Guest Blogging Isn’t Dead: Here’s Why
- Nov 14, 2014
- Debolina Manna
“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”
That‘s how Matt Cutts declared guest blogging dead, way back in January, 2014. Since then, various speculations have left the digital marketers understandably wary. Many are still confused about whether to continue using guest blogging as a vital part of their search engine optimization strategy or not. Most are still in a dilemma about whether to go with Matt Cutts’s verdict, or stick to this tried and tested online marketing method.
Guest blogging might have been caught on Google’s radar as a ‘spammy practice’, but it is not yet time to close the lid of the coffin. It is not dead, yet!
SEO Techniques Get Spammier with Time, But SEO Is Not Dead
Over time all SEO techniques tend to get increasingly spammy. Whether it is keyword targeting, link building or image optimization – whatever strategy works in search engine optimization, is bound to get more and more spammy as time passes. It is essential for each and every technique to adjust with the competitive SEO landscape and the ever changing algorithms. It would not be wrong to state that certain SEO techniques get spammier by proportion.
This is to say that a technique itself is not going from 5% spammy to 35% spammy. More spam is noticeable because there is more of everything available. Say, for example, there are more posts. But that also means that these posts include both good and bad ones. Irrespective of whether it is good or bad, too much of everything makes it difficult for Google to sort through all of it in entirety. It is, therefore, the duty of online marketers to keep a tab on what they are marketing.
It is to be remembered at all times that long-term quality and view are the ultimate goals; not temporary effectiveness. Google often has to instruct content marketers to pull the reins on certain things. The spammers, however, hardly pay any heed to those instructions. But just because spammers are doing something wrong does not mean you have to stop what you are doing right.
Is SEO Everything?
When it comes to proper marketing, relying only on SEO can be a bit risky. Smart marketers know how to use multiple channels to stabilize their marketing efforts. There are many companies that have built their businesses solely based on Google. Aggressively pursuing a high ranking on Google and not paying any attention to other marketing channels can land a business in a sticky situation, should Google decide to change its specifications.
Being preferred by the biggest of all search engines is undoubtedly beneficial. But Google’s preference does not come with a lifetime warranty. When such is the situation, guest blogging can provide a very useful means of gaining exposure for a business. When simplified, guest blogging is a modified version of traditional PR. It is quite powerful on its own and does not require the backing of SEO.
Guest Blogging Can Work Even Without Link-Building
Guest blogging really does not require a plethora of links to be effective. It works just fine without backlinks. That, in no way, means that you should let go of all the links in your posts. It is almost impossible for Google’s algorithms to differentiate between other types of contents and guest posts. So, technically, it cannot devalue the links that are embedded in the guest posts.
Then again, spammy links are a reality. And this is what has led Matt Cutts to want to “put a fork” in guest blogging. To play it safe, you can try not putting any links in your guest posts. If you are wondering about the purpose of blogging then, know that its main purpose is not just to acquire a link. It is to build your brand’s identity by gaining exposure. And posting high quality, informative content will also help to build your own reputation as a blogger.
Attaching your name and your business’ name in the content without stuffing any backlink is a good way to do guest blogging. You may even ask the publisher to no-follow the link. A perfect example of such links is Wikipedia. Note that despite being no-follow link, Wikipedia drives considerable traffic.
Golden Rules of Guest Blogging Still Relevant for SEO
While there may be a lot of marketers who will tell you to cut ties with guest blogging immediately, use your own understanding to get the real picture. Guest blogging was, and still is, a vital part of SEO. As stated earlier, algorithmically Google cannot differentiate between a guest post and a regular post. The low-quality sites that are accepting less than satisfactory posts from a number of bloggers are being targeted by the search engine. Selecting blogs or bloggers does play a vital role in determining the reach of a business website.
In case you are interested in connecting with your target audience and not just blind link building, here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Draft original and high-quality content on relevant topics.
- Plan the content for your target-market, to interest and educate the end users.
- Use a maximum of two links in the content. It is considered safe and will keep it from being recognized as a spam by search engines.
- Providing links to reputable websites adds value to your blog.
- Rather than overusing keywords in the blog, try to modify them to gain good search engine results.
- Use social media platforms to drive organic traffic to your website.
“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.”
It is quite understandable, Matt Cutts actually meant that writing a low-quality post just to get a link may cause you to get targeted by search engines. Considering this, it can be concluded that Google will penalize sites instead of individual bloggers. The sites that are not providing value on the whole are at risk here. Thus, quality content, guest post or otherwise, will continue to be a key player as far as online marketing is considered.
A content writer by profession, Debolina Manna contributes blogs for Softz Solutions and many other noted blogs. She takes interest in social media, content marketing and digital marketing, and expresses her ideas on these through her writings.