Guest posting by itself (publishing a blog you write onto another website) is not bad. But, according to Google and SEO’s, the practice of guest posting for SEO reasons is not a sound SEO practice anymore.
In fact, link building tactics have increasingly been scrutinized by Google over the past three years. Your links are being looked at, evaluated, and they are influencing your search results. If you are guest posting to get links back to your website that will improve your rankings, think again. You may be doing more harm than good.
What’s the problem with guest posting for SEO reasons?
The problem with Guest Posting is that once people began doing it solely for SEO, lots of low-quality sites cropped up, creating an association between low-quality content and guest posting. As a result, guest posting can raise a flag to Google about your site. Plus, lots of fake guest blog posts were being put up around the Internet by SPAMMERS. People also began paying sites to accept their guest posts, which is essentially PAID LINKS. This is all very bad for SEO over the long-run. You can see why GOOGLE got suspicious – the links look “cheap.”
If you ask Matt Cuts of Google, “Should we guest post for SEO reasons?” the answer is: NO. In general, do not do it if your reason is just for SEO.
According to Search Engine Land, a well-known SEO publication used by Internet marketers, “Webmasters need to look at guest blogging as simply a vehicle to get the direct referral traffic, to build up a company’s brand awareness and not about what it will do to help further their rankings in Google. Many people simply forget that the success of a link, regardless of whether it is nofollowed or not, can also be measured in how much direct traffic that link generates.”*
In general, our rule is: If you are doing guest blogging solely as a means to getting links back to your website or for SEO, then we do not suggest doing it. The downside could outweigh any upside.
However, if you are guest blogging because you are sharing helpful content to a community that you could really help out, and your goal is to share great content that can lead to increased awareness and credibility of your brand, then yes, it can be a good idea. You must evaluate each opportunity on a case-by-case basis.
What should you look for on a potential website on which you might guest post?
It’s a good idea to check out the website. Is it a good quality site with a strong design and user experience? Is it professionally designed? Does it look credible? How long has it been in operation? What is the quality of the content on the site? Read specific articles and evaluate. Are the articles unique or duplicate? How many visitors does the site get? What do backlinks to this site look like? Is their SEO sound or suspicious?
Remember, not all links are good. If the site on which you are guest posting is of poor or low-quality, or if its own SEO or link building strategy is not sound, you could subsequently be harmed in the search rankings.
It’s helpful to sort through and be honest with yourself about your INTENT.
Thinking through your actual intentions and goals will let you know if you are likely going to be rewarded or hurt by your link building / content marketing tactics.
Good Reasons to Guest Post:
• According to Google, “exposure, branding, increased reach, community.”
• You are writing to a specific community to genuinely discuss an issue with a defined readership
• Your goal is to build credibility as an author and SME.
• Your goal is to help others, and solve a problem selflessly.
Bad Reasons To Guest Post:
• SEO, link building reasons
• Sharing a post that you already posted on your website onto a new website (do not do this)
•You are getting paid to do so (do not do this!)
If you can personally vouch for the author or you have a relationship with the site, and you are guest posting to provide new, high quality content for a specified site without the sole intention of SEO or link building, then you are most likely in the clear. Having your SEO company evaluate the opportunity for you will give you peace of mind.