Google’s Matt Cutts posted on his personal blog that webmasters should no longer use guest blogging as a way to gain links. And if you do accept a blog post from a writer, make sure that it was written by someone you are willing to vouch for in terms of credibility and quality. Cutts’ statement made SEO agencies quite worried. And the question over the success of guest posting remains an important one.
But it is for this reason that more and more marketers have decided to use guest posting solely as a way of increasing the number of links to their own websites. Random emails from writers all over the world have popped up in front of blog owners, requesting them to accept guest posts on a variety of topics, simply in turn for a link to a website they have never even heard of.
This has definitely contributed to the negative vibe that surrounds guest posting tactics. But this doesn’t mean that guest posts are completely dead –it just won’t work the same way as it used to before.
Although it generally took a while for guest posting to really take flight, it was viewed as something that is great for both SEO and the website in general. Honest, legitimate guest blogging was very popular for site owners, blog authors and readers. But it wasn’t long before this strategy was exploited and used as a way of building cheap links, fast. Bloggers wanted as much as possible, for the least amount of effort. Bloggers even started to pay a fee for their blogs to be accepted and posted in order to gain a backlink.
Here are the recommended strategy for future guest blogs:
- Only post on relevant blogs. Ideally these blogs should rank higher than your own website. Linking from bigger blogs that are relevant to your website will help with traffic, branding and sales. It will offer great exposure for your business.
- Avoid keyword rich anchor texts. This will become a huge red flag so avoid this where possible. Don’t let your site be penalized so avoid using exact-match or keyword rich anchor text when publishing blog posts on other blogs.
- Always share. Link to sites that offer value to the reader, not only to your site. Mention relevant websites or sources that can strengthen the quality of the content overall.
- Boost your author rank. With Google Plus becoming more relevant and popular, it will be easier for Google to determine the quality of your writing. So focus on publishing only valuable content as you don’t want sub-standard blogs linked to your professional profile.
The debate that online marketers often face is whether or not they should still go ahead with guest blogging as part of their online marketing strategy. There’s no definite yes or no answer; it all depends on how you use guest posting, the type of content you choose, the sites you post on, and the quality of your content. Although it may seem like guest posting is slowly dying, it can still help your rankings, just not in the way that you might think.
Cutts feels that innocent website owners are being negatively influenced by bloggers, simply because these “fake” marketers will tell them just how beneficial a guest post will be for their website, and that they are getting “free content” in the process. So these websites are being penalized because they were convinced by bloggers that their site will improve, while it’s in actual fact nothing more than a disguised link scheme. This again shows just how important it is to stick to the rules and guidelines when it comes to publishing a guest post, so that you do not fall in the same trap and be penalized before you know it.
Our tips for you:
- Use guest posting sparingly;
- Only choose real high quality, high authority blogs;
- Make sure you offer valuable, click-worthy content.
- Don’t focus on guest blogs as your main link building strategy but rather only as a supplemental marketing strategy.