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Google Says Guest Blogging Is Dead. Is It True?

Google Says Guest Blogging Is Dead. Is It True?

Well, yes.

And no.

Actually, it depends.

Look around the web, and you’ll find dozens of posts saying variations of the above, all referencing this post by Google’s Matt Cutts titled “The decay and fall of guest blogging.” They contradict each other, split hairs, and generally try to be as confusing as possible.

After reading them all, you probably feel like looking at the computer and shouting, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!”

Let’s examine the facts:

Matt lost his mind

Ever lost your cool and blown up in public?

Something happens, and it just pushes you over the edge. You’ve tried to be patient, you’ve tried to be calm, but people just keep doing stuff that irritates the hell out of you, and one day, you just can’t take it any longer.

So, you let them have it. In front of everyone.

… and then you regret it for a long, long time.

Why?

  • Because you made a bunch of general statements that aren’t entirely true
  • Because what you said only applied to a small group of people, not everyone who was listening
  • Because people spend weeks or months debating what you really meant, and you have to clarify yourself over and over again

Sound familiar?

Well, that’s exactly what happened to Google’s SEO spokesperson, Matt Cutts, when he declared:

So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.

Oh God, here we go …

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

As soon as it happened, hundreds of people flooded my inbox with emails, wondering if they had done irreparable harm to themselves by using guest blogging to promote their sites.

Why did they contact me?

Well …

  • I own GuestBlogging.com, a site dedicated entirely to the topic
  • My team edits guest posts for dozens of the most popular blogs in the world, including Copyblogger, Tiny Buddha, Lifehacker, Zen Habits, Get Rich Slowly, and Forbes
  • Collectively, more than 20,000 people have attended the talks I’ve given about guest blogging

So, surely I must know, right?

The truth:

Yeah, I do. I can’t predict everything Google will do in the future, granted, but I live and breathe this stuff.

Still, I hesitated to respond. I make a rather nice living from teaching guest blogging, so really, you should be suspicious of anything I say to defend it.

As it turns out though, I didn’t have to say a word.

Matt explained what he meant

A few hours after blowing up, Matt realized what a terrible mistake he had made and published a correction:

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’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.

I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.

He also changed the title of his post to “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.”

Crisis averted, right?

Well, not really. Yes, Matt acknowledged that guest blogging is still valuable for “exposure, branding, increased reach, community,” and so on, but he left two big questions unanswered:

  1. If you accept a guest post, will it hurt your search engine rankings?
  2. If you write a guest post for someone else, will it hurt your search engine rankings?

Hmm. Let’s see.

Matt Needs a Translator

Since posting the correction, dozens of blogs have offered their opinions on exactly what Matt meant. And unless you’re an SEO expert, it’s still as confusing as hell.

So, let me make this as simple as I possibly can:

This has nothing to do with guest blogging. Matt was talking about spam.

The three things you need to know are:

  1. If you publish spam on someone else’s site, it can hurt your search engine rankings.
  2. If you accept spam from other authors and publish it on your website, it can hurt your search engine rankings.
  3. If you associate yourself with anyone publishing spam, it can hurt your search engine rankings.

In other words, avoid spam at all costs. And by “spam,” I mean unoriginal, low-quality content no one wants to read.

But what about the opposite?

What about high-quality content? What about high-quality authors? What about high-quality sites?

In two words:

You’re fine.

In fact, Google is in the process of implementing a new system called Authorship that rewards authors and publishers for creating high-quality content. We’ll be publishing a monster guide about it in the next couple weeks.

In the meantime, type “authorship” or “author rank” into Google and you’ll see that guest blogging isn’t going anywhere. It’s actually about to become more important than ever.

So, why didn’t Matt just say that?

Frustration. Anger. Annoyance.

A lot of bloggers have been cranking out and accepting hundreds of low-quality guest posts because they think doing so will improve their search engine rankings. I can’t read his mind, but I’m guessing Matt wanted to squash the tactic once and for all, so he wrote a rant, probably hoping to scare people into doing the right things.

But it backfired. Now everyone is confused, and he’s wasted a lot of time trying (and failing) to explain himself.

Granted, Matt has a difficult job. Whenever you have millions of people analyzing every word you say, you’re bound to screw up sooner or later. And well … it happened.

Still, let’s not get too worked up over this.

The only people it applies to are the morons trying to abuse guest blogging to game the system. On the other hand, if you’re doing your best to publish quality content, and you’re surrounding yourself with other writers who do the same, you should have absolutely nothing to worry about.

The key to winning with Google is simple:

Publish unique content people enjoy reading and talking about.

It worked yesterday. It works today. It’ll work tomorrow.

Nothing has changed.

