Google's Matt Cutts Describes How He Finds Low Quality/Spammy Guest Blogging

Oct 18, 2013 • 8:36 am | comments (29) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

google targetGuest blogging has been a large topic over the past couple years in the SEO space.

In a recent video by Matt Cutts, Google's head of search spam, Matt answered the question:

How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?

In that question, he showed overall examples of what makes bad guest blogging easy to spot and easy to find, in good examples.

Bad Guest Blogging includes writing off topic articles on a specific site and using keyword rich anchor text excessively.

Good guest blogging is when the content is written by an expert, the content has an bio at the bottom of the story and there is typically very little keyword dropping.

Matt added that the quantity of low quality guest blogging has been on the rise. He also suggested that if you do guest blogging, make sure to do it in moderation.

Forum discussion at Twitter.

Image credit to BigStockPhoto for target

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Szymon Slowik

10/18/2013 01:29 pm

As a normal web user you can easily spot spammy, irrelevant guest blogging. So do they ;)


10/18/2013 03:44 pm

Penalties for guest blog posts and the sites that allow them will come in the future I am sure. Like any other "technique," it will be hijacked and abused beyond its useful purpose.

Nick Ker

10/18/2013 03:57 pm

Easiest way to find spammy guest blogging? Search for "guest blog", "guest post", etc. That should be about 90% accurate or better.

Durant Imboden

10/18/2013 03:57 pm

The value of low-quality guest posts has already peaked, if my e-mail inbox is any indicator. The bottom-feeding SEO firms that were trying to buy links last year are now trying to place "guest posts" or "sponsored posts," which suggests that the clever SEO crowd have moved on to something new.


10/18/2013 04:41 pm

It's another "FUN" question!


10/18/2013 05:04 pm

Absolutely agree. "Guest post" almost equal to spam.


10/18/2013 05:43 pm

The purpose of the Link is to pay credit to the helpful source of information. If the Author writes an article and links to her/his own website then it means, that s/he pays credit to her/himself. This is an absurd and the only purpose of such activity is spam. And neither "bio at the bottom" nor expert-like talking can't change this. Furthermore, if there is Guest posting, then obviously there should be Owner posting and Employee posting and Share Holder posting .... Did you see something like this ? No ? Do you know why ? Because this is an absurd ) If Matt Cutts sees the nature of Link differently, then he has no right to penalize link spammers for their activity. These guys just follow his point of view.


10/18/2013 06:56 pm

time to penalize matts


10/18/2013 08:44 pm

He penalized himself already. I never saw he was mentioned among IT professionals (people who create this industry) as an authority.


10/19/2013 05:35 pm

matt cutts create spammy blog post (on his blog for example), and later find it via google. because all other is yelp, wikipedia, amazon, youtube and high authority spam...


10/19/2013 05:38 pm

problem here what webmasters link wikipedia not because of quality, but to get bonus from linking top top not-penalized domain. also peoples linking amazon to get money, not because of quality. also peoples linking youtube videos because it give bonus for ranking and high authority. All high authority sites and brands model is totally invalid, google going insane and wrong way. so all linking system is NOT VALID NOW, due to google. And it will increases, now time of high authority spam and soon google not will have any results in their serp.


10/19/2013 06:06 pm

him is just a blablabla guy on google. other google workers listen him and their "smart" Indian guy with open mounthes and afraid to tell anything (because not want to lost work in warm place for now).


10/19/2013 06:08 pm

but quality of 2012-2013 low quality google search engine is going down and down. only high authority spam with sponsored posts, spam articles (like on yahoo) on all low competition keywords, etc.


10/19/2013 06:09 pm

google also almost equal to spam at 2012-2013, but right now it equal high authority spam & $$$ ads above fold & search results with contact pages, products not available pages,social spam, yelp/wikipedia/amazon/youtube/yahoo voices spammy (or empty) pages, empty yahoo answers and other similar crap. Good work, google!


10/19/2013 06:12 pm

yes, let wish them success in destroying their search engine.


