For anyone whose been working in SEO over the past few years, they’ll have noticed (or should have noticed!) one very clear trend, all to do with links.
From it being possible to increase your rankings within the search engines largely through building a large number of links, Google made what seemed like a complete U-turn and decreased the value of certain links. This was interpreted by many that link building is now bad business and must be avoided at all costs.
It soon became apparent to them that this wasn’t strictly true and instead, Google wanted to promote the fact quality, relevant links were always going to be more beneficial than those gained from any random source. As such, people began jumping on the guest blogging band wagon, creating relevant content and linking back to their website from it.
And for the past few months, this has been a staple process for many looking to improve their standing within the search engines. But as with many things related to SEO, it wasn’t long before people started trying to manipulate the process, in this instance simply creating content that was only just relevant to their website, littering it with links where exact keywords were used as anchor text and publishing it on any blog possible.
As a result, Matt Cutts of Google’s Web Spam team recently announced that to all intents and purposes, guest blogging should no longer be considered a resource to be used in a SEO strategy.
So if this is the case, how do you go about gaining high quality links that point back to your website?
The answer to this starts by looking at what Matt Cutts actually said and questioning whether he did in fact say guest blogging shouldn’t be utilised any more.
On the highest of levels, this is what he said. He explained that he’s given plenty of help and support over the past two years, saying that you need to focus on quality time and time again when it comes to gaining links, yet people have ignored this and those trying to get around the ‘quality over quantity’ aspect have ended up spoiling the resource for others.
What he didn’t say, however, is that guest blogging is completely and utterly, 110% dead and that it has zero benefits any more.
Guest blogging is always going to be a valuable asset to utilise. It allows organisations to reach out to audiences they may otherwise have been unable to access and as such, it’s always going to – potentially – have a fantastic impact on things such as brand awareness and company reputation.
However, the results of guest blogging from this point on are only ever going to be seen if the ‘quality over quantity’ rule is adhered to at all times.
Something that should have been a focus ever since guest blogging became an option, by following this route, it’s easy to see how the posts could impact on your business, even from a SEO point of view, regardless of what others may be saying.
For example, do you really believe that if you created a 2,000 word blog post that provided genuine, high quality advice about content marketing and published it on the likes of Moz.com or QuickSprout.com that your website wouldn’t benefit from it?
As a result, we firmly believe that guest blogging can still be a great way to gain links back to your website – but you need to be 100% confident that the content you’re producing and the blog you’re publishing it on is of the highest quality possible and completely and utterly relevant to your website. If it isn’t, the reality is this is when the statement about guest blogging from Matt Cutts will very quickly come into play.
Image: Cameron Conner