About the Author: Jon Morrow is the CEO of Boost Blog Traffic, LLC. If you’d like to speak to him, click here.

Google Says Guest Blogging Is Dead. Is It True? by

89 Comments

  1. LoveVivah
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:31:15

    As i have listen the mutt cutts video and read some article regarding guest posting.
    Now, Guest posting is not working.

    Reply

    • Jon Morrow
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:34:56

      Hmm. Seems you might have missed the point of this one.

      Reply

  2. Kimberly
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:35:11

    Well done. Thanks for the most lucid and well-written clarification of this whole debacle I’ve read so far!

    Reply

  3. Don Sturgill
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:37:00

    Amen, Jon. Spam and Guest Blogging are related in the same way as drunk driving and a beer after work. If you can’t write responsibly … don’t.

    Matt found out, in the responses to his frenzy, that netizens aren’t quite keen about an era of online Prohibition. I’m way pleased to see that.

    Reply

  4. Harleena Singh
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:37:00

    Hi Jon,

    I’m glad you clarified things, and yes, Matt’s post surely caused a lot of stir in the Blogosphere :)

    I’ve read SO many posts on the same topic, though each one is different from the other, which just shows how much it’s affecting people.

    Just as you mentioned, if your content is great and something that is helpful – you are fine. You just need to be careful perhaps of the DoFollow or the NoFollow links you give to your guests. I think inviting your guests to guest post, especially if you know they well enough – perhaps the ones who are regular commenters of your blog is another good idea, something that I follow.

    Guest blogging is surely here to stay :)

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead :)

    Reply

  5. Jeremy
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:37:31

    It always fall back to the same thing. Just create content that people will find useful and love reading!

    If your guest post is awesome, doesn’t really matter about the backlink you include there. People will find you and people will follow you, which I think is more powerful than better SEO. Plus people will naturally link to you(if it’s good content in the first place) as a result of that huge exposure.

    Thanks for clearing that up for all of us anyway, Jon!

    Reply

  6. JR John
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:40:44

    Too many people freaked out after that post, LOL.

    They must not have read the update. :)

    Regards,
    JR John

    Reply

  7. Fred Showker
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:40:49

    Sorry, I’ve discovered that is incorrect. “The key to winning with Google is simple”

    You may not have discovered yet that this is a smoke screen to hide Google’s other agenda.

    Don’t believe me? Try to have your audience and more importantly GOOGLE tell us which links on this page are PAID. If Google gets it right, I’ll concede your point. If Google gets it wrong, I’ll let you in on the secret.

    http://www.ugnn.com/2014/01/safenettingbotnet_bust/

    This site has been devalued by Google because of “paid links” … Google has turned web design into a nightmare because within two years they’ll come with another wave of “new policies” which will nulify these you are talking about today, just like the cycle they’ve run every couple of years since their inception. No, it’s not about content, my friend. It’s about shareowners’ bottom line.

    Fred
    User Group Network News / SafeNetting /

    Reply

    • Jon Morrow
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:49:26

      That’s irrational, Fred. What you’re saying is there’s no sense doing anything because Google is going to screw us in the end.

      Just not true. From the beginning, Google has always moved closer and closer to serving up the best content they can.

      Do they make mistakes?

      Yes, but to assume they’re going to make a mistake about your site is akin to cowering in your house and refusing to go outside because you think the police are going to arrest you for something you didn’t do. It could happen, yes, but it’s not likely, and living your life in fear of it is silly.

      Reply

      • Fred Showker
        Jan 30, 2014 @ 11:29:05

        No, not at all, Jon. … you missed my point I wasn’t clear enough:

        > What you’re saying is there’s no sense doing anything
        > because Google is going to screw us in the end.

        Nope. That’s not at all what I’m saying.

        How did you do? Did you figure out which links are paid? Bet you didn’t even look.

        I’m asking if you are sure you want to take Google at face value?

        I’m probably the ONLY one online who is NOT cowering in my house from Google.

        Seems an entire industry has been spawned by SEO cowering — people are obsessed with SEO … building their lives around it. Paying through the nose for it — when you couldn’t prove it works if your life depended on it.
        ( “Hello web owner, we can take your site to the top of Google listings by proper SEO”… Seriously? )

        People are spending hundreds / thousands of dollars because Google says remove a link? Yet Google is indeed ruining people’s lives by manipulating search engine results. Google giveth and Google taketh away.

        If Google said “jump off a cliff” . . . no, don’t answer that.

        I cannot mention our discoveries that cybercrime is picking up on Google’s spoofed link removal threats as Joe-Jobs until we have a lot more evidence. But ask: “is my blog really offending Google?” But you’ll never verify that because you’ll just end up lost in Google’s “help” files, or staring at the big face on the screen.