10/19/2013 07:08 pm

Matt Cutts has his own blog and it really sucks. Every time I've been to his blog I lose interest and go somewhere else. I get sick to death of people like Matt giving us advice about websites and seo when they don't know anything about it themselves from firsthand experience OUTSIDE OF GOOGLE . Thats right!! If Matt Cutts did not have google authority behind him, no-one would go to his website or even listen to him. The only reason I know about Matt Cutts is because of seo blogs. Marissa Mayer will not hire Matt, so he will have to stay at google and keep making videos for google fans in India where most of his views are from.

Durant Imboden

10/19/2013 09:37 pm

You've obviously missed the point of the video (and Barry's post). The video has nothing to do with Matt Cutts' blog--or with Marissa Mayer, for that matter. It's for the many site owners and SEOs who may be interested in hearing what the head of Google's antispam team thinks about guest posts.


10/20/2013 12:09 am

listen his stupid ideas is not helpful at all.


10/20/2013 01:26 am

You've obviously missed the point of the thread here and on Matt Cutts Twitter. Site owners and SEOs showed no interest ... again.

Gracious Store

10/20/2013 03:53 am

Where will Matts Cutts not find fault with Webmaster and label them as spammers. Honest guest bloggers have now become spammers, because Matts thinks that their blog posts are of low quality. Why not suggest to guest bloggers to improve on the quality of their posts, and reduce the number of keywords in the content the publish rather than classifying them as spammers

Jacques Bouchard

10/20/2013 04:48 am

Barry -- I asked this question, specifically, to a panel at SMX East this year. They'd done a ton of research and came to the table with a lot of data on what goes into Mobile rankings. While the practices you mention are, of course, problems, I notice that those are all due to technical errors. Bonuses due to to compliance? Penalties due to a site NOT being built responsive/for mobile? I've seen no data to support that. Clearly, it's coming, but I don't think it's here yet.


10/20/2013 11:41 am

Durant A lot of people come here to read negative feedback about Matt Cutts so the post is entirely relevant. You obviously have not spent enough time following Matt Cutt's advice. A lot of people here used to follow Matt, only to find out that much of what he does is simply Google PR and designed to mislead hard working people trying to get ahead in life.

Durant Imboden

10/20/2013 02:50 pm

Yet Wearelegion just wrote: ""A lot of people come here to read negative feedback about Matt Cutts." It would appear that some people are obsessed with Matt Cutts.


10/20/2013 05:32 pm

People just don't trust Matt Cutts. During many months (24 at least) he produces not helpful content. That's it. Nothing personal.


10/20/2013 06:44 pm

Durant, JustConsumer is correct. Matt has not been helpful for several years. What he shares is opinions that sound good in principle but those who have worked hard on websites will know that its mostly PR stuff that is just political propaganda. Why? Because those who follow him seriously know that his advice not working. Maybe I should not be so harsh on Matt but honestly he should try to do something like start a new website and try to build a web business from scratch in 2013 and see the results. He'll quickly find out that his own advice is not working and probably end up coming for advice to people who no longer listen to him.


10/20/2013 08:56 pm

Seems like regular Google search users also realized, that Google can be very misleading (to say at least) :


10/21/2013 09:17 am

I see Matt wearing a firefox logo on his T shirt. Uhm.. does that tell us anything :)

David Brownley

10/29/2013 08:31 am

Guest Blogging is a great tool for increasing reach and engaging with audiences. Using for just link building aspect and paying to have your content displayed is not adding valuable content to users and not adding value to the blog it is posted on. Genuine Guest Posting works by engaging with audiences which are interested in your content.

Spook SEO

01/11/2014 03:35 pm

Hello Barry! Just like Matt Cutts, I also do suggest that we need to do guest blogging in moderation. For me, guest blogging is one of the best strategies if we want to rank in search engines. We just need to make sure that we are doing "ethical" SEO. I believe that good guest blogging is when the content is written by an expert or maybe a good writer, the content has a bio at the bottom of the story and there is typically very little keyword dropping.

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