Google’s new policy against guest blogging for the purpose of improving rankings has just taken it’s first victim. Google has been giving hints and warning about guest blogging for some time now, but as of yesterday the search engine made it a point to prove it. On early Wednesday morning Matt Cutts Tweeted that Google has taken action on a large guest blog network. He didn’t name the network or the owner in his tweet. So what the heck does this mean for all you guest bloggers out there who are desperately trying to write quality content, negotiating with webmasters for a place on their websites and trying to buy links. Well you can’t do it anymore!
Google has made it clear that guest blogging for the sake of improving ones search ranking will be treated as spam. The main question however is will this change made by Google actually help search results for the end user. In a way it should, because with any kind of spam we are corrupting the online ecosystem and if people are manipulating the results based strictly on links in blog posts then more relevant websites with better content will never show up in Google’s results. In other words, we think back to the days when people would just build links for the sake of ranking and not create valuable content that people can actually use. So I think this change could help deliver better results for the end user. Will it actually? Well that depends on what other factors Google is using now to rank sites.
Although a good idea and effort on Google’s part to reduce spam and deliver better search results for users I think targeting individual blogs that allow guest posts may be a bad idea. After all allowing good quality useful content to be published on your blog is not spam if it helps your readers. Going after blog networks which are built with the sole purpose of selling links through guest posting is probably what Google should and is going after. In which case search results would depend less on links and more on the content.
It seems like Google is going to go after more of these types of sites and or networks the way it has been for some time now with link networks. For those who have depended solely on guest posting with the purpose of building links for your website will have to adopt different strategies to make up for the coming loss in rankings or adjust quickly to a better alternative.