What is Google’s view on guest blogging for links?
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What is Google’s view on guest blogging for links?

>>Matt Cutts: Today’s question comes from
San Francisco, and the question is, “What is Google’s view on guest blogging for links?” This is another one of those questions where
there’s a couple ways to interpret it. One is, you know, really high quality guest blogging
and whether that’s worthwhile. And I think it is, in some cases. And the other one is, what if it goes to extremes?
Or what if you take it too far? So, let’s start with the easy case. If you’re a high
quality writer, you know, you’re, you give a shout out to Lisa Barone or something like
that. She’s at a conference, she’s blogging, and maybe she wants to do a guest blog on
some other blog. That blog should be happy to have her. You know, Vanessa Fox, Danny Sullivan, these
sorts of people who write something on a different blog. Generally, you should be happy to have
them write an article for you. ’cause they’re bringing a lot of insight. They’re bringing
a lot of knowledge to that. So that can be totally fine. It can be a good win for the
person who hosts that. And how has that guest blogger come in. And it can be a great way
for maybe someone who isn’t quite as well-known but writes really, really well to get to be
known a little bit better. So that’s the short and simple answer. The
longer answer is, sometimes it gets taken to extremes. And you’ll see people writing,
you know, offering the same blog post multiple times. Or spinning the blog post and offering
it to multiple outlets. Where it almost becomes like, almost like low-quality article bank
sort of stuff. “I’m gonna send you five unique blog posts.”
Or something like that. So you definitely do see a lot of people where it’s like “OK,
I’m gonna write this blog post. Well, actually I’m gonna outsource that to somebody else
who’s not an expert. And then I’m just gonna insert my hyperlinks that I would like to
get into your blog post.” So it’s a long and time honored tradition
to have high quality bloggers jump back and forth. Or collaborate in different ways. Just
be mindful that it can absolutely be taken to extremes. And in the same way that some
practices which make a lot of sense when you think about it, with high quality people,
when you’re just doing it in a, as a way to sort of turn the crank and get a massive number
of links, that’s something where we’re less likely to wanna count those links. So it’s, I hope that that’s clarifies a little
bit. There’s definitely a case for the kinds of things where you really think hard about
what you wanna say. You have a message. You sweat over it. You have some perspective that
you really wanna get out there. And then there’s some where it’s just like, “OK, this was 300
words and it’s the bare minimum to get by.” And for better or for worse, I think in the
SEO space, there is a lot of that. Two, three, four hundred words, what’s the bare minimum
to guest blog post to get by? Whereas, the sorts of links that we’d like to be counting
more would be the higher quality articles where somebody really put some work into it
and they have something really original to say. Anyway, hope that gives you a little bit of
a feel for the space and which guest blogs might be a little more higher value. And which
ones might not be as worth the time for you to do.


  • Robert Seebach

    I am not sure what to think after this video. Yes … Maybe … depends on author … or what day of the week it is.

  • Level3-RC

    If you are not playing the spam advertizement game then you are nothing to Google. If you dont have adds on your web site you will have a low index from Google. Google is a private company and they feel you are the lucky one just to get indexed. We all know it.

  • Ty Whalin

    This is a great topic and question. There definitely is some recent activity about Google and how they are perceiving guest blog post. When done properly guest blogging is always beneficial to this point. Of course Google can always change this as a whole, but for now it is safe when done the right way.

  • Tareq Hassan

    so ultimately what we get? Guest post with links should over 300 words and have some decent values along with decent related link?? Might be good for professional writers but not for all

  • Max Minzer

    @Magnus – can't agree with you more! Hate that 3 people already liked his comment and more will follow. Sad that these people "represent" SEO industry (in a bad way).

  • Brad Thompson

    I really don't care. I'm going to make content I think people want and will share and really could care less about search engines. We should just make search open-source, put in a standard, tell everyone how it works, and put in a clear penalty system. I'm not liking this censorship in the form of SEO, which shouldn't even exist if search was intelligent enough.

  • Jeff Jackson

    I'm afraid this video is just like the others lately from Matt, they just don't say anything. Are these really the best questions that came from all those questions submitted the other week?

