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The end of guest blogging, keyword articles and link building

Sounds rather ominous, doesn’t it?

Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, has declared that if you’re using guest blogging for link building, you should “stick a fork in it.” Matt also slammed article directories as a link-building tactic.

Google and Matt’s reasoning is that something that started as an authentic way to increase a website and author’s reach and authority has become spammy. Too many have taken advantage of the guest blogging and article directory link benefits and ruined it for everyone.

Believe it or not, now there are guest post and keyword article generators, websites you can pay to play, and even folks who will pay you to put their post on your blog.

Matt shared, “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.”

But he also said, “So there you have it: the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people. Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward.”

What does this mean? It means that Google will devalue these types of links and, in the future, these types of links might even hurt your search rankings.

What’s the solution? Fabulous content and earned links.

How do you do that? Create terrific, relevant, valuable content and put it on your blog or website regularly. Share that content everywhere – Facebook, LinkedIn, your email newsletter. If your content is good, people will read it, share it, link to it and talk about it. This is how you earn the links and engagement that can help your search engine rankings.

There’s also the benefit of having greater keyword density on your website. This means using keywords that people would use when searching for a business or service like yours.

Plus you’ll be regularly adding relevant content to your website that will make it website and your blog a destination, giving people a reason to visit regularly and stay longer – which is also a search engine ranking booster.

The truth is, it’s not easy to create good content. Search engine optimization and content creation require art, not just science. Blog posts and website content that get search engine rankings now need to be longer and juicier. You need substance, not just style.

To help with search, you need to write pieces that set you apart from your competitors and position you as a thought leader and authority. Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Some posts need to be long – like 750-1000 words long
  • Write a mix of types of posts – opinion, how-tos, and news
  • Include the keywords people will use when searching for a company like yours
  • Look at your list of keywords for inspiration if you don’t know what to write about
  • Do it
  • Do it again next week

Not everyone is equipped with the ability to do all of this writing and sharing. Need a content strategy or help? Let me know.

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