        Just saying, don’t believe everything Google (or “Matt”) tells you.

        Otherwise you’ll start believing that the NSA is saving all your telephone calls.

        :-)

        Good day

  8. Rich Brooks
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:43:07

    Jon,

    Thanks for writing this. It’s what I was thinking, but in all those post-meltdown articles, people never put it so clearly.

    The pendulum swings and then it swings back. When something works, spammers and hackers will take advantage of it.

    I’d like to think that Google can (mostly) figure out what’s spammy, low-value content, and what’s valuable guest blogging.

    Cheers!

    Reply

  9. Debbie
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:43:53

    Thanks Jon for making things very clear. We have to give Matt a little slack, since we all make mistakes. LOL
    Quiality content is the key and you teach us all how important it is. It also goes along with making good comments. When you comment and say, “I like what you have to say.” sounds and is a spammy comment.
    Thanks for letting us know that we can keep those guest post going, just make them good and useful information. Maybe some good humor thrown in. That’s always fun.
    Debbie

    Reply

  10. Leigh Shulman
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:44:13

    I admit, when I first read Matt Cutt’s post I had a moment of “Well, there my strategy for 2014 and beyond has just gone to hell” plus a bit of panic.

    Then I remembered that nothing is 100% on the internet and panic is not a good way to run a business. I also thought of you, Jon.

    Perhaps the nature of guest blogging will change as does everything that happens online eventually, but it won’t happen overnight. I also imagine that people who continue to work hard, be honest and write solid, honest content will continue to do well.

    I’m glad you weighed in. It’s always good to have agreement from someone who has more experience with guest blogging than I have.

    Reply

  11. Razwana
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:45:22

    I wonder if he realises the power he has ….. than you for being the voice of reason, Jon !

    Reply

  12. Caroline Frenette Intuitive Leadership Coach
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:45:58

    Thank you for clearing this up! I’ve been writing my ass off as a guest writer for several online magazine and it’s still great exposure.

    Reply

  13. Joseph Ratliff
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:46:47

    Matt should just link to your post here Jon. It says it all.

    Reply

  14. Ragnar
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:46:53

    I thought he specifically talked about guest blogging for SEO purposes though Where you hire some writers and get your VA to pitch every blog in your niche just to get some backlinks. Getting goodwill from authorities, spreading your name and brand and expanding your network will never stop working.

    Reply

    • Jon Morrow
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:53:14

      It actually goes beyond that. Guest blogging is still useful for SEO purposes, assuming you’re doing it correctly. Just look into Google authorship. When they finish implementing it, guest blogging for authority sites is going to become a best practice for top search engine rankings.

      Reply

  15. David Bourne
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:54:09

    If authorship is what Google wants, then guest posts without authorship is what’s dead.

    SPAM can never be connected to a real author. So, real authors will benefit no matter where they post. And sites with real authors guest posting will benefit.

    Thanks for leading us through it, Jon.

    – Dave

    BTW, North Carolina misses you. 

    Reply

    • Jon Morrow
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:56:04

      I agree with that. Good point.

      And yes, I’m going to have to make a trip back to North Carolina sooner or later. :-)

      Reply

  16. Jacob
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 09:58:18

    I’ve been hoping that you would put something out to sort of quell this drama and you have most certainly done just that. Thanks so much for telling it like it is and breaking it down to what really matters. In the end, is this really any different than everything Google does? Like you say, stick to quality content and don’t try to be a stinky cheater and life goes on as it always has!

    Reply

  17. Heikki Hyppänen
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 10:25:29

    Cutts is not attacking anyone or acting in frustration. He’s not angry – this is his job! He’s the head of web spam team, and he’s out there to educate the potential victims of those who sell the kind of link spam that unfortunately carries the same name as a certain legitimate content marketing practice. I just don’t get this weird storytelling about Cutts when you can’t know what goes on in his mind.

    Cutts message itself is clear, and has been from the start. Link spam bad, legitimate guest posting good. The addition to the article was just a bit of clarification, not the kind of change you’re making it out to be.

    Reply

  18. Sarah Mueller
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 10:35:48

    Jon, I do think you’ve got the right approach. It makes sense that Google wants to show high quality results and ignore the spam. If I write spam or associate with spam, Google wants to ignore that (and penalize my rankings). So if we use common sense and write naturally, we should be fine.

    Some bloggers are recommending the use of no follow links “just to be safe.” I guess this is in case Google gets it wrong and unfairly penalizes them. I do see the logic in this, but I’d rather assume that Google will get it right for me and only use nofollow on ads and such. What is your take on nofollow?

