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To guest blog or not to guest blog?

July 09 2014 10:33 AM

Guest blogging: To guest blog or not to guest blog?I have always seen guest blogging as a genuinely respectable activity.  Who wouldn’t want to publish expert opinions as part of their content marketing strategy?   At the same time, the more guest blogs used and promoted, the more traffic is generated towards one's site. Surely a match made in heaven?

Well it seems not. Being quite new into the SEO arena, I have recently discovered and been surprised by Matt Cutts' (Google) blog titled "The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”. In January, Matt warned not only that guest blogging for SEO is dead, but also that there would be a serious clamp down on guest blogging for SEO purposes. This has caused a major stir in the SEO community.

Since then, many have said guest blogging has continued to work and lead to great rankings and still can be an important part of creating great content. So what guidelines should marketers follow to create and promote great guest content without being penalised? 

During the rise of the guest blogs, lots of low quality content flooded the web, and those who accepted these guest bloggers lost serious credibility. Therefore it is extremely important to be able to vouch for any guest blogger that you use on your site and make sure the content they are working on adds value above and beyond generic blogs.  Along with making sure that the content you submit is of the highest quality, only do it in moderation.  Guest blogs published every day will just dilute the authority. Guest bloggers themselves should limit article links to 1 or 2 per post and make sure they link source information and not just the client website. In other words, make the content as “useful” as possible to the reader.  If there is a genuine reason for frequent guest blogs, you could try not labeling the content as a guest blog – just include the opinion and a bio.

With the SEO focus now on creating more “organic” traffic and the clampdown on link building – it makes sense for marketers to always focus on creating high quality content that people want to link to. If it answers a valuable question then people will not only want to read it – they will also want to share it. You will then get that “organic “ traffic that engages users as well as putting a smile on Google’s face. Now there is a match made in heaven…

2 Comments

John Bottom

July 11 2014 11:20 AM

Good points. As always, it seems to depend on how thoughtfully you do it. If you can vouch for the authenticity of the guest blogger, if the material is original, or if there is a strong link between them and the existing content of the blog, it should work.

I have always thought Mark Schaefer does this well on his blog (http://www.businessesgrow.com/blog/). When he started 4/5 years ago, he named it The {grow} Blog and did all the posts himself. But as it gained popularity, it has become The {grow} Community, where members of the community – who know the style and subject matter of the blog – contribute as much as Mark does. The result of this gradual, thoughtful approach is that the blog remains full of good, original content that is consistent with the original aim of the blog, even though much is no longer written by Mark.

And one result of this is that Mark’s blog has achieved great rankings, while these {grow} community members also benefit hugely from the publicity.

Joseph Volcy's avatar Joseph Volcy

July 29 2014 6:09 PM

“To guest blog!” is my answer to the question (but for the right reasons). ‘Content’ has been king for a while now and I can’t see it being dethroned any time soon. In my opinion the whole concept of guest-blogging could also be just a matter of perspective. Content is content and there’s no real technical difference between ‘guest-blogging’ and any other kind of content.  It’s just a matter of using and publishing content that have enough value and are worth sharing.

As for Matt Cutts saying ‘Guest-blogging is dead’? well I think we have heard similar stories for every single SEO technique known in the SEO industry for the last 5 years, even heard ‘SEO is dead’ but truth is: SEO is still alive and kicking!

February 19 2017 8:59 PM

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