The End of Guest Blogging?

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Matt Cutts is a very important person in how your blog ranks against everyone else’s, but you might not know who he is. He is the head of the web spam team at Google, and works with the search quality teams on SEO issues. What does that mean to you though, and how does that relate to the title of this post?

Matt recently posted on his blog an interesting article called “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”. In the post, he talks about how guest posting used to be quite a coveted request – getting someone you admire to post on your blog is pretty cool, right? But these days, you’re more likely to get requests like…

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you today. I currently work alongside a client who provides fashion related products and came across your site while looking for blogs and websites who may be interested in working with us.
Ideally we would be looking to feature an article on your website about the client’s range of fashion products they offer. This could be in the form of either an article written by our professional in house copywriters or one of our specially made collages which our team would put together.
We would also be happy to provide examples of our previous work to assure you that it is up to the standards of your blog.

I just went on your blog and wanted to know if you would be interested in a partnership. It consists in relaying one of our client’s news, in the luxury and fashion area.
In this frame, we are looking for quality bloggers who are ok to publish remunerated posts that would easily fit their websites.
These posts must be written in the due respect of your editorial line and the interest of your readers, which is a priority.
We are also interested in Guest Post, so if by any chance we could provide you with an article, please let us know.

I hope you don’t mind me contacting you today. I recently came across your site and the content I found on there related to fashion caught my eye and I am interested in giving you an offer.
I would like to create an informative piece of writing for you, possibly with a collage or maybe you could write an article relevant to us if that is something you prefer. This would be produced exclusively for your site and it could be written by our professional in-house copywriters and would contain a link back to one of our well known fashion brand partners.

Sounds familiar, right? (We’ve bolded the parts that are most relevant to this post.) In his blog post, Matt talks about how paying for links to pass PageRank is against Google’s guidelines which is why you might get asked not to disclose when a post contains a sponsored link.

“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 link building strategy.” – Matt Cutts

The post does go on to say that there is still a place for guest blogging – in terms of the blogs that our communities are most likely to do, benefits will include helping out other bloggers when they need posts on their blogs (always a good thing!), helping new readers find your blog and developing your own writing portfolio (showing that you can write to a different audience than your own is a great skill to demonstrate – always thinking of your CV!) However, since guest blogging in the ways that the emails above suggest has become so spammy, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see requests for them to drop as Google picks up on them.

What do you think – is this the beginning of the end of sponsored, “collaborative” and paid for links in posts?

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