Matt Cutts: “Stick A Fork In It, Guest Blogging Is Done”
Google — 1 and Matt Cutts, in particular — has made a number of statements about guest blogging over the past year as the tactic has grown as a link building tactic.
None of those statements are as clear as the one Cutts wrote today on his personal blog.
Cutts, the head of Google’s webspam team, says that he’d “expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”
He begins the post with a very clear message:
Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.
After sharing an example of a guest blogging solicitation he received that would violate Google’s quality guidelines, Cutts says guest blogging is dead as a linkbuilding tactic:
So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn’t recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn’t recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy.
A Quick History Of Google & Guest Blogging Warnings
As I said above, this isn’t the first time Google or Cutts has discussed the risks of guest blogging. It’s just the most clear and definitive statement of all. You can see how Google’s stance toward the tactic has changed over time:
- October 2012: VIDEO: What is Google’s view on guest blogging for links?
- July 9, 2013: Google: Guest Blogging For Links? You Better Nofollow Those Links
- October 16, 2013: Google’s Matt Cutts: Guest Blogging Best Done In Moderation
- Dec. 10, 2013: Google’s Matt Cutts: Guest Blogging Abuse & Spam On The Rise
You can plainly see how the messaging has progressed from “better nofollow the links” to “use moderation” to “guest blog spam is getting bad” and now to today’s “stick a fork in it” post.
Google and Cutts have warned on things like this before — consider this warning about content farms that was published about one month before the Panda update rolled out.
The question now becomes: Is Google planning an algorithmic update that would impact guest blogging to coincide with today’s warning?