Matt Cutts: Guest posting should be done in moderation

In his latest video, Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts has tried his best to shine a light on guest blogging and how digital marketers can continue to write as an authority for guest sites without it appearing as if they’d paid for links.

What Cutts has to say is somewhat reassuring in that his team, which reviews sparm reports, regularly find a clear distinction between organic guest blogs that are natural and someone who is paying a site for an advertorial.

Cutts identified a number of clear differences between spam and organic guest blog content. The biggest disparity between advertorials and articles that are naturally placed for the good of the website and its readership is that advertorials rarely match the subject of the blog and will often contain commercial, keyword-rich anchor text that is now a big no-no in the eyes of Google in terms of building backlinks.

So what makes a true, authentic guest author? Cutts believes it is someone who is an undeniable expert on the subject matter and doesn’t drop an unnatural amount of keywords into their anchor text.

“Guest blogging seems like it’s the fad of the month,” said Cutts, who reiterates that it is best done in moderation and “shouldn’t be your full-time job.”

If guest posting is all you are doing to drive traffic to your site it is highly likely that you’re not doing your site’s reputation any favours, with a multi-channel, multi-platform approach preferred.

Cutts concludes his video by saying that if you are writing guest posts that end up looking very similar to paid links it’s highly likely that Google may decide to simple discount those links back to your website regardless.

Finding suitable audiences for your content is more important than ever. With Google Hummingbird released it’s essential your article achieves relevancy and that you’re not simply spamming the crap out of sites approachable enough to take your content.

And when you do link back to your site be sure to use brand anchor text or long-tail non-commercial keywords.