  • Rezoan Haider

    Though some updates are harming some good guys while wiping out but I welcome to upgrade the Copy Cat Engine specially 😛

  • Jacob Kristensen

    The only purpose in guest blogging is free exposure, and then of cause the link back to your own website. Normally search engines shouldn't devalue such links, unless the blog it self is spam.

    Nothing wrong in guest blogging in short – as long as it isn't low quality spam.

  • Hesham Zebida

    Spinning and Duplication is my worst nightmare.

    I don't accept anyone to write, they have to pass my check point, I also don't reply to 90% of emails starting with "Hi Sir", "Hi Admin", or even those who just ask me "Can I guest post on your blog", I have a huge button on the top of the site where it says "Contribute", if you can't find it or don't know what contribute means, I won't bother replying to you!

  • Jarrod Wright

    Since you've taken such a punitive stance on sites that cross the line, you have an obligation to more clearly define that line. This is just another non-answer that will lead to peoples livelihoods being destroyed by the next Google Tantrum. We'll do what you say, but you have to SAY it.

  • someman7

    All of the videos here lately are like this. Insultingly vague. Google needs people to *not* get SEO. Apparently, they're so paranoid they'll rather bullcrap than reveal anything useful. I'm actually not trying to find out how to play the system, I subscribed for rich snippets, but if they continue making this low quality content(!), I'll unsubscribe.

  • Guillaume Erard - Aikido & Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu

    well, they probably will do it eventually, isn't that the whole point of pushing on us the whole rel="author"/google+ thing? +

  • MrTVTL905

    No…it's not even close. But that's part of the problem…it's a question that others will be interested in, so even though it doesn't merit an answer, Matt's going to answer it at the expense of the more intelligent, thought-provoking questions.

    And of course, he's not going to say much because anything he says will be disseminated, regurgitated, misinterpreted and put through the wringer.

    In other words, it's not on Matt…it's on the people submitting questions like this to begin with.

  • cscenterprises

    Matt, I know that your videos are intended to help. However in almost every case I end up having more questions than I began with after watching your videos. Can you please make an effort to be more precise and less ambiguous in your videos?

  • Niki Heselmans

    It all boils down to this:
    You write articles, blog posts,… for links? -> Don't do it.
    You write articles, blog posts,… to add quality to the web? -> DO IT
    What is quality? If you can't see the difference between the Lada's and a Maserati's in blog posting, you shouldn't blog…

  • Chris Wechner

    I see a lot of posts that seem to focus on Matt's wording of "high quality blogger," but I don't get it.

    SIMPLE SUMMARY: Google IDEALLY would like to encourage people adding content that truly adds informational or entertainment value instead of "polluting" the Internet with things like selfishly duplicated material, material with junky wording…just to get backlinks to your site.

    Unfortunately, the Algorithm sometimes rewards junk – despite Google's best efforts otherwise.

  • Zack Preble

    Actually I don't doubt it at all Steven! It's probably part of the algorithm. My frustration is that Matt Cutts spews out names like they are on his list (Danny Sullivan, etc… all folks in the SEO industry). I just don't trust that it's a fair quality gauge.

  • John Britsios

    Matt, I was hoping for years to hear this, because as we all know, especially SEOs have abused guest blogging with the intent to gain links in an artificial and not a natural way.

    But my question to you is, what is the position of Google when guest bloggers intent is to boost their authority within their niche and to promote their business. Would attributing the outbound links within their guest blog posts with a "nofollow" the appropriate way to go? I would appreciate if you could clarify.

  • M.J. Taylor

    Nothing should be done for links only, but a writer deserves a "thank you" for a quality guest post. Publishing guest posts are also a great way to keep my blog active when I don't have time to write & a way to offer diverse POVs and expertise on relevant topics that aren't my forte. For ex., I have little experience on LinkedIn, but my blog covers social media; it benefits my audience to have greater breadth. No, JB, links should not be NF. Quality is the watchword.

  • Domsa19

    Not really, though the algorithms are advanced enough to detect spun content as well as a pattern of 400 word posts where you're paraphrasing the same thought over and over just to get the word count.

