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Matt Cutts, who leads Google’s webspam team issued a pretty stern warning on his personal blog this past Monday:

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.

Matt has a pretty good track record for issuing warnings just before a significant change to the Google algorithm so when he says something, it’s not to be taken lightly.

I have to admit that I was never crazy about guest blogging. It always seemed that so much could go wrong that it might often not be worth the risk. There are dozens of agencies out there offering good quality content (and often it really is) in exchange for embedding a few links.  However, when you look at the intent and that this is a transnational relationship, it’s no longer honest. Well, seems like the people over at Google are thinking the same way and, considering who’s talking about it, you better bet that the clever webspam team over at Google have found a reliable way to distinguish between healthy guest blogging and “spammy” guest blogging.

To clear the air a bit, Matt added the following to his post to really drive the message home:

It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. 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. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.

Bottom line? Guest blogging is okay–just don’t do it for SEO. This means don’t use agencies to create blog post content, pay for guest bloggers and be very selective about who you invite to blog (i.e. do you know them?).

There’s a lot of chatter online about this now so here are a couple of links to start with:

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