Guest blogging has always a useful tool in terms of marketing and SEO. It isn’t just a link building opportunity – it’s a great way to gain more exposure, improve brand’s credibility, build a community, and establish your brand (or yourself) as an industry expert.
Unfortunately, the increase in low-quality guest blogs with paid links makes a lot of people question its true value. Many brands and online marketing companies hesitate to include guest blogs in their digital strategy because they’re afraid Google will write their posts off as spam.
In the latest Google Webmaster Help video, Matt Cutts provides some great tips on how you can guest blog without looking like you paid for links.
The Difference between Paid Blogs and the Real Deal
Cutts says there is usually “a pretty clear distinction” between occasional guest blogs and large-scale paid link building efforts. He and the manual webspam team notice that paid posts are usually off-topic and irrelevant to the blog itself, and that they contain keyword-rich anchor text.
He describes genuine guest blogs as those that are written by experts, have a paragraph talking about the author is and why they were invited to guest blog, and fewer keywords and anchor text dropped into the post.
He mentions that there is a wide spectrum of quality for both paid posts and guest blogs, and that even genuine guest blogs can be low quality.
Everything in Moderation
Cutts also mentioned that a lot of people were complaining about the “spraying and praying” tactic that involve just sending out multiple invitations and offers to guest blog about different topics. He mentions that some bloggers don’t even produce unique content for each blog they write guest posts for, and just spin their instead. He advises against this tactic, and recommends that you guest blog in moderation. He says:
“It shouldn’t be your full-time job, going around, finding people that, you know: ‘Can I borrow your soapbox and climb up on it and talk for a few little bits and then also embed some links back to my blog?’ If that’s all you’re doing, then that’s probably not the best way to build a reputation to your website.”
The key to avoid having Google label your guest blogs as spam is to maintain high quality standards, blog in moderation, and remembering that guest blogging should be more about building reputation and providing value to readers than simply creating more links to your website.
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