After reading Google Spam Team leader, Matt Cutts’ latest article The Decay And Fall Of Guest Blogging For SEO, which was posted on his personal blog on January 20, my initial reaction was that I need to perhaps think about developing a new SEO strategy for link-building other than relying heavily on guest blogging to generate backlinks to my clients’ websites. However, on second reading of Cutts’ article and after watching some of the included videos embedded in the article, where Cutts addresses whether guest blogging as a SEO strategy will be heavily penalized by Google in the future, I realized that Cutts is just essentially saying that SEO experts and website admins should be aware of spammy guest posting offers and avoid using low quality guest posts as their main SEO link-building strategy. Thus, as Neil Patel (2014) asserts in one of his latest articles Guest Blogging And SEO Still Have A Match Made In Heaven on Quicksprout.com, relevant and high quality guest blogging is still an absolutely necessary part of any SEO expert or website admin’s SEO strategy, because it significantly increases brand awareness, website traffic referrals and sales for their business.
Since high quality and relevant website content still reigns supreme on the web and has become ever-increasingly important with some of Google’s latest updates over the last year or so, including: the Google Penguin, Panda and Hummingbird updates. Thus, writing authentic and relevant, high caliber blog posts is still important in generating brand awareness, referral traffic and sales to your business via your business website.
As Patel (2014) points out in his latest article “Guest Blogging And SEO Still Have A Match Made In Heaven” a guest bloggers author rank is becoming increasingly more important for determining a website’s Page Authority and Domain Authority rankings on the main search engines, such as Google, since Google has been cracking down on spammy back-linking practices for the past few years, namely the Penguin updates, which prevent Black Hat SEO’s and web admin’s from manipulating Google’s search algorithms to their website’s advantage. For instance, Hip-Hop and Rap lyrics dictionary website, www.rapgenius.com was recently banned from Google for ten days, due to their use of similar Black Hat SEO techniques. Moreover, as Patel (2014) points out, Google is likely to discount irrelevant, spammy backlinks on websites who use guest blog posts with irrelevant links and rich anchor text links. Thus, as Matt Cutts (2014) asserts in his latest article “The Decay And Fall Of Guest Blogging For SEO” website admin’s and business owners should generally try and steer clear of guest blogging, and guest blogging websites unless they know the person or can personally vouch for them.
Since AuthorRank and SERP ranks are closely linked to social media author ranking, it is especially crucial that website owners create and post high quality, authentic and relevant content on their website and social media profiles, so that they can increase their visibility and website Domain Authority on search engines, such as Google and Yahoo! And since Google +’s active user base has grown significantly over the past 3 or so years, since its inception in 2011 to reach 540 million active users, as of October 2013, posting high caliber, authentic and relevant website content has become increasingly important for business owners using Google +, due to the close connection between Google + and Google Search Engine Results Pages website rankings. More specifically as Patel (2014) asserts, social signals will become increasingly more important in determining a websites AuthorRank in the future, since the amount of social votes on a blog post is a very good indicator of determining the quality and relevancy of the post to the website’s target audience.
Consistently posting high quality and relevant guest posts is also great for increasing your website’s Domain Authority, because it catches the hearts and minds of your intended target audience, who are more likely to buy or recommend your products and services to other friends, co-workers or family members via social media or word of mouth communication. In addition, writing guest posts on relevant and authoritative blogs within your market niche is also a great way to build brand awareness and generate referral traffic and sales for your business.
As Patel (2014) points out, website and business owners should use guest blogging as a way to generate backlinks for their websites long-tail keyword search terms, instead of their main “head” keywords, since this is what 80% of search engine users search for when they are searching for specific products or services. And hence this will help in increasing website and business owners’ overall Domain Authority on the main search engines, such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
Clearly as Cutts (2014) and Patel (2014) assert: posting authentic, relevant and high quality guest blog posts is still a very useful way of generating brand awareness, referral traffic, and sales to your businesses website. Nonetheless as mentioned above, due to the vast amount of spammy guest posts, and websites that specialize in generating low quality and irrelevant spam posts, links and other Black Hat SEO strategies, website’s’ Domain Authority now will not only be based on the amount of inbound links to your website, but also the quality of this content and the author rank of the person who links to your website. Thus, as a website business owner it is best to avoid accepting too many guest posts on your website blog or your website’s content will end up being irrelevant to your target audiences needs and interests, which will in turn lead to your website generating less customer referrals, sales leads and sales, as well as leading to your website being ranked significantly lower on Google’s Search Engine Results Pages.