Yesterday, Google’s Head of Webspam Matt Cutts posted a new blog post containing a very strong statement:
“Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.”
As expected, the SEO industy went nuts on Twitter (I have to admit that a lot of the responses were actually pretty funny). In the 12-ish hours or so that have passed since the announcement, there have already been some great response posts by SEO greats including Joost de Valk and Ann Smarty (to name just a few). Given that I’m a strong advocate of guest blogging, I wanted to chip in, too.
My immediate thought was this: the statement is intended to scare the spammers. People who spam guest blogging will (hopefully) be put off. But people who do guest blogging properly aren’t (or shouldn’t) suddenly be thinking of stopping everything. That would be crazy.
Here are some other thoughts…
Matt specifically mentions paid guest blogging
In Matt’s post, he complains about some guest blogging outreach that he received, especially the fact that they offered him money if they published it:
“If you ignore the bad spacing and read the parts that I bolded, someone sent me a spam email offering money to get links that pass PageRank. That’s a clear violation of Google’s quality guidelines.”
I’m curious to know if Matt would’ve made such a fuss if they didn’t offer him money. Granted, it was still a lousy outreach attempt (and of all the people to target…!), but it’s true: money shouldn’t be involved in a conversation about guest blogging (more on this below).
Not all guest posting is spammy
My concern is that people will suddenly think: “oh no, guest blogging… eee!” and run for the hills. But Stephen Kenwright makes a cracking point:
— Stephen Kenwright (@stekenwright) January 20, 2014
YouMoz, man! I challenge anyone to read YouMoz and find one post where someone’s blatantly only done it for the SEO-ness. I’ve had the pleasure of writing for YouMoz 6 times (2 of which were promoted onto the main blog), and not once did I think: “this is gonna boost my SEOz” – if anything, it’s an added bonus.