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David Taylor

Posted by David Taylor

Scalability – The Dirty Word Of Guest Posting

It’s been an interesting week in the world of SEO. Google’s Matt Cutts has declared that guest blogging is dead, that if we are doing it we should probably stop.  As with all apocalypses in the digital marketing world, the path was sadly predictable.

How Guest posting Grew

A few years ago, someone figured out that by writing a guest blogpost on a website, they could get a link.  Then, as is the way of things, they told someone. That someone told two people…..  Fast forward a couple of years and you have sites whose business model is matching up businesses with other sites who sell guest post space – the ultimate dating site. Low quality guest post spam is rife, and some sections of our industry have jumped in wholeheartedly, pushed their snouts into the trough and fed, and fed, and fed.  To complete the circle, Google decides enough is enough.

Which brings us to today.

Lowering quality isn’t scaling

Scalability is often thrown around in our world as a positive, but is it in all circumstances?  Time after time we have seen that more ultimately isn’t better. There are two parts to scalability:

  1. The increase of work/capacity
  2. The retention of quality

As an industry, we are brilliant at the first point; it’s the second point that we have problems with. Not every good idea, concept or practice needs to be or even can be automated or scaled.   Building relationships takes time, but it’s relationships with bloggers and writers that are ultimately going to get our content placed and links built. Scaling guestposting has resulted in links being built from sites with little/no relevance and low quality content – the two things that Google have been kicking off about for a long time.

In the linkbuilding work we carry out, we are being pushed towards a more PR based way of doing things – I believe this is a good thing.  There is some resistance towards this from some parts of the digital marketing industry, ultimately this is direction that we are being pushed in by Google.  One of the great things about working in this industry is the way it can adapt to change so fluidly and so quickly.  Google’s announcement that we should stop guest posting should ultimately only affect people who have relied on it as their own tactic to get links from sites

What Next?

So now we have another avenue that is being closed off to us.  In the coming days we doubtless hear of stories of sites being punished, suffering various different penalties.  We can either cry unfair, that Google is a tyrant/bully/whatever or accept the commercial reality, that this is what Google wants and get on with it fixing the problems and moving forwards with our clients, using a more outreach/PR model for linkbuilding.

The PR industry is quite happily waiting in the wings and as for Google, it is their toy after all.

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