Mountain View, California–Matt Cutts, the chief webspam engineer at Google, posted an article on his blog, “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”; and, it gets right to the point. The distinguished engineer states the practice of guest blogging for SEO to get links, like other practices before it, has become a breeding ground for spam.
In addition to evolving into a spam practice, it’s increasingly encroaching on the Google Webmaster Quality Guidelines, Cutts states in his post. In an increasingly connected world, there are still many site owners, particularly small business owners, which are not well educated on the latest in search engine optimization, which continues to change on a regular basis.
The Evolution of Guest Blogging for SEO
Like many other ways to get links from other sites, guest blogging burst onto the online scene because of its legitimacy. Authors could show off their craft, gain links, and publishing sites received high quality content. Over the past several months, that’s changed and Google is beginning to take a closer look at the practice at-large.
“…someone sent me a spam email offering money to get links that pass PageRank. That’s a clear violation of Google’s quality guidelines. Moreover, we’ve been seeing more and more reports of ‘guest blogging’ that are really ‘paying for PageRank’ or worse, ‘we’ll insert some spammy links on your blog without you realizing it,'” Cutts writes.
Other Bad SEO Practices
While guest blogging is becoming another statistic of bad link building, there are more techniques which Cutts has warned against, which include stitching content, the practice of taking bits of content from various sources and making it into a single article or page. The software engineer has likewise advised against duplicating meta descriptions from page to page.
In November of last year, Google introduced a new penalty for mismatched images, or the practice of uploading one image to search engines while displaying a different image on a site.