    Reply

  19. Rachelle Strauss
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 10:40:28

    I like to simplify everything in life (and I like to give people the benefit of the doubt).

    No matter what changes Google put in place the message appears to be the same: create great quality content that enriches peoples lives and you won’t go far wrong.

    Whether you apply that to pages on your own site, writing guest posts or hosting guest posts check whether it’s helpful, interesting and relevant.

    That way we can take away any confusion ;)

    Reply

  20. Marnie Hughes
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 10:51:10

    Thank you for the reminder (although we shouldn’t need it!) that any time someone tries to ‘game the system’ they will ultimately fall. I want relevant and meaningful results when I do a search so any content I produce has to follow that rule as well. Elegant in it’s simplicity.

    Reply

  21. Michael Feeley
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 10:59:15

    Thanks for clarifying this Jon. You make great sense.

    It’s all about your purpose – Do you want to write great quality and do it for yourself and top people or do you want to be slippery and just get by?

    You class has shown me that researching the top Guest Bloggers, really studying them, their style and content is one of the best things you can do to see what blogging is all about, who you want to write for and why Guest Blogging still works and …is growing.

    Reply

  22. Peter Kanayo
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 11:02:56

    Jon it’s a tad good you wrote this post.

    It was quite clear Matt made a mistake. He is human and not infallible.
    The question then is what if someone decides to nuke your site through negative SEO? And how do you solve such a problem.
    This a question i would love your input.

    Reply

  23. Mark
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 11:20:05

    I think Google is just doing what it has always tried to do. Separate the crap from the gold.

    They do a darn good job of it. Despite all the complaints when they update their search algorithm (do these people know how complex the internet is?).

    Put in good content and you will be rewarded. I’ve heard from many successful blogger saying they don’t know a thing about SEO.

    If you build it, they will come!

    Reply

  24. Jessica Pineda
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 11:43:31

    I’m filled enjoy here, I can tell you here – content 1st approach for optimize to site; guest blogging dead or not dead. Thanks for kind information.

    Reply

  25. Amanda
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 12:05:45

    I read the original post, and this al just seems like common sense to me. Originally, the post, once you got past the headline, was decrying guest posting simply to try to game the search engines. So it stood to reason then, and still stands so, that if you do things the way you’re supposed to, write good content, no cheating, do the actual work, then you’re fine, and I don’t know why there was so much drama over this.

    Reply

  26. Google Says Guest Blogging Is Dead. Is It True?...
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 12:19:01

    […] Google's Matt Cutts recently declared that guest blogging is dead? Is it true? And what does it mean for you?  […]

    Reply

  27. Nisha Salim
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 12:24:24

    And THAT’s how you write a post about Matt Cutts and guestblogging!

    Reply

  28. Angela England
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 12:31:02

    It’s always going to boil down to having a strong identity, a unique voice, and something fabulous to say. Thanks, Jon! I appreciate you jumping into the fray on this one. :-)

    Reply

  29. Leanne Regalla
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 12:42:36

    Thanks for this Jon.

    I read Matt’s post and thought, well he’s not talking about what WE’RE doing. He’s talking about spammers.

    But thanks for the excellent clarification. Will be sharing and pointing people to this whenever the topic comes up.

    Reply

  30. Carter Bowles
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:04:20

    There is a lot of confusion about what “high quality” means and whether this or that will help or hurt your search engine rankings. At the end of the day it’s actually very simple. If you knew for a fact that writing or accepting this guest post had no influence on your search results, would you still do it? If so, you’re fine. If not, you need to reevaluate your business strategy, and probably your life.

    Reply

  31. Olayinka
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:43:15

    In my own knowledge if think Matt, got mad for blogs the have ”Write for Your” page their site. which Google see as extremely called to action think..

    Reply

  32. Tim Brownson
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 13:47:08

    I certainly do not think he was blowing off steam or will regret it. He’s been moving more and more in that direction for at least 12 months.

    He was pretty adamant and he was pretty adamant that it no longer means just spammers or low quality stuff either and I have no idea how anybody can read anything else into it.

    Of course guest posting has value in other areas but to ignore what he said about links is pure folly imho.

    Reply

    • Jon Morrow
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:27:05

      Are we reading the same post, Tim? In the one I linked to, it’s fairly full of anger and backpedaling after going too far.

      Also, please see my other response about the value of links.

      Reply

  33. David Gillaspie
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 14:55:55

    Hi Jon,

    You just gave Google a good shot. Fishy guest posting for SEO only stinks up the place? Now we know.

    What’s next, joining blog promotion sites are also bad for SEO? That’s been my concern, along with my Genesis framework SEO configuration where checking some noindex or noarchive boxes mean you’re posts are competing with themselves.

