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The Perils of Guest Blogging

Posted On: November 5, 2013

“Guest blogging” has become a fairly prevalent SEO tool in recent years, especially as websites have turned away from article banks and article directories as ways to pump up their links (and thus their SEO). They turned away from these tools, of course, because Google started penalizing them for these tricks.

If that seemed a little hard to follow, here are the basics: Incoming and outgoing links have always been key indicators of a website’s value, and thus its Google ranking. Unfortunately, lots of sites tried to game the system by adding value-light (or even valueless) content full of links. Google considers this a link scheme. So Google brought down the hammer.

Many businesses tried to get around this by adding guest blogs to their sites or providing guest blogs (with follow-back anchor links) to other sites. That’s fine in theory, but as usual, some sites have taken this tool to an extreme, doing guest blogs that favor lots of linking to actual useful, organic content.

This is right in keeping with what Google’s been putting out all through 2013: If you link to something solely to improve your Google rankings, it’s considered an unnatural link.

Google won’t factor a link into your rankings if its HTML code is revised with an attribute called nofollow, which of course removes the whole purpose for a link that’s intended purely to improving rankings in the first place. We won’t dig into nofollow here, because it can get a bit technical, but your Ring Ring Marketing representative can help you understand its use.

With that said, there’s no great indication yet that high-quality guest posts have triggered any unnatural link notices. But things move fast with Google, so you it’s important to be safe. Here are a few tips to consider when employing guest blogging:

Focus on quality: Write guest content pieces that are unique, detailed, and provide perspective on the topic. Make sure it’s the kind of content that provides useful information to the site’s audience. And never repurpose that specific content elsewhere. Use it one time only.

Post to high-quality sites: Posting to sites with poor reputations or a history of being used for link-building will only work against you and could trigger and manual review from Google (you don’t want that). Your Ring Ring Marketing professional can help you determine what sites might be best for your posts.

Watch out for guest blogging directories: Sites such as GuestBlogit.com and MyBlogGuest.com can be useful, but some posters do abuse their privileges on these blogs, so it’s critical to be sure other posts wherever you blog are as quality-oriented as your post is.

Link building is a critical aspect of SEO, and Google isn’t trying to eliminate it altogether. What Google wants is to see link building done in a natural, organic way. Guest blogging can be a beneficial tool for building links, but it’s important to create high-quality articles and post them on truly authoritative sites.

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