In a blog post from January of last year, Matt Cutts called the time of death on guest blogging. "If you're using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop," he wrote, before going on to cite the practice as spammy and noting that it violates Google's quality guidelines in terms of link-building and enhancing search rankings. A once-authentic trend pushed aside In his post, Cutts provided an example of a spammy email from a digital marketing agency representative. He declared, "This is why we can't have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains." A year and a half on, is guest blogging really over? According to a selection of analysts in the space, rumors of its demise have been greatly exaggerated. Guest blogging may not be dead yet - or, at least, not if you go about it the right way. Quality authors, content, links and sources The key to taking advantage of guest blogging is to make sure content falls into this legitimate minority - but how? Business Outreacher, SEO SiteCheckup and the Content Marketing Institute weighed in. SEO SiteCheckup called out "fake guest bloggers" like the one Cutts exemplified, holding them responsible for much of guest blogging's lost credibility. To avoid hits to both reputation and search rankings, SEO SiteCheckup advocated using guest bloggers with Google Author pages that provide personal bios and showcase expertise. Business Outreacher recommended avoiding links that could be perceived as spammy, and even went as far as to advise shying away from incorporating any links at all. Linking may be the most direct way to boost site traffic, but it's not the only one. Simply including the name of the business can also do the trick. The Content Marketing Institute underscored the importance of social shares, particularly from high-profile, respected accounts that add a sense of legitimacy. Google search rankings take this into consideration, along with the heightened site traffic and additional social buzz that result from the shares. Do you still use guest blogging as part of your SEO strategy? Is the tactic really down for the count, or can it still prove lucrative in the right situations? Contribute your two cents below.