Earlier this year Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, wrote a blog post declaring guest blogging to be “over.” His post, titled “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO,” caused panic in the blogosphere since so many people rely on outside help to generate content, get in front of new audiences, and build relationships.

What he meant by guest blogging though is quite different from what we recommend to our clients. Guest blogging to Matt Cutts means allowing search engine optimization (SEO) spammers to contribute willy-nilly. You’ve probably gotten emails from these people before—the ones requesting to put “free” posts on your blog that link to completely unrelated websites.

The only type of guest blogging we recommend is to build strategic relationships with like-minded organizations, increase online reach, connect with thought-leaders, or similar.

In short, there are two types of guest blogging: one will make your blog flourish and the other can make it languish.

Here are three quick questions that can help you tell if you’re on Google’s good side or bad side:

  1. Are you using guest blogging to strategically connect with potential partners, grow your audience or give your readers a fresh viewpoint on a new topic?
  2. Are your guest blogs from organizations whose missions align with your own?
  3. Are you sending spammy, unsolicited guest blog requests asking for “backlinks” straight into your trash folder?

If you answered “yes” to the questions above, you’re doing guest blogging the right way!

See our past reporting on why guest bloggers are some of the best bloggers >>

Do you have any questions about how you’re using guest blogs on your website? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll try to help out: