Guest blogging is no more!

Sorry SEO people and SEO strategists, Matt Cutts says that “Guest blogging is done”.

One smart guy emailed Matt Cutts asking if he could write a guest blog on Matt Cutt’s blog with one or two links pointed at his own site. And promised to pay too….. That’s the funniest thing I have heard. And here in his blog, Matt Cutts explains that guest blogging is not a good SEO strategy anymore. Read more on Matt Cutts blog on guest blogging.

Here is why I think guest blogging wouldn’t work for the person who is allowing the guest blog.
1. You are passing on your hard-acquired page rank to websites that wouldn’t care too much about their quality.
2. Most of the guest blog posts would be using article spinning or low-quality content that could affect the quality of your blog too.
3. The recipient of the link can change their website after sometime into some other topic and without you realizing it, you are linking to a totally unrelated website.
4. The monetary benefits, if any, are not enough to compensate the damage that the link would do to your website.

Here is why I think guest blogging wouldn’t work for the person who is requesting the link.
1. You would have to approach many many webmasters until you are finally given permission to post your guest blog somewhere.
2. The webmaster allowing your blog post can edit your post to remove the links at a later point of time.
3. If the blog that gives you a link is penalized for some reason, your website ranking can also be affected.
4. Unless you get a link back from a high-ranking website (which is extremely difficult), the result is not worth the amount of time you would spend on writing the article, approaching webmasters, and co-ordinating with them.

So, it is time to forget about guest blogging and move on in life. Write good, relevant content on your website and the search engine is going to be happy.

Top 10 Stock photography websites, and my take on them

Anybody who has tried creating a website or a blog knows the value of stock photos and stock photography websites. There are a million of them out there, each having a million photos in them. Here’s a good list of websites you can buy images from. I have used a simple test of searching for “office room” to figure out the options available, quality and price on these websites.

1. Getty images ( – One of the best and most expensive stock photography sites, they offer high-quality images and an elaborate search with many filters. The results are good, but I had to answer more than 10 questions to know the price – what would I use it for and how many times, what is my target industry, what size I need, what page would I place it on and so on, before it gave me a price that was a little shocking. Get used to it, high quality comes at a price.

Getty images

2. Istockphoto ( – This one is my personal favorite and was easy on the wallet till a year back. The search results for “office room” gave me some really good pics. And the pricing is available immediately, in credits or USD. Beautiful usability.


3. Bigstockphoto ( – I like these guys. They are not very pricey, they show good results on searching, they have decent filters, and pricing is immediately available. See the search results for “office room” below. The interesting fact is that a lot of photos are common across websites. So dig around till you find the best at the lowest price.

Bigstock photos

4. 123rf ( – If you have found them multiple times while searching on Google, there is no surprise. They are advertising quite a bit on Adwords these days. Pricing is their key selling point, and they are offering great images at surprising low prices. A search for “office room” gave me decent results and prices starting at 1 credit. Smiles all around.


5. Thinkstock Photos ( – This is owned by Getty images, and offers same old complicated system for pricing. I had to check out plans and pricing and packs and subscriptions before they could tell me how much an image would cost. And I did not like the results for “office room” much. Thumbs down!


6. Dreamstime ( – I have downloaded quite a lot of images from this website in the past. Somehow, there is a lack of clarity in images, a lack of beauty that is pushing me away these days. The prices are reasonable, the collection is decent, the search for “office room” gave decent results… but the images look dull and lifeless. The design of the website, which has stayed the same for ages, is also not very confidence-inspiring.


7. Shutterstock ( – Quite expensive and refuses to reveal the price easily. Their collection of images is good, but not as good as Best for those who need high resolution images for printing.


8. Fotolia ( – Pretty standard, a little dull and grey, pretty reasonable in terms of price. That sums of Fotolia for you. If you did not find your image in any of the above websites, why not try them too. Here is the results page I got.


9. Stocksy ( – They blew me away with their website design, and got me interested. But my search for “office room” gave me more people than I asked for. It was more like the results for “people working in office”. The photographers are given due credit, and prices are slightly on the higher side. But it is a beautiful site to visit. And who knows, the one photo you were looking for could have been here all this while.


10. Canstock photo ( – Just when you thought there couldn’t be any more websites with the word “stock” in the domain name, here comes another. And that is what it turned about to be. Just another website with pretty standard photos, and reasonable pricing.

Canstock photo

Along with these, I researched a few others too while writing this blog.

1. Natgeo Creative ( – I think they should stick to the magazines. They have some amazing photographs, but the search is horrible, the results are almost non-existent. There are broken links, empty galleries and no clue about the pricing.
2. Corbis images ( – The website looked horrible and refused to load. And that’s when I closed the window.

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We have provided that number directly on our website, but you can also use your own number and forward it to theirs. A good script is of utmost importance so that you cover all scenarios that a caller might be looking for. They will also assign you a client relationship manager, with whom you have to work continuously at improving the script, improving agent quality, resolving technical issues etc.

For now, we are quite happy with the services. Except for a few call drops, and script corrections, it has been going smooth.

Thank you, Answerfirst.