  • Domsa19

    Matt Cutts is a front man, he doesn't really keep a list. I believe he's one of the people who detects loopholes in the algorithm and reports them in. When it comes to his videos, apart from a handful of how-to ones, they generally contain warnings or info which is severely outdated. The point is, he publicly advises users not to attempt something since there's a penalty in place for a certain kind of action and the system is far beyond beta testing.

  • Planet Zuda

    Great answer! If people are spinning or giving you plagiarized content then that isn't a good blog post. You shouldn't accept plagiarized material. Thanks for the information Matt.

  • Rocky Mountain Oils

    For everyone that is confused on how Google determines "high quality people", it comes from reputation on the web. When you guest post, you put a footer at the bottom of the post with a bio and links to your normal content. If these links go back to sites and articles with lots of "link juice" then the GoogleBot determines that you are one of these so-called "High Quality People". Its all about the link juice.

  • Adam Powell

    While Google's videos and therefore 'answers' can be a bit vague, to all the people complaining, I ask: "Do you not understand comprehend the holistic goal of preferring recent, original, valuable content, that is user oriented?"

    Google changes their algorithm 500+ times a year, and yes, they seem to give preference to established (well-linked, well-liked) sources, I get it. But why not put forth the effort to actually establish a name for yourself and be 'link worthy.'

  • NRL Sledging Immortals

    Yeah right…. It's always a good idea to trust people you meet on the internet. I met this lovely Nigerian banker who is going to help me with my accounting…

  • Scott Nelle

    What's with all the anger here? Sounds to me like all he said was "Stick to strong, unique content if you're going to feature or write a guest blog post. Don't throw a lot of crap online in order to generate links."

    That's exactly what he's been telling everyone all along. When he refers to high quality writers, he means people that can write high quality content. Not people who top some nefarious Quality List.

  • Ian Hough

    I think there's still a problematic discontinuity between someone writing very high-quality content that contains a link to a commercial site. It's like you're not allowed to make the effort to create something genuinely unique and informative, or at least not allowed to receive proper Google recognition for that by the search engine.

  • Alexandru Guzinschi

    "High Quality People" will write "High quality content" which can be translated by "unique" as in "not found on other 20 or more websites" and interesting for targeted people.

    Matt is really giving some quality info here, but get your feet back to the ground because he will never create a "howto" in these videos.

  • Ty Whalin

    As long as it does not turn into spam it is a real quality way to establish yourself. You can also gain benefits for your company in the area of branding. Showing you know in your industry can bring lots of rewards. The link building aspects of it as well can bring valuable links from different sources. Just remember to keep it unique and vary your anchor text for your post. Building links to your blog's inner pages is another good way to raise the value of your blog's page's.

  • Joe Lott

    Ask for a writing sample, do your research, and treat people like you would any tool you buy for your business. If you want be the best use the best, but don't expect it to always be easy to find.

  • Asuradech

    I think high quality people mean the people have own blog and that blog is high quality article. May be google know from hosting IP, Whois domain or something like that.

    What's do you think about that?

  • Paul Naybour

    @Zack they are working on a list of recognized authors hence all the effort on rel=author and google plus. We will soon see author rank.

  • A Consultant

    WTF is wrong with you haters? Matt's taking time to give us insight. Some of you dumbasses do nothing but disparage his information. If you had half of a brain, you'd see/deduce LOTS of great information given in this video. You learned that 300-400 word articles are the 'minimum.' You learned that having something UNIQUE to say is considered HIGH QUALITY. Do us all a favor and instead of writing comments, go spin an article on articlesbase, scratch your ass, and GTFO. THANKS, MATT.

  • Tommy Gerlado

    You are right . They have taken their monopoly to seriously and continue to make up rules to suite their own without regards to others .

    But it is not their fault . We have allowed to be this way – We have played along prostituting ourselves for free traffic .

  • Sarah Adam

    Right Matt!!..When we consider some of Good Guest blogers, we have to consider others who outsource and buy guest blogs. They are spending their time and money only for guest links.

  • David Boozer

    Thanks Matt for the video. I can see the issue how this could turn into some type of link building scheme instead of a content and information sharing strategy. I just hope that penalizing guest posts does not go so far that it takes away from what the intention really is out here, creating communities of decent, great and even new writers.

  • Digital Ad Agency / Adwords Consultants NYC LA San Francisco LONDON

    2:03 When you use high quality writers, guest blogging works. If you don't, it won't.

