SEO and Guest Blogging
On January 20, 2014, Google’s Matt Cutts published a blog post on his personal blog (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/) warning that guest blogging strategies used primarily as a SEO tactic should stop. As Matt phrased it, “over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice”. Not a mere warning however, as Google has subsequently tracked down and penalized several guest blogging networks, such as MyBlogGuest.com, for violating Google’s SEO guidelines. By penalized, I mean individuals and organizations losing page ranking (PR) for their website by not showing up on the first page of search results when using Google’s search engine.
In the past, guest blogging was used sparingly. This practice was used usually when someone respected and well-known was invited to share their thoughts on a topic that the blog owner, and its social community, shared a common interest with. For example, having Dr. Oz discussing the importance of flu vaccines in a health oriented blog. Or having Suze Orman discussing financial related guidelines in a financial well-being blog. The primary motivation was information distribution and garnering a strong following based on respect and authority, not SEO.
On the other hand, guest blogging today is mostly about SEO. Which isn’t necessarily an evil act, per say. For example, there are genuine guest bloggers out there with good intentions that have valuable information to provide the world. Why not have them do more guest blogging to spread the wealth, and perhaps have a link or two pointing new audiences to his/her page to help his SEO? However, there are individuals and organizations breaking the rules (Google's rules) and using guest blogging not to provide valuable content, but simply to boost their rankings on search results and ultimately profit with the higher traffic that comes from having your site on the 1st page.
7 Tips to Avoid Penalties
So what actions can you do as a blogger to avoid getting flagged and penalized by Google for manipulating PageRank? Below are some helpful tips that should help to create/sustain a high-quality guest blogger.
- Write articles that are of high-quality and relevant to the audience
- Write articles for reputable sites/blogs
- Screen and choose guest bloggers for your site wisely
- Ensure images used on your sight are not copyrighted
- Avoid large-scale guest blogging campaigns
- Use branded links instead of anchor text links when guest blogging
- Use guest blogging to build brand awareness and a strong reputation
- Google’s quality guidelines, visit: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/66356?hl=en
- So... You Think SEO Has Changed? - http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2334934/So...-You-Think-SEO-Has-Changed
- How to Blog Better - http://inbound.business.wayne.edu/blog/bid/277202/How-To-Blog-Better-Top-5-Blogging-Tips
(All accolades and credit for this tremendous blog post are for Candelario Benavides who is the author and content creator.)