If you were to talk to Matt Cutts, the software engineer and head of Google’s Webspam team, about guest posting, he would tell you it’s a dead horse – that it should no longer be used as a link building strategy. In fact, he conveyed these very sentiments on his personal blog in the early days of 2014. According to Cutts, the practice of using guest posting, as a reliable way to build organic links, has become too spammy.
Not the Best Way to Build Links
Cutts goes on to add that some content producers are trying to sell the idea of outsourcing and, subsequently, automating their blog posts. Given that information alone, the software expert’s response is to “stick a fork” in the activity – “guest blogging is done” as far as he is concerned. He adds that he wouldn’t suggest accepting guest posts, for your own blog, unless the poster is someone you know very well, and goes on to warn content producers not to use SEO guest blogging as a strategy for building links.
Another Point of View
However, not every content producer and IT professional shares Cutts’ sentiments. According to an article published in Search Engine Journal by Mark Daoust on February 26, 2014, guest posting is not the tragedy that Cutts thinks it is. Daoust notes that the anti-guest blogging post, written by Matt, is produced on his own blog rather than Google’s officially sanctioned blog. Therefore, his sentiments seem to come more from personal frustration rather than from a change in Google’s policy.
Beware of Those Sites that Invite Guest Posters to Write
The Search Engine Journal article recommends that businesses that do use guest posting as a way to increase site traffic, whilst warning companies to avoid sites that feature open invitations for guest bloggers. Seek out the blogs that provide strong metrics, with numbers that suggest the site is authoritative and good for SEO. Is their audience responsive and targeted to your industry? Can you legitimately write an article that is relevant and related to your site? Keep these two questions at the forefront of your decision making process, when looking for an appropriate site.
Save a Link for Your Bio – Don’t Include it in the Body of the Article
Search Engine Journal adds that it is best not to incorporate links in the body of the articles you write. Rather, save any kind of linking for your bio. The primary focus should be on producing creative and high-quality content, not filling posts with outbound links. If you can confidently short-list your guest blog listings to popular blog partners, you will avoid any problems with spammy material.
Become a True Partner
If you align yourself with a popular publisher, it is highly doubtful that you will be allowed to present any kind of sub par or unoriginal content. Search Engine Journal adds that it is important to become a true partner with the site that publishes your guest content. That means responding to comments about your article and regularly communicating with the head publisher of the site, themselves. This is, generally, sound business advice for your future career.
Diversify Your Link-building Practices
Remember, don’t use guest posting alone to build organic links back to your site. You need to diversity your efforts: make use of social media and press releases to maintain a good traffic flow.
Stay on Track
Use the posts as authoritative references which are designed to help people in your field improve or enhance their skills. As long as you don’t fall prey to the latest marketing tactic, you can stay on track if you choose to write a guest blog post. The problem, which Matt Cutts identifies, isn’t necessarily with the act of guest posting, or guest bloggers themselves, but more of a complaint that there are just too many people searching for a loophole, instead of a reliable method of building organic links.