This Week in Digital...

  • Link building not illegal
  • Link building not illegal

The reports of guest blogging's demise have been greatly exaggerated

Matt Cutts

Googles head of webspam, Matt Cutts (right), caused a stir in the SEO industry this week with a post about guest blogging.

He wrote: "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 its 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"

"So stick a fork in it: guest blogging is done; its just gotten too spammy. In general I wouldn't recommend accepting a guest blog post unless you are willing to vouch for someone personally or know them well. Likewise, I wouldn't recommend relying on guest posting, guest blogging sites, or guest blogging SEO as a linkbuilding strategy...

"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.

"I'm also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.

"I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to 'guest blogging' as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I'd recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article."

Expedia stock drops after Google plummet

Travel company Expedia saw its stock drop 4% on Tuesday of this week, following the sites plummet down the Google rankings (pictured below). Neither Google nor Expedia have commented on the drop believed to have been caused by an abundance of paid links, which for some travel-related rankings was up to 25%.

Expedia SEO and stock fall

Amazon goes all Minority Report on its delivery system

Amazon has secured a patent for anticipatory shipping, a system that will allow the global retailer to pre-empt purchases. In a concept not dissimilar to the plot of sci-fi flick Minority Report, where futuristic criminals are apprehended before they commit the offence, Amazon would send items that it believes you will buy based on previous purchases and searches to delivery hubs.

London sets fastest ever broadband

The fastest ever broadband speed – 1.4 terabits per second – has been achieved between London and Ipswich. The speed is the equivalent of sending 44 uncompressed HD films in a single second and was set by BT and French internet company Alcatel-Lucent.

Church reveals Twitter commandments

There are only nine of them and they weren't issued on Mount Sinai but nevertheless the Church of England issued its Twitter commandments this week. They are:

  • Don't rush in
  • Remember tweets are transient yet permanent
  • Be a good ambassador for the Church
  • Don't hide behind anonymity
  • Be aware of public/private life boundaries
  • Maintain a professional distance
  • Stay within the law
  • Respect confidentiality
  • Be mindful of your own security

And finally...

Google is trying to improve its online adverts by showing those users who opt to mute an ad a survey to ascertain why this is. The giant internet company also enjoyed the best period for paid search in its history in the third quarter of 2013, according to research by Kenshoo. The report showed that PPC drove 25% more clicks than at the same time in 2012, while spend was up 19% year-on-year.