Guest blogging has been a hot topic in the news this year (2014-15) with, Google’s Matt Cutts calling out guest blogging as something that was not overly effective anymore. There was some backlash when he laid the gauntlet down, from SEO industry professionals and of course guest bloggers. It was after that backlash that he decided to amend his comment and suggested, “There are still many good reasons to do guest posts.” This makes things as clear as mud right? First let’s look at exactly what Matt Cutts said,
Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”
“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there.
The first quote above is the opening of his original statement and the second is the amendment after the backlash. You can read the full story at Matt Cutts’ blog.
So with all of that said, you might be left with some questions on how to do guest blogging, luckily not all is lost. As with anything in business there is a right and a wrong way to go about guest posts. There is no reason you can’t use guest posts to help spread the word about your brand. If you are staying away from the spam like posts that Mr Cutts is talking about, you will still build some solid authority. Spam posts offer no value to a real human audience, they are built simply for the purposes of link building and often don’t even match the niche of the site they are on.
If you are worried about your guest posts, here are some basic dos and don’ts to keep in mind:
Use guest blogging as a knee-jerk reaction
Guest for sites that you haven’t done research for
Guest blog with only link-gaining as a goal
Accept guest blogs from total strangers
Submit guest blogs for any site just to get accepted
Guest blog for sites with a good reputation
Research and feel you can trust the site you guest for
Use no-follow links
Make sure there is a healthy balance of guest blog to regular content
Get to know blog owners and writers
The most important thing to remember when making quality guest posts is to keep the niche in mind. To make your content valuable to the reader, or non-spammy, as the Google would say, it needs to fit. Focusing on your niche might limit some of the choices you can make but the people who read your posts will be the ones who can benefit the most. Making sure that your content marketing activities represent quality rather than just quantity, and Google will appreciate you in the long run.
The second most important thing to keep in mind when crafting a guest post is to make sure that the content is natural. You will always need to use keywords and to link your own site, but make sure that the anchors are placed in seamlessly. If it sounds or looks like you are just making the words fit you will turn people away from the article. Also the less natural-sounding the post, the greater the chance that Google will consider it spammy and discount the link; and even start frowning upon your link profile.