    There’s probably a fine line between honest promotion and spam. Thanks for pointing one of them out so clearly.

    David

    Reply

  34. James Chartrand - Men with Pens
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 15:04:10

    As one of the high-quality sites accepting guest posts from various authors, I received my fair share of, “OH NO! James, is this true?” emails after Matt made his announcement.

    Thanks for writing a post I can point them to that exactly and perfectly sums up my answer: Nothing’s changed – full speed ahead, folks.

    Reply

    • Tim Brownson
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 15:15:22

      I have to say James (and you know I love you to bits!) but this smacks of a load of people burying their head in the sand because they don’t want things to have changed and they’re looking for information to support what they want to believe or what they’re invested in.

      When I first watched the video I was pizzed, so I went back to it again and again to see if I’d misunderstood and I was convinced I hadn’t (even though I wished otherwise and was hoping I’d missed something). So I picked up the phone to 2 very successful SEO guys and asked their thoughts and they both agreed too.

      Yeh it’s true imho, it’s not in any doubt, there is no ambiguity, it has been hinted at for a long time and it is what it is. There’s still a massive value in guest posting for other reasons (in fact I believe I gained at least one client from a guest post you ran of mine), but the importance of the link is going to be devalued.

      Reply

      • Jon Morrow
        Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:21:13

        Tim, it’s more complicated than that. Links in general are being devalued, not just links in guest posts.

        Google is in the process of redoing the way they evaluate the quality of content, and they are in the process of placing a much greater emphasis on the authority of the author. Here’s what that means:

        Even if a guest post has no links to your site, it still affects your search engine rankings. If you write guest posts for authority sites, and you never link to your site at all, the search engine rankings of your own site will still increase.

        Why? Because of Author Rank.

        By writing for authority sites, you raise your own authority in the eyes of Google, and every post you write rises in the rankings, regardless of the domain. The same is true for the site that accepts guest posts. The greater the authority of the guest posters on your site, the better your search engine rankings.

        Granted, it’s only one piece of the algorithm, but it’s still a HUGE shift.

        This is part of the reason why everyone is so confused. There’s a lot changing right now in some very significant ways.

        But it’s good for people like us. Right now, our search traffic here at BBT is increasing by 10-15% per month. Means we are doing something right. :-)

      • Tim Brownson
        Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:54:29

        I get all that Jon and I’m fully aware of the downgrading of links and the importance of authorship. My site is being rebuilt from the ground up as we speak to reflect this.

        And I’m not saying there was no anger, but I think he’s more professional than to just blow off steam knowing the repercussions that can lead to, I’m just saying that this was coming anyway. James said that this is business as usual, it’s not at all, largely because normal has been dispensed with by Google and things are changing almost daily.

        Or maybe abnormal is the new normal?

        My main point is I don’t think it’s wise to ignore anything Cutts says this said of Seattle will win the Superbowl.

      • James Chartrand - Men with Pens
        Jan 30, 2014 @ 17:54:28

        Ah, Tim, I love you to bits back :)

        I think, though, that perhaps my comment didn’t come across as clearly as I’d hoped! What I meant to imply was that guest posting is still a valuable business marketing tool, and that it’s not dead – it’s changing, definitely, in terms of how Google views guest posting (good thing! all guest posts are not equal, nor should they be considered so!).

        Most people who’ve emailed me are concerned on whether they should continue guest posting as a marketing effort – what THEY want is less of a link-juice opportunity and MORE of a “hey, I’m a smart person with good things to say; you may not know of me, but after reading this guest post, you will!”

        That has not changed. Nor will it, nor should it.

        I think Jon’s post here says much the same – that smart, good, ethical people can continue to use guest posting as a content-marketing technique for their businesses, and that Google won’t come after them with pitchforks, nor the blogs that accept guest posts.

        Jon also pointed out the authorship key – this may be a very valuable new bonus to guest posting as a marketing strategy. And so, if that’s true, I am all for it indeed!

        Does that help clarify?

      • Tim Brownson
        Jan 31, 2014 @ 10:16:32

        It does indeed James and I agree with all that and I still think it’s a good idea to guest post, presuming you pick your sites wisely.

        My only point was that I think ignoring what Cutts is saying about links is potentially a mistake.

        I have no doubt over the coming months there will be lots of observing and testing by experts to see if Cutts is true to his word.

        So time will tell.

  35. Akeem Bhadmus
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 15:44:45

    The issue is simplified. It boiled down to doing the right thing ‘good content’.

    Reply

  36. Dave Nordella
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 15:57:05

    I started reading your post and then thought “Perhaps I should hear what Matt is saying directly.” I went and watched all of the videos. (OK, I quickly passed on the John Mueller interview video about nofollow links as there was nothing concrete there!)

