Google'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+.