Guest Blogging for SEO. Is it Dead?

Guest Blogging for SEO. Is it Dead?

Is Guest Blogging Dead


Building off-page SEO is the process of developing high authority content on other websites, and pointing visitors back to your website for more information. Traditionally, methods like search engine submission, social bookmarking, and link exchanges were used to build links and bring traffic to your website. However, engaging in these spammy practices will cost you big time, and in some cases get you banned from Google altogether. The rules have changed, and continue to evolve. Here’s what you need to know about one strategy of off-page SEO, known as guest blogging.

Guest blogging is simply the practice of writing a blog post, and having it published on another author’s blog. In the past, this was seen as very high value content, and worked wonders to establish you as an authority in your niche. However, with Google’s latest algorithm change, there have been whisperings that guest blogging isn’t such a good method of building off-page SEO as it once was. In fact, in many cases, it’s even frowned upon. But before you shelve all of your guest blogging strategies, let’s dig a little deeper.

In January 2014, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, stated that “guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy” This statement sent shockwaves through many circles, and rumors started flying about certain websites losing significant rank position because they had engaged in guest blogging for SEO purposes. For fear they were next, many SEO companies, and businesses alike, abandoned everything related to guest blogging, and went searching for the next silver bullet.

However, this fear-based reflex is premature without understanding what Google’s goals truly are. In the same article where Matt announced his position on guest blogging, he also stated, “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.” Emphasis Added

What he was highlighting in this announcement is that there are thousands of low quality and spammy blogs out there that will publish any content sent to them for a fee. These sites do zero editing to ensure quality content is added to their website, and in many cases, content is duplicated or spun, which doesn’t meet Google’s criteria for quality content. The idea here is that Google is trying to weed out those websites that aren’t putting in any real effort to improving the web experience.

In order for a successful SEO campaign, your strategy should be highly diversified and appear very natural in the eyes of Google. If your business is an authority in its niche, and you’re developing great content consistently on the web, it’s natural that you would be invited by a related industry publication to share your ideas. As part of a natural online presence then, it’s important that high-quality, relevant guest blogging be a part of your SEO efforts. However, you must ensure this isn’t your only strategy. You must also create content for your own website blog, acquire high authority featured editorial publications, have a healthy social media presence, produce some quality videos and publish to YouTube, etc. The big idea is that you need high-quality link diversity.

When all these things are happening in a balanced and systematic way, it provides a synergistic effect, which improves your rankings in the search results. A diversified link profile, which includes “some” guest blog appearances is a recipe for success online, which is why all of our SEO packages include a number of guest blog posts. But have no fear. With every Google update, our clients are rewarded with higher rankings. In fact, at Brown Box Branding, we look forward to the next Google update with confidence, and expect for more of our client’s competitors to be hit with penalties our clients are avoiding.

If you’re considering an investment in your online presence, please get in touch. We’ll perform Keyword Research, a Website Audit, and Competitive Analysis free of charge. We’ll let you know exactly what it will take to outrank your competitors and provide a significant boost to your revenue.

Jeff Bickley

Over the past decade, Jeff has worked with numerous Fortune 100 and Start-Up companies to establish, reinvent, and re-enforce their brand. A serial entrepreneur at heart, Jeff has a passion for leveraging his vast experience to provide solid and timely advice to business leaders at all levels.

  • avatar
    Posted at 23:56h, 18 August

    Guest blogging if done incorrectly can be extremely detrimental to your website. Good guidance on how to avoid throwing out the baby with the bathwater though.

  • avatar
    Posted at 17:38h, 07 August

    Makes sense. Thanks for the clarity. There are always conflicting stories about SEO, and the title for this one almost through me for a loop. Thanks for breaking it down!

  • avatar
    Posted at 07:39h, 07 August

    In other words, they aren’t going to reward you with great rankings if your content sucks.

  • avatar
    Posted at 00:40h, 06 August

    Big idea here is that high quality guest blogging for seo will never hurt you. As long as it’s relevant, high quality, and high authority, you’re good to go. Google is only targeting low quality spammy blogs that post anything as long as you pay up.

  • avatar
    Mike M.
    Posted at 13:45h, 05 August

    It’s frustrating trying to keep up on all of this. I’ve been doing my own SEO for the past 6 months or so with so-so results. I’ve read just about everything I can find on the topic, and it’s completely overwhelming. As soon as I think I’ve got it figured out, I read something else that sends me on another wild goose chase. I’m about done trying to keep up! Thanks for the post though – gives me more to chew on!

    • avatar
      Jeff Bickley
      Posted at 17:17h, 05 August

      Hi Mike,

      Sorry to hear of your frustration. It can be extremely overwhelming if you’re not living & breathing this stuff every day. Especially if you have the day-to-day operations of your business to run. You might consider outsourcing this. As a business owner, your time is better spent focusing on what you do best. For less than the cost of a minimum-wage part time employee, your SEO can be handled by professionals who know your stuff and get results. We’d be happy to discuss your options with you. Reach out if you’d like to continue the conversation.



  • avatar
    Posted at 01:10h, 05 August

    Any word on the Google Penguin 3.0 update?

    • avatar
      Jeff Bickley
      Posted at 17:33h, 05 August

      Hi Roy,

      Not yet. It was expected to hit on May 23, but we’re still waiting. When 2.0 was released, Matt Cutts dropped some pretty big hints that a significant update affecting backlinks was coming. He’s been pretty tight lipped about the next Penguin update, so it could be another month or two. We’ll keep watch, and will update the blog as soon as we know something definitive.