There’s been a lot of talk about the fall of guest blogging lately. If you look around the web you’ll see a lot of people talking about how guest blogging is no longer an effective strategy. It all began with a post from Matt Cutts, in which he stated that we’re reaching the end of guest blogging.
Upon further examination it seems this statement is a little extreme and has caused a lot of uproar throughout the web. We’ve seen a lot of people react with fear and put an entire hold on their guest posting strategies.
In this post we’re going to look at what all this noise about the fall of guest blogging really means, and if you need to adjust your strategy for the future.
Is Guest Blogging Really Over?
Calling for the end of guest blogging is like calling for the end of content creation on the internet as a whole. It only seems that the purpose of guest blogging has finally shifted.
When people initially began to use guest blogging as a strategy it was used in order to gain exposure for your work and connect with new audiences. This was all done entirely through providing quality content for their audiences.
However, as the practice has grown it seems to have gotten more and more spammy. When blogs first opened their doors to guest posts, they would hardly see a trickle of qualified posts. As word got out about the effectiveness of guest blogging, the nature of it started to change.
Blogs that only received a handful of posts began to receive hundreds if not thousands of requests for low-quality posts that contributed no value whatsoever. The main purpose of these posts were to obtain backlinks without providing any value to the audience or the reader.
As a result, guest blogging started to become divided between two camps. One camp was geared towards connecting with the audience they were posting for and providing true value, while the other camp was focused on obtaining as many backlinks as possible, no matter how low quality the posts were.
With the onslaught of these low-quality posts circling the internet something had to be done. Thus spurring the recent comments from Google’s head of Webspam, Matt Cutts. Instead of a call to end all guest blogging, what he was really calling for was an end of spammy guest blogging.
How Has The Purpose Of Guest Blogging Shifted?
With any big changes that occur in the search engine space, they are almost always coupled with a change in strategy. This recent shift is no different. However, like any big change there are usually a few people who have been doing it right all along.
We alluded to this earlier in the post. The camp that was guest posting in order to provide value, to the audience they were writing in front of, won’t be harmed by any changes that roll out and effect guest blogging. For this group, guest blogging was never entirely about link building.
It was about being able to get your writing in front of a new audience and provide them enough value so you’d hope they would come back to your site and become a fan of your work. Backlinks were a nice bonus, but never the main goal.
The shift we’re seeing is a shift towards providing value again. Overall, this is in line with the direction Google is heading. Towards an internet more for users than search engine robots.
If you’re writing to provide value and entertain first you’ll be just fine.
In essence, guest blogging really hasn’t changed all that much, more than anything this update was focused on spam. So, if you post spammy guest posts on website there’s a chance you’ll get penalized. If you allow spammy guest blogs to be published on your website, then your rankings could decrease as well.
Don’t try to game the guest blogging system, you’re just going to end up doing more harm than good.
What Does This Mean For Your Guest Blogging Strategy?
The future of guest blogging is quality. The days of trying to spam the internet with low quality posts are coming to an end. Guest blogging solely as a strategy for building links, is part of the past.
However, the good news is that by focusing on providing high quality content across the board you’ll be able to build relationships with the readers of the blog you’re posting on. This will then translate to more social shares, and extended reach for your brand.
When you’re guest blogging always think in terms of value provided. If you can create a blog post that is valuable to the audience of the blog, and you happen to drop a few links back to your site within the content, there’s no harm done.
Focus on value first, links second and you’ll continue to see your search engine rankings grow.
Here are a couple examples of guest blogs our team has recently written:
Social Media Today: The Real Reason Your Posts aren’t Converting Like They Should
SEMrush: 5 REASONS YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY MAY NOT HELP YOU RANK