Guest Blogging for SEO: Is it still effective?

First and foremost, what is guest blogging? Well, the words are quite self-explanatory really. It’s the process of getting posts from other bloggers to put on your website for free and in exchange they get backlinks to increase their website’s search ranking.

This process has been around quite some time and has been practiced by site owners as one of their SEO strategies. When you come to think of it, the process does make sense. The more links you have on your blog from other websites, the greater chance you have at being found and indexed by Google and other search engines.

But recently, there has been buzz going on around the Internet that guest blogging as a means to increase search engine ranking has become ineffective. Google’s head of Webspam team – Matt Cutts wrote on his blog:

“..if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop.”

The reason is, because over time, the articles and blog posts generated through guest blogging has mainly become spammy in nature. And by spammy we mean content that is basically junk – only created for the reason of “tricking” the search engines to think that there is content here and thus increase the value of the links to their website. While that may be an easy way to gain higher rankings, it is in clear violation of Google’s quality guidelines. The giant search engine is trying to keep the Internet clutter-free and because of that goal in mind, they advise us to steer away from such practices.

So, that begs the question – is guest blogging for SEO still considered to be an effective tool? Even though Google’s engineer said that it’s basically ‘dying’?

Well, while bad light has been shed into guest blogging, it isn’t necessarily 100% evil. Matt did say that guest blogging still has its strengths when the articles and blog posts that are created are of great quality. And by this it means articles that are worth reading and in fact actually hold some interesting and informative stuff.

So, how do you keep guest blogging from pulling your site down? Here are a few tips:

  • Be cautious in choosing and accepting guest posts from other people.

Make sure that you or someone of authority can vouch for this blogger’s identity. This ensures that your site won’t be latched on to spammy sites that offer up products or services that are in no way related to what you offer.

  • Keep the content unique and fresh, and something that your readers would actually want to read.

If you own a website that sells soap, then refrain from accepting guest blog posts that talk about something else that is totally irrelevant (i.e. tractors or dog food)

  • Ensure that the content is original.

In conclusion, guest blogging for SEO can only be effective when done right. Stay away from spammy offers and keep in mind that the way to the top takes some hard work as well.