  • Chitraparna Sinha

    Guest blogging is powerful. Guest blogging portals like BLU and MBG should make their guest blogging rules stricter to ensure quality .

  • CodeWithChris

    Makes sense! Guest blogging is not just about links, it's also about raising your reputation in the eyes of your readers in your specific industry. It's still a must-do in my opinion.

  • Spook SEO

    "Giving emphasis to these two words will help you with you SEO…


    If you're doing posts that are high quality and you're making it look natural, it'll work out fine for you. About the natural part… If you're site is actively building links once a month (just as an example) and just in just a days difference it changes from 1 link to hundreds (especially if a lot of them are coming form low quality sites), chances are, you're site will end up in the gutter."

  • Apollos Iteire

    Guest blogging should be to reach out to a new audience and not primarily to build links. Why linking to your site/blog at the end of a post is permissive it won't help you a guest blogger focuses all his attention on links. Focusing on links rather than getting your voice heard isn't the best.

  • EverSpark Interactive

    As with site content, the emphasis is on quality. Guest blogging is an area that has great potential, and just as some other SEO topics it has the potential for abuse. The abuse is one aspect that has prompted some blog owners to add the nofollow attribute to any links that are included in blog posts.

  • Philip Morris

    If I'm getting this it is all about Quality over Quantity, so traditional SEO companies will loose out to the sector experts who have something worth reading. Surely that has to be the right way to go

  • Chandler Jones

    Guest blogging has it's own set of checks and balances built into it, doesn't it? No blogger is going to want to accept a crappy guest post from someone.

  • Player 1

    It's brilliant how NATURAL your top comments appear on nearly all SEO videos with 21 (give or take) thumbs up. I wish I had 21 accounts to boost my comments!

  • Sonja Tilton

    I totally don't get this. How does the google search engine know if someone is writing a "high quality" post or not? The only thing two things he mentioned were number of words, and whether they posted to more than one blog – neither one of which has anything to do with whether or not the post had original content and useful information.

    There seems to be some code-speak here going on that I'm not getting.

  • Dominic Salisbury

    Hello sonja,

    Google doesn't just look for specific key words, they take a lot into account when deciding if the post is high quality, they compare to other content across the internet, check the reputation of the site your post appears on, and i think most importantly, they look at context. By that i mean they ensure key words are used in the right context, with good content and that the post is free flowing, natural and is easy for a user to understand.

  • Carl Louviere

    I think that Cutts made a very good point about Guest Blogging. Most of us that are trying to learn don't want "repeat" input, especially when it is someone else's material. Blogging is one of the most powerful tools that we have at our disposal. I teach computer Classes in a Training Center or through my Webinars and am always open to learn from someone else. Thanks Cutts and definitely thanks goes out to Google.

  • steve hill

    Firstly Guest Blogging is not dead, it just needs to be controlled and a lot less spammy. For example if I had taken my time and created a 1000 word blog about something I really feel passionate about and published it on a relevant website, Google would offer reward. However If I wrote a load of trash, had about 300 words, and had spammy hyper links then it would count for nothing and not help my SEO. If you want to run a successful SEO campaign, stay away from spam, write about what you know and don't try and cheat the system.

  • Fred Showker

    1) How does Google know?   How does Google know it's a "guest" and not a published press piece for a news service?  Is Google saying that news services are bad?  (Wouldn't the Associated press have some problems with that?) 

  • ceckouuuu

    In other words, Matt says that google does not want backlinks anymore… they want everyone to join the adwords so they can collect all the money in the world. I really hope they will end up in court one day.

  • Karim Bour

    It’s really very informative that I wanted ever, thanks for this.
    the best and first course about seo for free seolinkbuilding1 .blogspot. com
    but delete space in the url 

  • Januar Hutabarat

    I think this talk is no more than just an opinion. However, Google will value your web page to the top SERP if your post is really quality. To consider a post is highly quality depends on so many factors. To proof, need practices and research. By the way, guest posting is good as long as the webmaster allows dofollow backlink. Are you really a good writer? If so, just go to Skillonpage. It's a site where you can get unlimited dofollow backlinks by guest posting.

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