    I am glad that I listened to Matt and then read your post.

    You are 100% correct, IMHO, about the message for guest and host bloggers. I know, from personal experience, that you maintain the highest editorial standards. I am proud of that fact and am becoming a better writer because of your demands for quality content.

    You and Matt have come to similar, if not identical, conclusions Bloggers that write strictly for SEO purposes are spammers. Blogs that host spun articles are junk.

    Google has done a lot of good things for the web. I believe that Google follows their informal motto, “Don’t be evil.” A lot of naive people have naively misinterpreted Google’s values as translated into their corporate policy.

    “Don’t be evil” does not equate to “Don’t do things in your own interest.”

    Google is a master at taking actions that have a positive impact on their own earnings while protecting the public good. Do you remember when Google start sorting Gmail into Promotions tabs? Did that remove incentives to blast non-stop pitches?

    It sure did.

    Did Google ask their users if they wanted to have their Gmail sorted into Promotions tabs? The introduction of that policy seemed covert in retrospect. Wouldn’t telling the user upfront that they could funnel Gmail into Promotions be better?

    Was the quality of their user’s experience Google’s only criterion?

    Is it possible that bloggers might be driven to increase their PPC campaigns if the blogger’s lists became less effective?

    Does Google sell PPC advertising?

    I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’…

    Google created a firestorm with the Promotions tabs campaign. They did a partial retreat on Promotions by publicizing a work-around. Google offered a way for people to get their Gmail “unfunneled” after that particular campaign blew up in their face.

    I agree that Google will strengthen those bloggers that are do the hard work necessary to create quality content. Google is a hurricane that that has moved and will move better quality on the web. It is just a lot easier to how to tack your sails to the wind when you create so many of the gusts that fill those sails.

    Reply

  37. Keish
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:26:30

    I can’t wait to hear more about Authorship! It’s about time great authors start being rewarded more in the search engines.

    Reply

  38. Ash
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:35:33

    Hey Jon,

    The way I see it this works to our advantage.

    All the spammy crap is going to get pushed down in google rankings.

    By implication this means the quality content that we write is going to move up in google rankings and our content is going to get a lot more eyeballs.

    Reply

    • Jon Morrow
      Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:44:18

      I would assume the same thing.

      Reply

  39. Poetic Teacher
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 16:55:33

    Guest-blogging is still a very good method for networking with other people, thus spreading your content across many pages on the internet. As a hip-hop artist myself, I have created a strategy for guest-blogging on Facebook, which I call the music review network system. Basically, it is an agreement between me and another hip-hop artist (rapper and/or producer) in which I will listen to and write a review of the hip-hop artist’s album if he will do the same for me. We then post the reviews on each other’s blogs. This music review network system allows me to build relationships with other rappers and producers, and when we post our reviews on each other’s websites, we are introducing each other to new fans, a great way to implement cross-promotion. The music review network system is an excellent form of guest-blogging that will never lose its value.

    Reply

  40. Susan Jones
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 18:25:06

    Thanks for this analysis Jon.

    After reading Matt’s article a few weeks ago, the thing I took away is that the game plan for me hasn’t changed.

    If I look after my readers as a publisher, and my host’s readers as a guest blogger, by providing great content – everyone benefits. I’m not going to be penalised for that.

    And that’s as it should be. No need to be Chicken Little. :-)

    Reply

  41. Faith Watson
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 18:51:22

    hmmm, I was just about to begin a real guest posting effort now with my newly realaunched copywriting site open for business. After a long career in marketing, I’m struggling with this: is my only real value (for site/traffic) going to be in writing about writing? Because I have a deep portfolio spanning many industries and am published as a creative writer as well–it’d be great if Authorship were tied to my name and then it could showcase how well I write. But I have a feeling fitness articles or a human interest feature won’t ever do pentozen.com good in Google’s eyes, no matter how big the site. For future, should I forget Tiny Buddha and just try to get with James? ^^

    Reply

  42. Coach Comeback
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 22:29:05

    Yeah… Since taking your guest blogging course it had never even crossed my mind to do guest posts for the SEO benefit. And I certainly don’t remember you pushing that issue in any of the webinars or training.

    The main benefits of it have ZERO to do with Google at all.

    The exposure to another’s audience. Reaching more people. Credibility etc etc.

    I have up on SEO about a year ago. Majority of my traffic is “referral” traffic now.. and I have never looked back. Thank you Jon

    ps. how did the move go?

