The Rules Of Guest Blogging Have Just Changed…For The Better
Yesterday, Matt Cutts (Google’s head of Webspam team) said that “Guest posting is dead“. As you might imagine this caused a lot of ripples across the blogosphere and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth (okay the last parts a bit much but you get the idea). As many SEO groups had adapted since Google’s earlier changes which penalised getting links through leaving spam comments or having a site with LOTS of words for search engines they had moved to Guest blogging as a way to get links for established (and not established) blogs. At the same time many well known and popular blogs had grown from nothing to having a huge following for guest posting.
So do Matt’s words mean it is really over?
Guest posting for links is Dead
If you just want to rank high in Google for people to find your site then I’m sorry to tell you that although Guest blogging isn’t dead yet. It almost certainly will in a matter of weeks. Matt Cutts has gone on record criticising other SEO practices on his personal site and then Google has updated it’s algorithm. It’s a real problem for business who are trying to rank higher in search engines (especially start ups) but they have adapted in the past and I’m sure they will again.
The second edge to this sword is that if you accept guest posts (especially for money when not disclosing that fact) and they are targeted at “low quality” [that being high number of ads to low quality of content with lots of keywords] sites, this will hurt your site as well. So exercise extreme caution over who you accept guest posts.
Quality Guest Posting Is Still Okay
Just because Guest blogging to gain SEO magic points to boost your blog higher in Google is dead, doesn’t mean that guest posting is dead or that you shouldn’t do it yourself. Matt’s latter comments show that he doesn’t want to punish sites who have multiple contributors (few! Christianblogge.rs is okay!) . Personally, I’ve never really had a site that gained most of it’s traffic from people searching for it. Most of the time my sites have been viewed and found because I wrote good things that people wanted to share rather than trying to rig the system.
For a while now there has been talk of Social Media Optimization rather than Search Engine Optimisation. That is making the most of social media to build a following that you can keep and Google is never going to stop sending your way. I’m sure for you as a Christian Blogger it’s much better to have people regularly viewing your site and learning from it rather than landing on it for a one off post (exception if you’re trying to make money from advertising.)
Gaining Readers From Guest Posts
The way I have gained the most readers to different sites and projects I’ve done, has been guest posts. When I’ve written a post that really helped someone else on someone elses blog they usually check out my bio at the bottom. When I’ve written a good one that is very persuasive and is all about the reader, some people click on it (not loads but some) gaining you some readers. I’ll be honest, it’s much easier to gain a permanent reader if you have some kind of free giveaway like a free ebook but it isn’t essential.
As Matt says in his article Guest blogging for building readers or a community is still a good thing. It’s just not good for SEO anymore.
Don’t Try And Cheat The System
No matter what Google does affecting Guest blogging then nothing will stop this. I encourage you all to not get too focused on your search engine ranking, it’s much harder to raise and there is always a chance Google will penalise you for raising it in a negative way. Instead focus on building connections with readers via social media, guest posts, online communities and any other way you can think of. Even if Google punishes your sites ranking for it, it won’t stop that reader from being a reader.
About Chris Wilson
I'm a 27 English as a foreign language Teacher based in Badajoz in Spain. I also run the Christian Bloggers community and enjoy writing in my free time.