“Guest blogging” is fast becoming an outdated practice. Whenever our industry looks to an artificial link building tactic en masse Google looks to squash it. We’ve seen it with directory submissions, reciprocal link relationships, blog commenting, footer links within client’s sites and we’re going to see it with guest blogging. Pretty bold statement, eh?
The reason I say this is because much of the content produced in these sorts of set-ups is of low quality or re-hashes of what is already out there and this is saturating the web. Google can’t afford to be serving up anything less than the best resources and unfortunately this content churn is making things difficult for them.
Plus Google can often spot a guest blog a mile off.
Ok, so at this point I better be clear about something. Writing a post for another website isn’t the problem. Hell, I’m all for people guest writing for my blog and myself writing for others. But there has to be standards.
I will write for someone in order to build my relationship with that person. I will write for someone so that I can get my quality work in front of a wider audience. I will write for someone if I have something that their audience will find fascinating and insightful. I can’t afford to farm out sub-standard work because this is my reputation on the line. Unfortunately, many won’t see it this way. They will see it as a “natural” way to get an in-content link and return with below-par prose because it is for someone else’s blog and therefore THEIR audience won’t see it. So wrong.
A successful guest blog post will aim for the following:
- Content that offers REAL value and will stand the test of time because of it
- Something that both the author and host will be proud to link to, promote and share amongst their audiences
Additionally, guest blogging for links itself is a manipulative link building tactic at its core (paying for a link in the form of content) and as such, falls under Google’s no-fly-zone. In this video Matt Cutts explains the pro’s and con’s of guest blogging and Google’s view on the practice.
The bottom line is Google currently tries to discount low quality guest posts and links. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google takes harsher action when this practice starts to get out of hand just like it has with directory submissions, reciprocal link relationships etc. in the past.
When evaluating your next guest spot consider these dead giveaways that could have you paying the price in the future:
- Mention of “guest post”, “guest blog”, “guest author” etc in the opening or closing paragraphs
- Carbon-copy “about the author” sections on multiple websites
- Multiple links to the same external site, or where author’s name links to an external site
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