I have been saying it for over a year that it was only a matter of time before Guest Blogging would damage and hurt both the sites hosting the articles and those who create the guest posts to link to client sites and the time has come.
An article posted January 20th 2014 on Matt Cutts blog shows how the practice has futher come under the microscope http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/guest-blogging/ and that it is only a matter of time before penalties increase and more and this is a warning to guest bloggers and hosts everywhere.
So what should you do? Should you remove guest blogging altogether from your site as an option?
Probably not, this is a target against anyone that would sell or offer guest blog articles as a means to manipulate PageRank and gain SEO benefit. Guest Posting provides value for authors who are writing to gain attention and notice for their own work and merit. This probably will hurt anyone who is hired to write articles with an anchor link to another site, so even with Google Authorship this could be a dent and cause damage to sites that offer guest posts because typically the writers are just hired to put out articles for their clients and rarely are linking to their own owned sites.
We have hosted many guest articles over the past few years here on DragonBlogger.com because we give people an option to talk about the gadgets, software, and I wanted to expand opinions, reviews and editorials. I am not about to stop the practice of allowing guest articles now but will continue to try and enforce stricter content quality standards and make the articles more specific and less overview in nature.
Guest blogging can be of value, it is why I guest blog on Basic Blog Tips, occasionally and other sites, I don’t do it for the SEO, I do it for the exposure and the extra thousand or so potential readers who may notice what I write and follow me back. I think the key to guest blogging will be to get social audiences to follow you, making sure you have follow buttons in your author bio and grow your following, then the more following you have your guest blogging will continue to carry weight and allow you to showcase your guest posts on other sites to your social media audience bringing value to the hosting site as well as to your own.
Guest blogging will become more about building your social audience and following than the link and the PageRank is my prediction, because social audience equals influence and companies will gradually shift to wanting more social influence than dofollow links that will end up penalizing them anyway.