Cutts applauds quality content
Distinguished engineer Matt Cutts has posted a new webmaster video explaining how Google views guest blogging for links.
In response to a question from a webmaster, he revealed that Google can view guest blogging in one of two ways. On the one hand, he applauded "high quality writers" who share insightful, expert knowledge through guest blogging. This "time-honoured tradition" is, according to Cutts, a valid and high quality method of building links and promoting a site, and is also a "good win" for the site hosting the guest blog.
On the other hand, however, he admitted that some are abusing guest blogging and not creating quality content. This could include offering the same blog post multiple times or using an article spinner - techniques which have long been considered black hat. With regards to Google's view on this type of guest blogging, he said:
If you're just doing it as a way to turn the crank and get a massive number of links, that's something where we're less likely to want to count those links.
Spotting the spam
Low quality content has long been on Google's hit list, as proven by both the Panda and Penguin algorithm updates. Designed to penalise duplicated, inaccurate and irrelevant content, these updates affected a large number of search results and devalued many black hat SEO techniques.
Google has also been moving towards rewarding high quality, expert writers with the authorship tag. This tag allows the author of the article to be included in the page code, causing rich snippets including their Google+ profile picture and links to their other articles to appear in search results. Cutts has previously recommended that webmasters and writers use the tag, suggesting it helps Google recognise trusted, quality content.
Natalie Booth, online marketing manager at theEword, said: "When it's done correctly, guest blogging is really valuable; we all know quality content is paramount for Google. The challenge for many writers is of course proving the quality of their guest blogs in ways that Google understands."