I believe what Matt Cutts tried to convey in his latest controversial blog post is that, any spammy content that uses guest blogging to manipulate search ranking is dead, NOT guest blogging per se.
Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team had published an article (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/) the other day that stirred massive reactions from the SEO community. He declared that guest blogging for SEO purposes is dead. This statement had garnered so much negative responses that he recently updated his blog post and added the following.
“It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. 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. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”
It is quite clear that guest blogging as a whole is not dead. I believe that the “SEO purposes” he mentioned above, refers to all spammy tactics done by some SEO practitioners by using guest blogging to manipulate search rankings. High quality content is still one of Google’s priorities in measuring the value and credibility of a website. It is just unfair to totally ignore a good system just because its users are abusing it.
Why You Need Not to Panic about Matt Cutt’s Declaration
As part of Google’s Webspam team, Cutts is discouraging spammers to use guest blogging to manipulate search rankings. If you believe that you are not creating and promoting spam, then you don’t have anything to worry. If you are creating valuable content that helps a lot of people and gets a lot of attention not only from search engine traffic but from other sources such as social media and links from other sites, then you don’t need to be threatened.
Google is NOT Everything
Any clever entrepreneur would know that it is not wise to just depend and utilize one strategy to get his business going. This kind of philosophy is the reason why big companies such as well, Google, thrives and became one of the leaders in the tech industry. If you are an owner of a start-up or a small business, you should remember that to survive in your business you should be prepared all the time. This means that you should be resourceful and should always have contingency plans whenever the original ones would fail.
The perception that Google is somehow the “god” of search engines is kind of true, for now, but they don’t own the internet. With social media channels becoming one of the most favourite hang-out places of billions of internet users world-wide, there are so much more options other than relying on one medium. If you would look closely, you will realize that the search giant’s popularity stems from the loyalty of their users and followers.
SEO is a Threat to Google’s PPC Advertising Business
Google is not omnipotent, thus you don’t need to religiously follow or believe everything that they say. Just take for example their moon shots projects (http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/05/what-a-good-moonshot-is-really-2), mere PR strategies to wow their followers, but in truth, the very blood that keeps them in business is their PPC advertising. Yes, Adwords (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AdWords) is Google’s main source of revenue. The SEO industry is a threat to their PPC advertising business (http://blog.benacheson.com/2013/01/6-ways-google-robs-seo-to-pay-ppc.html). Just imagine if they won’t do anything to discredit any SEO tactics, their business would definitely slow down. Now, imagine if in the future, they can totally discredit SEO, which means more clients for them because businesses have no other way to reach traffic from search engine but through Adwords.
Guest Blogging is Still Important
Content creation, publication, and distribution is the lifeblood of the internet. New information and constant flow of ideas that change with time are crucial parts of the evolving World Wide Web. Guest Blogging is important not only for SEO purposes but for branding, traffic referrals, community building, and a lot more. If Google won’t give value to a content (though people find it helpful and informative) just because it is a guest post, then they are treading in the wrong direction.
As I said in the very first part of this blog post, I believe that Google won’t entirely discredit Guest Blogging. If they will do that, a lot of high quality websites will be affected and that would oppose their cause in improving high quality search results for their users.
Lastly, for business owners and publishers, to avoid any possible penalties in the future, just stick to producing high quality content, the type that people would willingly share, the type that doesn’t only inform but also brings changes and encourage actions to those who consume them.