Google exec Matt Cutts finally established the search engines lack of interest in guest blogging this week. What does this say about the need to direct blog in a bid to preserve your online reputation?

In his ‘The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO’ blog post this week he dealt with the question of guest blogging in relation to SEO. According to Cutts guest blogging is officially dead as a link building tactic. To quote the man himself he said that “guest blogging is done; it’s 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.”

It’s easy to see where Cutts is coming from. Guest blog has been increasingly high jacked by those wishing to post spam content and it falls into a larger remit Google have taken on over the years of fighting black hat SEO practises.

Black hat SEO practises are basically where people engage in dubious SEO practises in order to get their content up the rankings. Of particular note is the practise of keyword stuffing; where people put the keyword in as many times as they can and don’t make it content specific.

This is a practise Google have cracked down on with the introduction of algorithms such as Panda and Hummingbird. Basically they’ve been fighting to ensure that the information that appears on page one for a search term is actually relevant to the search term.

From this angle it’s easy to see why Google have declared guest blogging dead. As the subject of spam, Google picks up on them and promptly dismisses them; they’re not content specific enough to rank for the search term. Therefore in the context of managing your reputation through the page one for your search term, guest blogging really is dead.

This brings us along to direct blogging. Note that Cutts doesn’t label blogging dead, just guest blogging. He goes on to essentially say that you should never accept a guest blog post from somebody you don’t trust. We would go further and say never post a blog you or an employee for your company didn’t write.

The advantages of blogging yourself are clear in managing your online reputation. Nobody has more knowledge of the context of your blog than you yourself do. Therefore nobody is going to be able to make your keyword more context specific than you.

Of course then we have the SEO and online reputation benefits of direct blogging. If optimised effectively they rank well, aiding your pursuit of control of page one for your search term, they’re a great way to directly engage your potential customer base etc.

Matt Cutts made it quite clear this week that guest blogging is all but dead as far as Google are concerned.  However the same statement implied that direct blogging is alive and well; it’s a tool you need in your arsenal if you want to manage your online reputation.