It’s finally happened – guest blogging for SEO is dead.
If you’ve owned a website the last few years you’ve likely seen the spammy emails some “people” have sent regarding guest blogging.
The practice has been mostly all about getting links to build rankings in Google.
The reason it became spammy is because it worked. People were able to write content on other sites for links and it improved their rankings so they pushed and pushed the practice until the content became not-so-good.
And here we are today with Google recommending that if you’re practicing guest blogging for the purpose of getting links that you should stop immediately.
Guest Blogging Death Not A Surprise
This is not a surprise to many people.
A few years ago we actually offered guest blogging as a service at GBW, but we kept getting requests from people that wanted to do it strictly for link building purposes.
We told them that we didn’t want to do that and it became too much. We got out.
Google has been talking about guest blogging for a long time too. As Matt Cutts states in the article, he’s repeatedly told people to avoid guest blogging as a way to build links.
All we’ve done at GBW is listen:
- Guest Blogging (and all Outreach) is Not About SEO (Aug. 2012)
- Guest Blogging is Not About SEO Anymore (Aug. 2012)
- Entrepreneur Alert: The Latest SEO Scams To Avoid – SEO Scam #2. Guest Blogging For Links (Jun. 2013)
- SEO Is Not All About Links (Aug. 2012)
Some are surprised when their rankings drop suddenly as a result of a change like this, but it shouldn’t be a surprise.
If you’re building links and your SEO has improved you’re at risk of losing all that you’ve gained.
So what does this mean?
I have two action items for you.
1. Guest Blogging For Reputation And Traffic
Guest blogging can still be a way to grow your business.
Now that guest blogging for links is dead we can get back to the real purpose of guest blogging. Good people providing valuable information can go back to providing their insight on great blogs and websites.
When you are starting a business or starting an online strategy you need exposure to established audiences. Guest blogging is one way to gain exposure.
You provide something worthwhile and in exchange for your insight you get access to an audience. If your content is good and you win over the writers they will visit your website through a no-follow link or even if you simply mention your name and information.
You can build your reputation and traffic this way.
It may or may not impact your SEO. Google seems to reward those that have solid online reputations. So guest blogging in a way that isn’t about links and is about reputation, good content, etc. would seem to benefit your SEO strategy in the long run.
2. Building Your Own Audience
Your audience is your money in the online world.
Last year we analyzed the Buffer blogging strategy.
There was an interesting finding in that analysis:
We all wish we knew things about doing everything, but the truth is there is always a learning curve. That was the case with Buffer. They tried all kinds of content marketing type stuff and it didn’t really work. They tried guest blogging and a few different things, but the most effective in the long run was blogging on their own blog.
Buffer decided to build their own blog and audience.
It takes time. It takes effort, but in the long run it’s helped Buffer to build a wonderful business with a bright future. And they don’t have to worry about SEO changes from Google because they get traffic from all kinds of sources (social media, search, email and more). When Google makes a change like this it might actually help them because the garbage is removed and a solid brand with a great reputation like Buffer can move higher up.
So that’s our second recommendation to you – build your own blog.
Focus on content that helps your target audience.
You’re never wrong if you’re focusing on your audience first and Google last.