    Reply

  43. Karen Bailey
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 22:45:50

    mmmm guest blogs are dead??? Well only this week my guest blog piece on SurfGirl doubled my FB and website follows. Who cares what he thought I’m really happy with the results on my guest blog pieces xxx Karen – SurfyMum

    Reply

  44. Kumar Gauraw
    Jan 30, 2014 @ 22:57:21

    Hi John,

    Very well done article. This is the most well-written clarification of this whole debacle I’ve read so far on this topic as someone already said.

    I also wrote a post about this topic and included some of the experts’ opinions about Guest Blogging after Matt declared this. I wish I had come across your post and probably this would have added additional value to my post because I know this post adds a tremendous amount of value to this whole confusion.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this topic.

    Regards,
    Kumar

    Reply

  45. Laurie Hurley
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 01:12:19

    Hi Jon – I knew there was a reason I signed up for your blogging class! Well said and thanks for clarifying.

    Reply

  46. Lucy Chen
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 01:24:01

    Thanks Jon. I’ve been hearing about the fall of guest blogging over the internet lately, but I didn’t pay much attention, because I knew you’d soon say something, and that I’d wait to hear from you, and that’s all I’d ever need to know about guest blogging. Not sucking up to you, I just simply trust you, and I prefer to stay simple and limit my source of information.

    Reply

  47. Caroline
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 04:29:49

    I think the acid test is this: is the post (any post) adding relevant, interesting information for the reader. If it is, then the post will be fine. This is all Google is interested in surely?
    Very often we just have to use common sense when announcements like this are made, but then common sense isn’t actually very common…

    Reply

  48. Andrea H.
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 05:23:32

    I guess those guys at Google think they own the web while after all their efforts the result is that a serious/wise blogger doesn’t take into account Google as a source of traffic, not anymore and definitely not as a reliable one. Unless someone is ready to pay to appear in the first page of results, after YouTube obviously. They played so much with ill intent that it’s beginnng to backfire on them. And it’s right. Imho obviously.

    But I’m sure they’ll gladly receive those guest blogging spammers into their AdWords program.

    They just would do anything for the money. Again imho.

    Reply

  49. Balakrishna Kadamba
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 07:52:41

    Good Post ……….Quite useful to me
    http://www.sampleresumeonline.blogspot.in

    Reply

  50. Marc
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 08:26:55

    Well Said Jon. Part of the problem is that what has been referred to as “guest blogging” includes some very different things. The genuine guest blogging that you and most of your readers would do is legitimate. But there are tons of companies and individuals that are pumping out crap content for paying clients, which is basically just another way for their clients to buy a link.

    Reply

  51. Blogger insights this week: The paradox of content frequency and content quality
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 09:06:24

    […] Google says guest blogging is dead. Is it true? via Boost Blog Traffic […]

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  52. Alicia Rades
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 10:25:09

    I love the way you put this. So. Perfect.

    Reply

  53. Is guest posting for SEO dead in 2014?
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 13:01:52

    […] the blog are posted on the blog. The whole process of posting a guest post onto a blog is known as guest posting or guest posting for […]

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  54. Preeti Kaur
    Jan 31, 2014 @ 19:46:26

    Thanks for clarifying that Jon. When I saw that video, even I didn’t believe it when I am just a beginner. It just doesn’t make sense to me that Google wouldn’t want you to share good stuff you know about anything. It doesn’t work that way, online or offline. Humans are supposed to share their knowledge.

    Reply

  55. Bastiaan
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 15:18:52

    Thanks for shining a light on this one Jon. I am a starting blogger and I use guest posting a lot to get the name of my blog out there (some of the biggest travel & self development blogs like theplanetd & Tinybudha).

    I can’t imagine that google would punish you for guest posting on well established sites with a lot of authority. It has become dodgy as my blog receives a lot of email from people who offer ‘Unique’ articles in exchange for a link to a website.

    I never accept these low quality posts which are, most of the time, absolutely no match for my readership. I can image google punishing sites using these tactics and people accepting them.

    Thanks for clarifying this Jon!

    Cheers,

    Bastiaan

    Reply

  56. Josh Morre
    Feb 02, 2014 @ 23:58:42

    Hi John,

    I was planning and research about guest blogging. Thanks for such a great information. Its really helpful to me. Great information

    Reply

  57. Tom Southern
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 05:22:40

    The name of the game is the same: quality, well-intentioned writing gets noticed over the rest, hands down. Google has been raising the bar with each of its algorithms. Now it’s also acting to keep the bar high.

    Most of the mis-understanding over Matt Cutts’ post comes from the fact that for too long the internet as been crammed with people out for a quick-buck. The “Business Opportunity” market was full of it too in the pre-internet days. The few who offered real business opportunities that worked, actually made money. Lots of it – because they stood out so brightly from the mass of crap.

