Matt Cutts Suggests Guest Blogging Only Be Done in Moderation

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Matt Cutts Suggests Guest Blogging Only Be Done in Moderation

Power of Words

Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search spam, answers a question about guest blogging in his latest video where a user writes in to ask: “How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?”

When his team reviews spam reports, Cutts says that there is a clear distinction between organic guest blog posts and someone disguising their paid links as guest blog content.

One of the clearest ways to identify paid links from organic guest blog content is how well the subject of the post matches the rest of the content on the site. Cutts says spam content is typically off-topic or irrelevant, having little to do with the blog’s niche. Spam content will likely also contain keyword-rich anchor text.

According to Cutts, a true guest blogger is someone who is an established expert on a particular subject. An organic guest blog post will often include a paragraph about the guest blog author, including why they were invited to write a post for the site. True guest bloggers also don’t stuff their anchor text with heavy amounts of keywords.

Cutts notes that in all of these cases there is a spectrum of quality and he has been noticing a rise of low quality guest blog posts. Cutts cautions marketers that guest blogging is starting to feel a lot like a “fad of the month” and not to guest blog on as many sites as possible as one of your tactics for building links.

“Guest blogging is the sort of thing that you should think about doing in moderation, it shouldn’t be your full time job… if that’s all you’re doing then that’s probably not the best way to build reputation for your website.”

Cutts ends the video by saying that usually the difference between paid links and real guest blog posts is pretty clear cut. If you’re doing guest blog posts that end up looking pretty close to paid links, Cutts says they may decide not to count those links regardless.

You can see Matt Cutts’ full response in the video below:

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
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  • Sunil Chadha

    yes matt cutts is saying absolutely true that no need to more guest blogging and any work, need to different quality work as forum discussion.

  • tncstrategy

    Its actually quite obvious between and paid links and guest blog. Paid links usually have anchor rich keywords pertaining to the industry. A good guest blog on the other hand uses what we call “environmental linking” where links that are spread throughout your content and doesn’t only link to your website, they link to other sites that you are referencing to. Good guest blog also uses very common and generic anchor keywords like “here”, “website”, your website name or for some, just the URL without any anchor text.
    The whole idea of a good guest blog is that the writer is trying to create value and awareness for his readers rather than just for the sake of getting a link.

  • Maria

    Paid links in content can look like guest articles. Guest blogging is the solution that allows to make paid links look natural.

  • Rick Noel

    I have noticed a lot more guest blogging lately, much of the variety Matt uses as examples, some by experts in our industry. If one believes in Author Rank someday evolving into a Google ranking factor, it would seem like the guest blog venues could impact long term authority of a writer/expert. The focus in that case would be on high quality sites that are relevant to your expertise with the primary goal of reaching an audience that you might not normally reach. This seems to align with what Matt is saying, and from a marketing investment standpoint, taking the long view as opposed to gaming Google in exchange for short term returns.

  • James Perrin

    On the whole this is really good news for Content Marketers who are looking to create outstanding campaigns using a variety of content types. If a campaign revolves around guest blogging every month, then you’ll have a problem. Spending your time building a relationship with a quality relevant site is far more valuable than churning out stuff on any site that will accept it. Cutts’ video serves to emphasise this point, so it’s great news for me.

  • Skolar

    In light of Panda and especially Penguin and all that, do we really need to told this…and again? Really?
    Man I guess unscrupulous folks will keep making the same mistakes over and over again. SMH really.

  • John Smith

    The video provides right guide lines about guest blog posting, for guest posting we must use our writing skill to provide readers some great article and topic to help improve their skill instead of keyword stuffed article for ranking purpose as blogging is a great platform to show up the writing skill and attract the readers, it automatically provide the good ranking to the author if reader likes the post so we no need to extra effort only a simple link would be enough.

  • Mike Pendino

    Yes matt cutts is saying absolutely true and now i would like to say we do not need to more guest blogging and any work we should concentrate on forum posting and group discussion.

  • Blogger Tips

    I add content and keep guest 1 blogging per domain. That never got me into trouble.