Google Webmaster Guidelines Update: Low-Quality Guest Blogging Now Considered to be Spam
Brian Ussery was the first to spot the change in Google’s guidelines as discussed in his blog. He emphasized Google’s stand on low-quality guest blogging as a “link-building strategy” which had become spammy through time. In addressing this problem, Google started penalizing blog networks and guest bloggers in 2014.
Guest blogging for SEO was declared dead by Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team. He pointed out how prevalent spammy guest blogging had become, and that guest bloggers were doing it for the sake of gaining links without considering the quality of their posts. Guest blogging has long since lost its authenticity, even though it started as a good method of gaining exposure and increased reach.
Many webmasters have received spammy requests to post guest blog articles on their sites, including Cutts. “Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.”
Several guest bloggers reacted to Cutts’ statement that guest blogging for SEO is done, saying that attacking it as a whole was not the proper way to solve the problem. In order to prevent more spammy practices, Google will have to penalize guest bloggers that violate their updated guidelines. Earlier this year, Google penalized large blog networks like PostJoint in April and MyBlogGuest in March for such practices.
Figure 1 shows Google’s “little or no original content” guideline before it was updated:
This page has since been updated, with “low-quality guest blog posts” being equated with scraped content [Figure 2]:
While Google maintains that it will not penalize websites that practice legitimate guest blogging that aims to spread information and drive appropriate actions, they have tightened the noose on spammy guest blogging in order to maintain the quality of their SERPs.
As Cutts stated:
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.
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