Is guest blogging good for SEO?
In a world where Google’s algorithms ruthlessly penalize sites that have a spamy looking backlink structure, every SEO out there has to be asking themselves: how do I get quality backlinks from authority sites with high PageRank? The old methods of buying links are dead (that right if you are still doing this – you are a dying bread). Google’s penguin algorithm update ensured all sites that had questionable looking backlinks from low quality, unrelated sources, that themselves had many outbound links (and anchor text that seemed spamy as well) all received serious penalties in their rankings on the SERP. So how is it that Google’s spam spokesman, Matt Cutts, can now tell us that guest posting is fine when a lot of the time – guest posts also provide paid backlinks to specific websites.
Firstly, you must have your guest post on a quality site with a related topic. Ok, that’s fair and pretty obvious. Next, the anchor text of the link should be reasonable and not necessarily be of your service but more logically your name, a brand name or a click here link. Then of course there is the question that Google’s bots who try to work out – is it reasonable that this blog would want your best post and would it add value to the blog’s readers and visitors? If all these basic rules are adhered to, then you most probably ran the gauntlet of Google’s strict guidelines and managed to get a quality link (hopefully a follow link for maximum link juice value) pointing to your website.
There is always the school of thought – ‘all you need to do is create amazing content and it will naturally attract links and social shares’. To some extent I agree with those who preach that ‘content is king’ but for some industries – the only way to stay competitive and keep your site ranking highly for the most profitable keywords is by doing guest blogging in unison with creating amazing content to attract those links naturally.
So there is a real SEO value to guest blogging and it is good for SEO, if done in the correct way. As Cutts puts it correctly, it is the “fad of the month” because most other avenues of building backlinks have been shut down successfully by both the Google algorithm and Cutt’s own web spam team. The question is, when Google decide that guest blogging is also not acceptable, where can SEO’ers turn next?