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Is Guest Blogging Dead? Challenging Matt Cutts' Recent Thoughts

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February 19,2014

By Julia McCoy, Express Writers

Is guest blogging a thing of the past? If you saw Matt Cutts’ recent thoughts on the matter, you might think so. In fact, if you saw just the title of his blog, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO,” you might be reconsidering any guest bloggers currently lined up for your blog. But is this manner of creating new content truly dead on arrival in 2014?

Addressing the Stir

Cutts’ blog stirred up a lot of chatter. The article went viral, and with the storm came a flurry of feedback—some in agreement and a huge number not. I’m the CEO of a copywriting agency with hundreds of clients around the globe. To prepare for the incoming questions, I figured I’d write up this response blog. My answer summed up to this:

“Don’t change what’s working because one person said something. Keep it up, and always maintain quality—and you’ll always see results.”

I’d like to build on this concept further. After all, it only seems like the right thing to do—especially since Google has taken such a hardcore stance on quality when it comes to 2014 SEO standards.

Adhering to Today’s Quality Standards

A lot of the chatter resulting from Cutts’ blog centered on whether or not guest blogging detracts from the quality of your blog. The truth is some guest blogging can be negative if it lacks the basics of well written, quality content. HubSpot addresses this topic head on, and we agree that if guest content—any content for that matter—fails to uphold quality, it’s no good.

In his blog, Cutts says those of us using guest blogging “should probably stop” because we’re “hanging out with really bad company.” But is the company you’re keeping really bad?

Turning Bad Company into Good Company

A bad side exists to everything good, and blogging is no exception. In fact, when it comes to the Internet, the bad side of something can overtake the good if no war is waged. Guest blogging has downsides and can be detrimental to your search engine optimization if it’s:

  • Poorly written
  • Contains spelling, grammar, and formatting errors
  • Lacks relevance and fails to infer value
  • Fails to provide educational, informative, and engaging material
  • References poor quality links

In 2014, SEO best practices are focusing almost entirely on the creation and publication of high quality content. As a result, we stand on the precipice of the perfect opportunity to wage war against bad SEO practices and turn the negatives into positives—all by taking more care when it comes to our content.

Therefore, quality guest blogging is far from dead. In fact, if we follow the new quality standards set forth, we have the potential to return guest blogging to its original roots; as Cutts’ said, “Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book.” In 2014, guest bloggers can return to these roots by producing copy that is:

  • Well written
  • Contains perfect spelling, grammar, and formatting
  • Presents relevant and current information
  • Shares educational and informative facts
  • Offers compelling and entertaining writing
  • References high quality links


If you’ve treated guest blogging as “a respectable thing,” and continue to do so while implementing the content quality standards of 2014; you can and will still benefit from guest blogging. Like much of the SEO world, guest blogging is yet another example of something that is not dead but evolving—in this case, devolving to its original high quality standards.

Julia McCoy is the CEO of
Express Writers, a copywriting agency founded in 2011 with a team of over 60 writers and editors, and clients around the globe including the Bank of Austria and Procter & Gamble. Express Writers pulls from in-team training, peer conferences, expert knowledge, and continual research to ensure consistent quality standards in content creation and production.
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Google+ profile of Julia McCoy, Express Writers

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