Google On Guest Blogging For Links

Oct 10, 2012 • 8:43 am | comments (22) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Guest Blogging - Matt CuttsGoogle's Matt Cutts is back at it with the webmaster videos, answering AJ Kohn's question, "What is Google's view on guest blogging for links?"

I am not sure why he just didn't say it outright - if you are guest blogging just for links, then don't do it. He doesn't say that, instead he talks about who is guest blogging.

Listen to the video:

Besides for the call out to awesome bloggers such as Lisa Barone, Danny Sullivan, and Vanessa Fox. He said, if they write articles for you, that is totally fine and is a "great win."

He goes on to explain how some people take it to extremes. He gets into content spinning, etc.

People like Lisa Barone, Danny Sullivan, and Vanessa Fox do not guest blog for links. They guest blog to get a message out to a larger audience, not to get a link.

So if you look at the conversation about this video on John Mueller's Google+ page you will see people now analyzing, well - how close do you have to get to a Lisa Barone level of writing for the links to count? You see what I am saying?

As usual though there seems to be a lot of grey area there. How is quality judged?

Typically, the level of writers that Google is talking about are the same who would not even consider the link when they contribute the article to another site. Yea, it all goes back to intent.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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10/10/2012 01:58 pm

If I had to bet, I mean real money and all, I would bet Cutts and Google are putting the cart before the horse here. Now that the cow has left the barn, on dumping on small publishers, it's time to address things we can use to excuse our new monetization plan. Sorry to sound so caustic here Barry, but these people are starting to make me sick already. I have competitors posting twice used content, their metrics somehow through the roof at the instant Panda went live. Now I cannot give a link to even a relevent associate for content in exchange? So... if it has any vague possibility of value or monetization, and Google cannot squeeze their fair share out of it, then it basically does not exist. Is this about right? Next they'll sell my gmail mails to the New York Times for secret paybacks. God, put me in a taxi with Matt Cutts at midnight. Always, Phil

Kevin Gerding

10/10/2012 02:10 pm

Am I the only one that sees Matt is not his normal chipper self? I wonder if he is just tired from all the algorithm changes or possibly is not enthusiastic about the changes made to the SERPS. Google should live by its own standards. If they can have 100% paid ads above the fold, others should not be penalized for doing the same. Those that create the content that Google displays to its users, should permit them a fundamental right to monetize their work.

Marie Haynes

10/10/2012 03:53 pm

I think that Google is purposely bombarding webmasters with a huge number of algo updates just to get the same point across that Matt says in this video - stop making links in order to try to rank better. Google really wants us to create fantastic websites that attract natural links. They're getting better and better at devaluing (or penalizing) the majority of tactics that we as SEOs use to try to get sites to rank, now including guest posting in return for a link. I feel for small businesses that are trying to rank high on Google because it's not easy anymore!

Atomic Design

10/10/2012 06:03 pm

It will be interesting to see how the Google Authorship plays into this as well and how (and if) blogs will properly attribute Google Authorship information on their blog to the original writer. We have been discussing how to best handle that for corporate multi-person blogs for a single company, does each get their own authorship or does it all go under the company's authorship? Then what happens should that person leave the company or they just do something to jeopardize their own profile and thus hurts the corporate blog's rankings? But in general, I think this video continues to underscore what we all know and just keep hoping to find a way 'around' and that is that it is all about quality content. Period. They will continue to find ways to determine it and if we stay true to feeding it in a truthful manner then I think we should all be good. Sometimes the best shortcut to great results isn't to shortcut anything in the first place!

Ryan @ Linkbuildr

10/10/2012 06:25 pm

Don't know why you have two down votes for saying this...couldn't have said it better myself. Real companies don't need to influence their anchor text and do things that are low quality. Think beyond the link folks!

Maria Brooks

10/10/2012 09:11 pm

I agree with HISWebMarketing. The message is write good content, build natural organic links, let this all happen overtime....and stop trying to beat the system and take shortcuts.


10/10/2012 10:01 pm

OK....I have the most kick ass website in my niche. YEt I am still getting beat out my older websites with more links? Now what? Keep on start building links. Just because my website is awesome and my content rocks....does not mean I will get links.

Brian Crouch

10/10/2012 10:57 pm

This is why authorship (I refer specifically to rel="author", Google+ connected) has been pushed so heavily in the last year or so. By attaching the content piece to an author rather than just a page's or domain's authority, the algo has more to go on for assigning value to a citation or an editorially given link.


10/11/2012 12:33 am

I think that even Matt knows that the way Google has been behaving this year has lost them any good faith that they might have had amongst the SEO community. A grab for cash is just that even if it is hidden behind the facade of doing what is best for users.


