his blog to make a notice to everyone that legitimate guest blogging still has value, just not in the form of backlinks.

“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. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”

Almost two years ago I wrote a very lengthy and detailed post called Guest Blogging Secrets and Must Use Strategies – guess what? They aren’t really that secret, and these strategies are still the simple success of guest blogging today!

Guest Blogging Fiasco in Summary

If your business model was to guest blog as much as you can, only to sell a backlink within your content, it might be time for you to move on. However, there is a sucker born every minute so I wouldn’t expect this opportunity to disappear. I still get tons of emails from brands that have use paid link building through comment posting requesting I remove their links because it lowered their rankings from the previous Panda update.

Treat your business like a real one and if you are going to focus on guest blogging, do it for the right reasons. Build a brand that people trust and want to read. Google can make as many updates and changes to their algorithm as they want, if people want to find your content and hear what you have to say, they are going to find and follow you.

About the Author Zac Johnson

My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.

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Ashley Coombe says

Well said Zac! Such a great practice when it’s not just about the backlink!

Marty says

Honestly I have been hearing a lot about this for the past few days and I was starting to panic especially since I just wrote my first guest post.Then two seconds later everyone is telling me that guest blogging is evil.I didn’t know what to think!! However I think if you use any technique wisely it all works out in the end. I hope…

    Zac Johnson says

    Just like any and all marketing… it comes out to what you want to do with it. Spamming your link is “evil”, but can still work… but isn’t the best long term solution. If you are going to guest blog, I would go for the quality and longterm business model. Thanks!

Trisha Agarwal says

I think this paints too broad of a stroke.

Sure, you shouldn’t be accepting random posts from people only looking for followed links: but that was never a legit tactic.

Perhaps the act of guest blogging doesn’t need to go away: only the phrasing. For example, maybe we should think of guest blogging as a method for ONLY public relations, not for links

Lee Cole says

Hey Zac! I think what you’re basically saying is this. Spam, gratuitous “guest blogging” needs to go. And, as far as Google is concerned, it’s going. But…real guess blogging, where real authors share information, articles, passions that they really care about with new audiences on new venues (blogs) is still here and thriving. And, should thrive. And…is still a great way to get real human traffic to your blog. Gaming the system…out. Providing real value…in!

    Zac Johnson says

    Pretty much! Guest blogging for the link may be on it’s way out, but those who use it for authority will continue to gain value from it.

Bonnie Frank says

Amen!

Dee Jai says

Zac it was a pleasure to meet you at ASW. I am glad to see that you will go on with guest blogging 🙂 Thanks for taking a picture with me as well. Zac your a very humble guy for the level of success you have achieved. I look forward to potentially working with you some day in the near future.

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