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guest blogging guide

The Guest Blogging Guide Part 1

The other day I received an email from a well known marketer with a subject line entitled “Guest Blogging is Dead”.

This marketer then went on to explain why guest blogging no longer works for site owners and should be avoided at all cost…and then he plugged his marketing course that he was selling for $149 as a potential replacement.

Well, Mr. well known marketer, I’m here to call you out on your BS and say that you are dead WRONG.

Not only is guest blogging still alive and well, it just so happens to be one of the most easily accessible and affordable methods for increasing brand awareness and attracting new viewers to your website.

Few other marketing strategies can propel a business into the limelight like a well placed blog post. It’s absolutely astounding at how quickly a strategic guest blogging campaign can yield results.

Over the next few blog posts, I will show you the ins and outs of what makes guest blogging such a POWERFUL tool for business owners and how literally anyone, even brand new site owners, can engage a massive audience by siphoning the followers of more popular, established websites.

First, I want to touch on why guest blogging has been so controversial as of late. It seems that some people may have mixed feelings about guest blogging. It all started with a blog post written by Google’s Webspam Team Leader, Matt Cutts.

With a single blog post, Cutts scared the ever living crap out of internet marketers worldwide as they scrambled to adhere to the words of the man who has become the face of Google. He begins his 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.

Cutts then went on to emphasize that guest blogging is essentially no more;

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.

It’s not like this warning came out of nowhere either. Cutts has been talking about the abuse of guest blogging for some time. Here are just a few videos and blog entries where the Webspam Team Lead spoke about the role of guest blogging dating back to 2012.

Ok, so Cutts made it crystal clear about his thoughts on guest blogging. However, many people completely misinterpreted what Cutts was saying.

He wasn’t chastising guest blogging as a tool for branding and traffic generation, he was admonishing the practice of using massive amounts of guest blog posts as a link building tactic.

Even then, could Cutts simply be blowing smoke up our rear? I mean, how could Google possibly decipher the difference between a regular blog post containing links and a guest blog post? Also, wouldn’t every media site in the world be penalized because every piece of content they publish is essentially a guest blog post?

If we use a little bit of logic, it’s obvious that guest blogging is a part of what makes up our online experience and couldn’t possibly be stopped.

Earlier this year, Myguestblog received a penalty from Google. To date, this is the ONLY website that I am aware of that has ever been damaged by a penalty for guest blogging.

Just to be clear, the ONLY reason Myguestblog was even penalized to begin with was because they were one of the largest mass guest blogging websites in the world, boasting over 73,000 users worldwide in 2013 and averaging 256 guest posts a day.

And even then, Google’s algorithm isn’t what led to the demise of Myguestblog, it was because the sites owner, Ann Smarty was very vocal about their service, at times seemingly challenging Google to penalize them.

Guest Blogging is Thriving More Now Than Ever

If you really think about it, there is no technical difference between “guest blogging” and any other kind of content.

Google can’t algorithmically differentiate between guest blogs and other kinds of articles. Blogs and websites aren’t legally bound to disclose that anything they publish is a guest post or not a guest post, and in some cases it’s just a matter of perspective.

Plus, some of the largest, most influential websites in the world all use guest blog posts. The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, and many more rely on content that was created by freelancers.

How is that any different than a guest blog post?

Here’s a hint: It isn’t.

Are we to believe that Forbes will ever be penalized because they use freelance, guest posters? I don’t think so.

Google’s main purpose is to provide it’s users with the most relevant and engaging information based on their search queries. Their goal is to give the people what they want.

So let’s say that I own a bodybuilding website and somehow convinced Arnold Schwarzenegger to give away all of his juiciest bodybuilding secrets in a guest post. It wouldn’t make much sense for Google to penalize my site because it’s essentially giving my followers the most relevant, high quality information.

This is the sole reason why guest blogging will NEVER be dead, because it allows people to share ideas and information to the people that are interested in it.

So What Does this Mean For You?

Unless you own a website that consists of hundreds of thousands of guest blog posts (or receive a link from a site that does) and then publicly speak out against Google, you have absolutely NOTHING to worry about.

After receiving a ton of backlash for his post that seemingly outlawed guest blog posts, Matt Cutts revised his original words and added;

There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

So you see, all of the hysteria over whether or not guest blogging is frowned upon by Google, is based on absolutely NOTHING.

Google does NOT penalize websites for guest blogging. They are ONLY concerned with massive guest blogging networks that utilize poor quality content where the writers only contribute in a blatant attempt to gain backlinks.

Besides, these guest blogging networks are extremely low quality to begin with and won’t provide you with any real benefit, so this should be of no concern to you.


This is something that has bothered me for a while, so I’m glad I got the opportunity to get this off my chest. Plus, if there was anyone out there that may have fallen victim to the “gurus” that claim that guest blogging is dead, then this will have hopefully set the record straight.

In Part 2 of our guest blogging series, I will be revealing ways to find guest blogging opportunities and what to look for in a website that agrees to let you guest post.

Also, be sure to leave your thoughts on guest blogging in the comment section below.



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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...


  1. Thank you for sharing; in Fact that validates a lot. Everybody out there has been throwing mis – conceptions and I guess they do go ahead and read a “Keyword” of the whole article Matt Cutts tries to send as a message, or read the Title and make it there thing to start scaring the hell out of Legitimate Business’s too. “Do’s and Don’t”

    I am very happy that I got to read the link; it cleared lots of Questions I had in my head about well .. how can something be a normal approach become a reason to be penalized specially if it’s natural. But It’s been explained pretty well that common sense is the Strategy still rather than walking in the shoes of those spammy strategies and validates that it is to the advantage of Legitimate Long Term Business’s to eliminate spammer sites that go handing off the rankings.

    Thumbs up; and … that marketer must be pissed now lol

  2. Excellent post, Sean. I had come to the same conclusion with my law news site at lawfuel.com but was concerned mainly with the use and context in which links appeared in guest posts we had. I was always focused on quality content, (as much as you can be with a guest post, anyway), but concerned with too many backlinking opportunities being seized by the blogger.
    I note that several of the major sites like HuffPost provide generally only a single link to the blogger’s site or page and then strictly relevant (often authority links) within the post itself.
    But its time someone took the steam out of this one.
    I just feel a bit sorry – but in an admiring way – of Anne Smarty who told Google to take a hike.
    Tough call, I would have thought.

  3. Thanks for the clarification in your best word. As for myself, I do not have to worry as I am just a shrimp in the pond and I truly believed that the Google spider is not that smart enough to sniff out which is original post and which is Guest. End of day, as long as I am not blatantly building backlinks then I am safe, IMHO.

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