    As Jon says, if your purpose is based on entertainment, making a difference and leaving a legacy FOR OTHERS as well as for you, Google wants you and will reward you. You’ll stand out brightly.

    Reply

  58. Anika Jaffara
    Feb 04, 2014 @ 14:16:17

    Well put! Way to make it plain and clear things up.

    When the blogosphere blew up with posts, comments and social media updates in response to Matt Cutt’s statements, I though… “That’s impossible!” I figured, there’s NO WAY guest blogging is going away.

    Spammy content is… annoying, to keep it brief, but guest blogging is such an integral part of so many great digital marketing strategies. I can’t imagine it going away, or even stunted by Google’s Smackdown.

    It’s good to hear my thoughts echoed here. Thanks for a sharing!

    Reply

  59. Hardy
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 05:05:37

    I’m happy that Google has penalized guest blogging because the majority of it was just spam.

    Reply

  60. Dan Stelter
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 11:24:17

    Good point on this, and I personally feel the same way. A good friend of mine once said, “Google rewards hard work.” And it does. It’s the spammers that try to confuse everyone into thinking that Google is “evil.” I wasn’t concerned one bit when the announcement was made, and most of my links right now are from guest blogs – and guess what – my rankings are fine because I’ve written high-quality content on decent blogs.

    Reply

  61. Costas
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 18:00:44

    Hi Jon,
    great post! I was wondering what’s the best way to keep these extra visitors that come together with guest posts.

    My (relative new) blog has 100 visitors daily, when I guest blog with a link to me, I have more than 1000.
    Is it normal?

    How do I keep them?

    Thanks in advance!

    Reply

  62. Natasha Burke
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 17:08:00

    Hi Jon,

    I freaked out after hearing about “Google penalizing guest blogging”. Came across your post when browsing as to what exactly was Google’s warning about when it came to”Guest Blogging”. Great post. Very useful information.

    Thank you for clarifying and sharing the same.

    Cheers!

    Reply

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    Mar 12, 2014 @ 14:34:49

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    Mar 13, 2014 @ 11:54:45

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    Mar 13, 2014 @ 20:31:39

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  69. Timothy Arends
    Mar 30, 2014 @ 21:12:51

    I’ve always tried to guest blog responsibly, with nearly 200 quality guest posts under my belt, but to be frank, guest blogging just hasn’t worked all that well for me. So I guess Matt Cutts was right.

    Reply

  70. Kevin
    Mar 31, 2014 @ 01:35:58

    Thanks for your views. Guest blogging and getting links from quality quest blogging sites is a white hat Seo technique that does not lead to penalize your site. Google is the most efficient search engine brining maximum web traffic for your website do black hat SEO illegal SEO means SEO by means of various techniques like keyword stuffing, link spamming.

    Reply

  71. Timothy Arends
    Mar 31, 2014 @ 11:51:50

    I never said I used any black hat techniques, and I didn’t.

    Reply

  72. Spam Tracker
    Mar 31, 2014 @ 20:21:28

    Have you actually authenticated any of this? We have, and 4 out of 5 GOOGLE “threat” letters have originated in Romania or China. We have analyzed a number of these Google reports and they weren’t authentic. No authentication for who sent the report, and no authentication for who wants links removed. This whole thing, the “Google Authorship” and so forth, may be a myth, or a false lead, perpetuated by Google to shift SEO attempts away from another agenda by Google. Please send me any actuall (testifyable) authentication you have to substantiate any of the above. (“Testifyable” means you would be willing to testify, under oath, in Federal Court.)

    Thanks for reading

    Reply

  73. Vermorzel je content-concurrentie met een druk op de knop - Voorbeeld
    May 23, 2014 @ 02:30:13

    […] je overdrijven met de Enter-toets? Sure. Jon Morrow gaat er soms wat over vind ik, maar hey: dat is eigenlijk een kwestie van […]

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  74. Are Morch
    May 23, 2014 @ 14:23:37

    Awesome article here Jon. And also several great responses here.

    For me Matt Cutts article generated more awareness towards putting in place clear guidelines for guest articles. Many bloggers like myself depend on quality content from our Network.

    The key for me is to provide relevant content for my segments. And I do some exercises to pre-qualify the content. Like everyone else I do my share of mistakes.

    I think Guest Articles is an area many of us still have a lot to learn.

    Cheers..

    Are Morch
    Hotel Blogger

    Reply

  75. Why You Suck at Guest Blogging (and What The Pros Do Differently) | Real Prosperity 4 LIfe
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  77. روتر شبکه
    Dec 10, 2014 @ 09:14:12

    Hi john
    I got very good tips

    Reply

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