Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, has been keeping webmasters of the world educated on Google’s best practices for search engine marketing since 2009. Through a series of YouTube videos and regular blog posts, Cutts has become the face of Google’s all-powerful search algorithm, the influencer of all digital influencers, and the primary reason for sleep deprivation in the SEO community.
In his most recent blog post, “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO,” Cutts brought closure to an argument that has been in limbo for quite some time.
Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains. We’ve reached the point in the downward spiral where people are hawking “guest post outsourcing” and writing articles about “how to automate guest blogging.”
Google giveth, and Google taketh away
Cutts has spoken: “Stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; it’s just gotten too spammy.” Although the practice used to be an honorable and authentic way to reach a new audience, its integrity has been broken by an onslaught of bandwagoners taking advantage of it for SEO benefits. Don’t blame Google for putting an end to a once-great Internet marketing tactic; blame the spammers who flood the inboxes of publishers with empty promises of “high-quality writing” and “original content” in barely intelligible English — I’ve got 25 of those in my spam folder right now.
According to Cutts, this demise has been a long time coming. For months, he has been addressing quality and intent issues related to guest blogging for the purpose of linkbuilding. But guest blogging will always remain a legitimate strategy for increasing exposure, building communities, and strengthening brands — these are the right reasons to do it. Said Cutts, “Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future.”
Matt Cutts, Internet man of mystery
As Internet marketers, we owe thanks to Matt Cutts and his team at Google for enforcing high standards of search engine marketing with the best interests of consumers in mind. Cutts continuously raises the bar, and in an industry as dynamic as ours, there’s no telling where his hammer will fall next (or fall hardest).
In an age of having infographics for just about everything, it only makes sense that Cutts would have his own as well. Click2Rank created a Visual Guide to Matt Cutts to draw connections between Cutts’ behaviors in his Webmaster videos and his corresponding wardrobe choices. Perhaps, they thought, if we could predict Google’s algorithm updates based on Cutts’ shirt colors, we would be able to sleep better at night. Cutts truly is an Internet man of mystery.