Guest Blogging: A Change in the Google Algorithm

Gini Dietrich Chief Executive Officer, Arment Dietrich, Inc.

Posted on January 24th 2014

Guest Blogging: A Change in the Google Algorithm

Guest Blogging- A Change in the Google AlgorithmThe day  before yesterday, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and I saw, “Hey bloggers, watch out! Google is denying guest bloggers.”

We have four guest bloggers here every week, not to mention content from each member of our team.

My heart sank.

I got a little sick.

Then I decided I had to go see this for myself.

I took to The Google and typed in “Matt Cutts guest blogging.”

What I found was, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO.”

I took a deep breath and started to read.

The Fall of Guest Blogging

Surprisingly, though, what I found in his post was this:

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains. We’ve reached the point in the downward spiral where people are hawking “guest post outsourcing” and writing articles about “how to automate guest blogging.”

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

What he’s talking about here are the “guest bloggers” who clearly are “creating” content for your site for the sole purpose of getting a link back to their site.

For example:

Dear Lindsay,

My name is XXX and I am an Internet Fashion and Beauty consultant working for a client. My company is looking to open a dialogue with you in an effort to collaborate in a mutually beneficial partnership between your blog/brand and my client.

Some key areas I would like to discuss include:

  • Product reviews (will likely include free samples)
  • Sponsoring a giveaway of one of our new products
  • Guest author/Blog article placements
  • Any other type of collaboration you might be open to

We are looking to get in touch to review the concepts and hopefully move quickly. Please let me know if you are interested and we can set up a time to discuss in more detail.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Or this:

Dear Lindsay,

I’m a New Media specialist working for an advertising agency. We found your site as it has some great blog posts that are relevant to our client’s (sic).

Would you be interested in discussing some advertising opportunities, specifically around sponsored posts?

We would be happy to sponsor a new relevant post created by you and get a backlink to our client’s website inside your article; or as another option – to update the existing article with a new paragraph.

If you are interested feel free to get in touch for discussing further details.

These companies either use really cheap labor or robots to scrape content from other sites and provide it to you so you’ll link to their website or blog.

This is bad.

But, here’s the deal…it’s never been good.

So, really, the fall of guest blogging isn’t that at all.

What Google will begin penalizing are the sites who allow this to happen (and it happens).

Real Guest Blogging is A-OK

Unless you engage in this kind of icky guest blogging, you’re fine.

Matt says:

In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.

Usually what gives them away is their email address. If it looks strange, it likely is.

Think about guest blogging as you would any other PR tactic. Use it for brand awareness, thought leadership, and building credibility.

If you want to read what’s being offered, it’s likely other people do, too.

But, if they’re offering to pay you for a link to their client’s website, their email address doesn’t look legit, or you can’t find anything about them online, run away!

If your site is multi-author or you invite guest bloggers quite often, you’re not going to be penalized if you’re doing it the right way.

As long as your content strategy is about writing for humans, the spiders will follow.


Gini Dietrich

Chief Executive Officer, Arment Dietrich, Inc.

Gini Dietrich is the founder and chief executive officer of Arment Dietrich, Inc., a firm that uses non-traditional marketing in a digital world. The author of Spin Sucks, the 2010 Readers Choice Blog of the Year, a Top 42 Content Marketing Blog from Junta42, a top 10 social media blog from Social Media Examiner, and an AdAge Power 150 blog, Gini has delivered numerous keynotes, panel discussions, coaching sessions, and workshops across North America on the subject of using online technology in communication, marketing, sales, and HR. One of the top rated communication professionals on the social networks, Gini was recently named the number one PR person, according to Klout and TechCrunch, on the channels, and number one on Twitter, according to TweetLevel. She also can be found writing at Crain's Chicago Business, AllBusiness, and Franchise Times.
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Madhava Verma Dantuluri
Posted on January 29th 2014 at 4:05AM

Good article.