According to Matt Cutts, a distinguished engineer at Google, guest post blogging is dead. On his personal blog, Mr Cutts states that webmasters should no longer think of using guest posting as a way to gain links. While it is understandable that Google has to take a stance and go to war with those who are trying to manipulate the system and its page rankings, it doesn’t mean that all guest posts are a bad idea.
Poor quality vs. High quality
As with anything on the internet, you need to watch the quality of the guest posts you allow on your blog. Matt Cutts seems to say that all guest posting should just have a fork stuck in it and it’s done, but not all guest posting can be labelled in this way. If you make sure that your guest posts aren’t just fluff, published to pad out the space on your blog, and instead, they actually fit in with your niche – then you will see results.
If you are searching for target sites to publish your content, make sure that the sites have quality page ranking and authority whilst also fitting your niche. You should read several posts on the site to make sure that they only accept quality guest posts and that the content stays true to both the site’s theme and your niche. It would be poor SEO guest posting practice, for example, to write a guest post for a cooking blog if your niche is interior design.
While we’ve already highlighted the importance of identifying and targeting a specific niche, you may not fully understand why this is the case. Google’s current method of monitoring SEO and back links basically boils down to: if the content of the linked site is not high quality, nor relevant to the site it’s posted on, then there could be penalties. Although, no one really knows the full readings that Google uses, it’s a safe bet that the more relevant you and your niche are to the target website/blog, then the better it will fare on Google’s ranking system.
Putting the Google rankings aside; you also want to make sure that you reach the right audience. When you have your content posted on a site that corresponds with yours (in terms of niche, theme and content), it is more likely that customers interested in your content will see it, read it, and then come visit your own site. The whole purpose of building back links and your brand, of course, is to drive traffic to your product or service – not somebody else’s.
So is it really dead?
The question, then: is guest posting really dead? Simply put; no, it isn’t dead. While there are ‘content farms’ that take on bad practices, if you focus on quality, niche content, then you will see results. You need to avoid content that appears to be spam or has a heavy focus on “selling”. The best content has a natural flow to it, often straddling the line between educational and conversational in tone, whilst being directed at the right niche/demographic.
Even Matt Cutts gives way to say that, if bloggers of high ranking blogs scan content better, to assure there is decent quality, things will improve. So, to bring home and stress the point; follow your niche and make sure that only quality content is accepted or placed. Stay away from sites that look like they post anything that has a link in it, or that has a lot of spam comments. Don’t overlook comments when you are looking at a target site – comment spam is a killer for Google page ranking.
Keep your standards high and guest posting should work for you.