So much is happening in SEO at the moment, things continue to change and be updated to better increase user experience. Since we’re now well into 2014, I thought it might be a good time to write a blog post to provide a bit more of an insight on the direction of guest blogging.

Our good friend Matt Cutts over at Google recently posted a video on his blog and YouTube channel last month explaining that he personally received an email from a foreign ‘content marketer’ from an undisclosed digital agency, requesting a guest post in exchange for a link to a client website.

Firstly, what fool would email Google’s Head of Web Spam, basically asking to buy a link from his blog? Not only is this whole approach against Google guidelines, but they emailed the guy who is directly in charge of spam and dishing out penalties for this exact approach.

matt cutts meme

We’re not aware of the direct outcome of this foolish email, but if the offender was actually aware of who they emailed and the potential response, I’m sure they’d be a little nervous and more careful next time.

As a result of this, Cutts has now said “stick a fork in it, guest blogging is done”! Guest Posting has become too spammy. So it’s probably best to now avoid only using guest posting platforms and guest blogging as your only link building strategy, or you’ll eventually feel the wrath of Cutt’s authority (perhaps the Penguin update).

BUT, there is quality guest posting. To put it in perspective, if it’s a post from a reliable and authoritative source, this is seen as natural. If the article is written poorly and has no relevance to anything of importance, this would be considered spam. Check out Cutt’s video, he explains thoroughly.

[youtube_sc url=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMxC3wQZOyc”]

Link building still crucial to the SERPs

Cutts then informed SEOs and webmasters last week that back links are still a huge factor in the Google algorithm and will continue to have an impact on the quality of the search results – for now! See that article here. So this tells us that links are still important and an integral component of SEO, so we need to find alternative solutions.

So what does that mean for Link Building in the future?

So the future of guest blogging is in jeopardy, but back links are still crucial to the SERPs. Hmm, what to do?

Content marketers are going to have to be a little more creative from here on out when it comes to building links to their clients websites. Remember, links are supposed to be natural, not just ‘appear natural’. So not only do we begin to start looking at using more branded anchor text to help build a brand presence ‘on-the-line’, we also need to be more creative and find other ways to build links naturally.

Here’s a few more link building approaches that our Content Marketing Manager has come up with to utilise moving forward:

·         Infographic creation and distribution via sites and bloggers 
·         Competitions/ giveaway hosted by bloggers
·         Engage influential bloggers to create and publish branded editorial content on a regular basis 
·         Product reviews from bloggers
·         Sponsorship/ community donations links (.org links)
·         Link building through clients’ business partners / suppliers

We have more ways to continue to build high quality links for our clients, but we’ll keep them up our sleeve for the time being. Link building is still important for every website, we just need to start diversifying our strategies.