10/11/2012 12:46 am

I love how Danny Sullivan because he is a "awesome blogger" can link from searchengineland to one of his other sites (marketingland) in a post. yet if we tried to do something as heinous as that we would get slammed with penalty. It is even funnier when he writes about a WSJ article and will link to the original article with anchor text something like "the post" or "the article" and then link to some vague write up in marketingland with rich anchor text. He does this less and less these days but I can't help feeling that if it was one of us plebs doing this we would be called out and slammed with in days of posting the article. Instead of Matt being "once again" vague!!!!!!!! he should just come out and give direction. I personally think all guest post links need to be nofollow! Matt should just lay down this law and all will be sweet. We all know that all guest posts are paid for in one way or another, yet Matt refuses to do anything about it. Why? because most of his friends in SEO/Webmaster community abuse guest blogging. Imagine if Danny had to go through all posts on his websites and make the links from all those guests posts nofollow? The uproar would be heard on the moon. Having said all that I like Barry's approach to all this. who gives a flying $%^& what Google thinks! Post the kind of links you want to post. Now if the whole web community just did what Barry did we would all be in a better place. I sometimes wonder why the hell sites like FB and Pinterest and twitter nofollow their external links do they really give %$^& what Google thinks of them? infact if these sites and big sites like them just stopped using nofollow it would cause all sorts of hell for Google. I know FB would love that and the other sites probably wouldn't mind a bit of havoc made for potentially one of their biggest competitors.


10/11/2012 02:53 am

You are wrong. Good content means nothing there are thousands of great sites with great content that are getting no where in the serps. Also by using the word build you are already on the verge of falling foul of the Google webmaster guidelines.

Yogendra Chavda

10/11/2012 04:54 am

You're right thomas.. there are many sites which are looking great(visually) and also perfectly made for users but still they are penalizing now due to recent updates..! We understand that many sites were using wrong tactics for ranking but that doesn't mean that good sites which were using good methods(natural & effective) are nowhere to be found now!

John Brown

10/11/2012 05:11 am

google & co. not cares, it just clean web dictatorship. Google can have 99% ads on their sites, links between all their projects (like youtube, etc) which is direct violation with their webmaster guidelines. So that rules only for small webmasters only.

Sushi Digital Wen Development

10/11/2012 06:58 am

Totally agree. I know an experience writer for companies and big name. Whenever he wrotes the same quality of content, viral goes with the name of the blogger and not the author itself.


10/11/2012 11:34 am

What??? You said build.. If you are 'building' then it is not natural .. doh...

Silicon Beach

10/11/2012 12:24 pm

Because if FB and Pinterest made their links follow, they would be (even more) full of crap!

Satish Coolpctips

10/11/2012 05:06 pm

I seriously didnt get the answer which i wanted to hear. So finally is it a yes or not? Can we post guest posts in our blog or not. I am still confused even watching a 3mins video from Matt.


10/12/2012 05:30 am

I agree, they should nofollow all guest posts but how would those sites get people to write for them? Do the writers get paid or do they work for links? Either way, since only the known writers can guest blog for links, they will stay on top and continue to gain popularity and rise in the ranks while good unknown content providers stay at the bottom. Of course if they were to nofollow all links we would be back to the way search engines were before Google - when off-page signals didn't play a role in rankings. This probably won't happen because links are the only thing that Google has going for them. I believe this is why they are pushing G+ so badly - it's their only hope for replacing link signals. So how does one get to the level of those writers without any exposure? In my opinion it's their popularity that makes them good and not the actual content. People link to them because they are amongst the first results when you search for certain topics in Google. When you are easily found, people will link to you but when you are hidden in the serps, you have to spread the news and links are usually the best way. For this reason, it's wrong to devalue all links. I was actually considering guest blogging but in order to get an article posted, I would have to part with some of my best work. Personally, I'd rather post my best work to my own site. Also, it's easy to run out of good content. So why spend all your efforts on helping an already established site grow? Links? This is obviously the only thing I can think of because it's obvious that this is how Google judges quality... I bet there would be fewer guest posts if Google was able to judge real quality. A good example is how Barry posts breaking news on SEL first and then on his own site. Isn't it interesting how he values SEL more? I wonder what would happen if he was getting the traffic he deserves right here?


10/12/2012 07:17 am

More BS from good old G and their main man - I am surprised he can take the time from bashing hard working webmasters business from his SE to make this video. Pretty soon they will be tweaking their algo to filter out any guests posts that are not written to their standards of quality, or more precisely, their buddies, Danny, et all What a joke.


10/12/2012 07:46 am

SESstuff there are plenty of high PR blogs that will accept cash for a post. The high PR and well trusted sites will pass you some great linkjuice and Google love. So they are well worth the effort. However this would be "AGAINST GOOGLE'S GUIDELINES!" What I want to know is how Google knows the difference between say searchengineland and one of these other HIGH PR blogs? The algorithm must be able to query site owners to see if they are offering paid placement or not! I guess it would be the same way the Google algorithm can psychically know that it was you and not your competitor that bought $300 worth of spam gigs from and blasted your site with 5million links! Matt talks about this Google algorithm as if it is a human. I think he has finally lost it.

Nick Ortiz

07/09/2013 07:30 am

What if the guest post doesn't even have an author listed and has outbound links? I take it this would be viewed as spammy?


01/22/2014 03:18 am

Will the guest-blogging-filter be a part of Penguin 3.0?

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