Just over two weeks ago, Google’s Matt Cutts announced the “decay and fall of guest blogging” in his blog. He tells us that more and more, guest blogging is becoming a spammy practice, but we have a bit of a different perspective on it. Guest blogging in marketing can be a great way to expose your brand to new audiences. Recently, SEOs have begun to rely heavily on guest blogging, particularly when buying links and shady link directories became a thing of the past. There are a few great points we can gather from Matt’s post, but also some important things to keep in mind as to why we will still be guest blogging for our clients.
What is shady guest blogging?
Shady guest blogging can come in the form of article spinning. Say I provide another website with 3 articles that I’ve also provided to other websites, but I’ve moved around some content so I can fool Google into thinking it’s a different article. I use a little link anchor text in an appropriate keyword and link it back to my website or product page, and there you have it – I have an inbound link, right? This is what Cutts is talking about that Google doesn’t want you to do, spam low quality articles all over the web that are effectively the same and typically useless.
Can I still guest blog?
Yes, you can. Say you’re an IT provider that wants to help more people understand how get the most from their business technology – partnering with business or sales consultants is a great way to get your expertise out to a new audience. The same holds true for consumer brands – hosting giveaways or product reviews with bloggers is a great way get your product out there to your perfect demographic. The important thing to remember when you’re guest blogging is you can never go wrong with original, quality content. Think of natural partners in your industry and collaborate to expose an audience with like-minded beliefs to insight that they’ll find valuable.
What does this mean for my marketing approach now?
If you’re guest blogging, outsourcing content or in-sourcing content – you want to put quality over quantity. So if you’re blogging every day and blogging on other sites, but your topics are somewhat irrelevant or you’re not providing value to your audience – cut it back. Same holds true for cheap content: if you’re paying $20 an article for someone to write blogs on your site that aren’t well written or don’t truly speak to your audience – think again. Google doesn’t care how many keywords you stuff in your content if your content sucks. Make it useful or don’t put it out there.
How can I get ahead of Google’s ever-changing rules?
It seems that every time Google cracks down on another tactic, black hat SEOs move on to the next, but at the end of the day – it’s a change in approach that will keep you ahead of the game. Focusing on creating quality content that is good for your audience and doing well by them is the only way to ensure that your marketing strategy doesn’t become obsolete. We’ve never had to make an adjustment in our strategy, because at the end of the day, we’re putting out helpful content and resources to people that are looking for it – and that’s the entire purpose of Google.
So, what are you waiting for? Stop with the tactics. Don’t worry about volume. Eliminate the crappy content sourcing. Hire great writers who write naturally for your audience with enthusiasm in an engaging way. Paying more for higher quality content and posting less is perfectly fine, because it’s the high quality content that’s going to pay off in the long term. Avoid the #1 conversation and actually become number one with your following by being their resource and educator. It sounds corny, but its what everyone (including Google) wants.