MyBlogGuest, a popular guest blogging network, was recently penalized by Google’s webspam team, led by Matt Cutts. Cutts made the announcement over Twitter and published a related piece on his website titled “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO.” MyBlogGuest is lax with their linking policies, and Cutts alluded to finding spam in their content. Bloggers have spoken out in disagreement with Cutts and defended guest blogging, a longtime popular SEO technique that Cutts claims to be spammy and inauthentic. Many have argued the benefits of guest blogging, and claimed it can be effective when used the right way, like any SEO technique. Cutts and guest blog loyalists are both right: guest blogging could easily be a friend or foe, depending on how you use it. If you want to use guest blogging effectively (and without Google giving you the axe), remember the right ways to use it:
It’s About the Content, Not the Links
The purpose of your blog should not just be to earn a backlink; it should be to publish relevant and genuine content that reflects well on your brand and connects with the reader. If your content is authentic, you could gain new followers that genuinely want to read what you have to say! It not only reflects well on you, but your brand; remember that each post builds on your brand’s online presence, and you want to maintain positive brand awareness. Try to give your content a voice, style, and creative kick- make sure the article brings something new to the table.
If it Looks Like Spam, it Probably is
Matt Cutts doesn’t like spammy blog posts, and neither does your reader. Blog posts with spam often don’t read naturally and feel like a terrible paid advertisement. Be sure to not over promote your brand- keep name plugging to a minimum. Only link back to a few of your main sources, which should be respected and reliable publications that give context or further information on your topic. If your blog is riddled with too many keywords it is going to feel unnatural and off putting to the reader- make sure your writing is fluid. The purpose of your blog should be to share information, not sell it.
Use in Moderation
Like all forms of social media, guest blogging should not be overused. Keep to a schedule and plan what topic or content you will be posting ahead of time, so you have quality content with variety. You don’t want to overwhelm your reader, rather, keep them wanting more!