The latest from Matt Cutts: Content marketing

SEO (search engine optimisation) has changed

Matt Cutts’ recent comments about the changing ways Google will approach content marketing could have an effect on how businesses use guest blogs for many years to come. For those of you who aren’t yet aware, Cutts essentially outlined that Google is altering its methods in order to alleviate the power of guest blogs as a contributor to SEO.
Matt Cutts
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is, at its most basic level, the strategy businesses use to put their websites as close to the top of Google. One of the best ways to achieve this has been the guest blog, whereby person A writes something on site B in order to get a link back to their own site A. As everyone joins in, the web starts to resemble a literal web, where everyone churns out content simply to get more links to their own sites. It makes sense, and is not necessarily a bad thing. Websites and enterprises need traffic, to be remembered, and to be competitive. The issue is that such an ingenious tactic is bound to grow. And, as we all know, the bigger something gets, the more likely it is to sacrifice quality.

This is what happened to SEO in terms of guest blogs. The system has been dismantled. So, if sites are employing people to write a hundred guest blogs in order to keep up with the Joneses, it makes sense that the posts themselves end up losing their value.

This is where Matt Cutts comes in. By allowing what is essentially spam into the wider-reaching SEO, businesses and searchers receive poor service, because the search engine no longer possesses the means by which to provide a quality service. By this I mean that search engines have so much rubbish in their databases, they are unable to provide good results for users. Low quality content has flooded the system as a result of online cynicism. So, Cutts is trying to stop it. We all know this isn’t a criminal offence – otherwise it wouldn’t be happening so publicly – it’s just a simple fact that the current trend for guest blogging is a bad habit and ultimately detrimental to reputation.

But, let’s not be too damning of the guest blog. The sad fact of the matter is that there are many people out there who are willing and able to write poor content in order for a link. However, as in every industry, there are good guys. The good guys offer to do guest blogging because they’re generous, knowledgeable and dignified. They certainly don’t want to write for a link – they write because they’re good and they love it. Find these guys, and keep them close. Let them do as many guest blogs as they want or you need. Some may find this a bit speculative, but a website that has a fantastic reputation may just trump one that ranks slightly higher on Google. Call me a sucker for human decency and intelligence, but it may just work!
guest blog
I think the next stage of guest blogging is a focus on the old values of engaging and informative content over the ego-driven link-chasers. Google has punished poor copy with low rankings so quality will soon be paramount to those businesses which require legitimate SEO strategies. And, if we’re using our knowledge of the 21st Century to our advantage, it’s obvious to me that all good SEO revolves primarily around supplying the human consumer with the stuff they need, the search engine algorithm will always come second.

SEO has taken a turn for the worse, definitely. But if you have the right set of priorities and an address book full of inspirational and excellent writers, you’re most of the way there to having a modern, sustainable SEO strategy. Let’s hope the good guys pool together and rid the world of this SEO treachery!

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