Be Our Guest? Changes in Guest Blogging Standards

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Guest blogging, like many SEO techniques, has gone from a practice that once helped boosted Google rankings to one that will have the exact opposite effect. As Google moves from a focus on inbound links to a focus on content and user satisfaction, guest blogging as many SEOs know it is becoming obsolete. But that’s not to say that guest blogging should be eliminated across the board. Let’s examine what we mean by guest blogging, iterations of guest blogging that have become unacceptable by Google’s standard, and tactics that allow you to continue to build quality links using this method.


What Is Guest Blogging?

As the name suggests, guest blogging involves writing content for blog that is not housed on your own website or posting content on your own blog that you received from another source with their permission to post it. It has become a widely used SEO link building tactic, however in the past few years, many SEOs have started abusing the practice, thus causing Google to take a closer look and for Matt Cutts to ultimately declare, “the fall of guest blogging for SEO.”


The Problems with Guest Blogging

Inherently, guest blogging sounds like a wonderful opportunity to reach a wider audience and build inbound links to your site. However, as we alluded to above, SEOs began to go far beyond forming partnerships to share content on other sites. The practice of sending one canned article, often poorly written and off topic, out to hundreds of sites became commonplace. Below are the guest blogging tactics to avoid at all costs:

  • Sending the exact same blog post to multiple outlets
  • Slightly spinning a blog post and offering it to multiple outlets
  • Using links with keyword rich anchor text
  • Accepting guest blog posts for your site from unknown entities
  • Posting guest blogs to your site with keyword rich anchor text

Good Guest Blogging Practices

All that being said, there are still guest blogging techniques that work as initially intended. Just as we have learned to take the time to create quality content for our own sites, we must be equally devoted to writing valuable, original content for guest posts if we’re going to use this tactic effectively. Here are some best practices to follow if you’d like to continue guest blogging:

  • Only submit content that is not only relevant to the platform you’ll be posting on, but on which you are an expert
  • Write unique posts for each platform you post to, including your own site. Thus, you can use the same topic and principles, but the copy must be re-written
  • Include just 2-3 links in your post, but ensure that the anchor text isn’t keyword rich and is relevant to the page your are linking to
  • Only suggest guest blogs from sources that you personally know or that you’re comfortable vouching for
  • Use guest blogging in moderation as one element in your link building strategy rather than as your main link building tool
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Be Our Guest? Changes in Guest Blogging Standards
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Be Our Guest? Changes in Guest Blogging Standards
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Though once a highly used SEO tactic, Google is beginning to crack down on guest blogging. Learn the dos and don'ts of this practice.
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