The recent announcement by Matt Cutts that guest blogging is “dead” for SEO purposes set off a firestorm of tweets, shares and comments about the topic. Business owners and SEO experts alike were worried, believing that Google was targeting a favorite way of building links.
However, there is no reason to be worried if you have been using guest blogging in the way it was intended: as a tool to grow social media presence, build an online family or community of loyal users, and showcase services and products on websites that are related to the post.
True, businesses that relied on guest blogging as a sole strategy to acquire links are probably right to be worried. Online marketing was never intended to be an “all the eggs in one basket” proposition. Too often, low-quality SEO tactics included placing blog posts on irrelevant websites simply to get a link back to the source page. This is what Google is targeting with its eschewing of guest blog posts.
So Should I Stop Guest Blogging?
Absolutely not! If you are currently invited to blog or share information on relevant, high-quality websites, this can be a great way not only to get links but to build followings and share important content across a wide spectrum of users or viewers you might otherwise never reach. According to Matt Cutts, “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.” Cutts seemed to regret his earlier words and is seeking to clarify that not all guest blogging is bad. In fact, used correctly, it can be a great way to extend your overall reach and get your website noticed.
Acquiring links must be a concerted effort on several fronts using top-quality, white hat SEO. Anything less than this will set off a chain reaction that results in Google penalties. Above all, no one strategy should ever dominate an SEO plan to the point that it excludes all other methods. As you plan your SEO strategy, think of it as a “healthy diet.” Just as you are encouraged to eat a variety of foods for optimum health, you should be using a variety of SEO tactics to give you the very best chance of ranking highly with Google and increasing your website traffic.