Guest blogging is a topic we’ve talked about on this blog a number of times over the years. I’ve always been a huge advocate of guest blogging because of the many benefits it offers, such as increasing your exposure, building your credibility, and even improving your search engine rankings.

Cartoon zombie with ripped clothesOf course, it’s the last point that made guest blogging really take off in popularity recently. When people caught on that guest blogging was a great way to build links and increase search rankings, it wasn’t long before guest blogging was a staple in everyone’s SEO routine. And of course, it didn’t take long before guest blogging went the way of article marketing and free press release directories. The spammers started abusing guest blogging, sending out tons of low quality content to low quality blogs, all with the purpose of manipulating the search rankings.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Now, it looks like the inevitable is about to happen: Google is going to crack down on guest blogging. Recently, Matt Cutts (head of Google’s webspam team) posted a blog in which he said, “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.”

Matt went on to note that while “guest blogging used to be a respectable thing…it’s not that way any more.” And he ominously predicted that “given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

Thanks a lot, spammers.

But does that mean guest blogging is on its death bed?

Yes and no.

Yes, if you’re guest blogging solely as a mean to build links, you’re going to have a bad time of things very soon.

However, let’s not forget that legitimate guest blogging does have other benefits. Getting your content featured on a reputable, relevant blog can still help you achieve numerous other PR benefits. The key is that you can’t treat it as a quick linkbuilding opportunity. In other words, don’t fill your posts with keyword-rich anchor text pointing back to your website. Instead, consider using no-follow links in guest blog posts. And make your main focus on putting out the best content you’re capable of creating so that you’ll be adding value and building your personal brand in a legitimate manner.

What are your thoughts on the future of guest blogging? Share them with us by leaving a comment below.