Early in 2014, Google’s Search Genius, Matt Cutts, blogged and provided a video saying that guest blog posting was becoming something that PR people may want to consider staying away from (and SEO folks should really take notice of). Essentially, spammy SEO folks and generic, entry-level (might-not-know-better-but-their-boss-doesn’t-care) flacks killed off the online contributed article.
The example Cutts referenced in his post linked above is pretty darn egregious (and looks an awful lot like Native Advertising…I digress).
But here’s the thing. There is still room for flacks to work with content providers to guest post content. It just shouldn’t be under the guise of SEO.
Quality blogs and websites have a targeted audience, and part of the job of PR folks is to get our clients’ name in front of a targeted audience, ideally with a message we think resonates with said audience. As such, even if a guest post carries a DNF (do not follow), who cares? The value of being featured on an industry blog outweighs the loss of the backlink.
Well, last week, GigaOm, a bastion of tech information and community of thought leaders, changed their guidelines for pitching guest articles to be some version of “flacks need not apply.”
In fact…here’s what they said:
So, there it is. One of the leading industry blogs just told PR (and SEO) folks to Eff Off.
So we’re simply no longer going to do that. Starting Monday June 2nd, 2014, Gigaom no longer accepts unsolicited guest-post pitches from PR agencies or corporate PR departments. We’re not going to reply to them, so please don’t send them.
For those of us who have had some success over the years working well with GigaOm (both pitching story ideas and guest posts), this is a sad, sad day.