I have talked about guest blogging in the past, and even offer other writers to write guest posts here (you can read more about it HERE). After watching a video from Matt Cutts, Google’s head of search engine spam, however, I thought it was time to write a little bit more on the subject. Guest posting is the practice of writing a post for another blog, or having someone write a post for yours. If, for example, you are an experienced writer and want to share your thoughts or guidance with my readers, you can write something up, and post it here.
The benefit of the guest post is that I get high-quality content for my site, my readers get to enjoy another point of view, and you get somewhere to publish your content. You also get a ‘bio-box’ link back to your website, which will help you get targeted traffic as well as improved results in the search engines. When done properly, guest posting is great for everyone involved.
Many people, however, have begun the practice of guest post spamming. This means that they will try to put up a guest post on any site, regardless of the topic, just to try to get a link back to their site. These posts are typically very low quality, and provide little value to anyone. Google’s Matt Cutts commented on the fact that this is one of the latest trends for ‘black hat’ SEO’s.
While Google hasn’t made any major change to their search algorithms yet, I expect something will be coming in the next few months. Just like all link spamming, guest post spamming is done to try to ‘trick’ Google’s search algorithms. In the end, Google will make some updates, and the sites which have ranked well because of this practice will get ‘smacked’ off of Google’s index.
With this in mind, we as writers have a few responsibilities (in my opinion):
- Writing Guest Posts – If you’re writing a guest post to attempt to promote your own site, make sure you are writing a high quality post. In addition, offer it only to other high-quality sites in a related niche.
- Think of the Reader – When trying to find places to publish your guest posts, think of the reader of that page. Will they benefit from your post? If so, it is a good fit. If not, you shouldn’t even ask to post it on that page.
- Publish Quality Guest Posts – If you have a site which accepts guest posts, make sure you’re only accepting high-quality posts. If someone tries to post something that isn’t related to your page, or isn’t well written, delete it, or send it back to them to rewrite.
- Hired to Write a Guest Post – If someone hires you to write a guest post, and they tell you it will be published on an unrelated site, try to talk them out of it. Of course, they are paying you, so it is their choice in the end, but you’ll be doing them a favor by helping them see the error of their ways. If you help them build their business properly, they will have work for you long into the future.
Taking the time to focus on high-quality guest posts is critical for writers. It will not only help us to avoid any Google ‘punishment’ in the future, but it will get you the results you’re looking for today as well. You can see Matt Cutts’ video about guest posts HERE, if you’re interested.