Blogger Beware, Google Might Be After Guest Posts

122399804Let’s face it, we love guest blogging. From a PR & SEO standpoint to the blog owner side it’s a win-win with a guest blog post. The blog owner gets free (hopefully good) content, the PR Pro gets some impressions and exposure for their client and the SEO (hopefully) gets a link back to the client’s website. Like I said, a seemingly good set up for all parties looking to benefit from a guest blog post.

However, with all good things on the web, guest blogging is supposedly coming to an end. When a few sites and spammers take advantage of the above exchange to an extreme level to influence search rankings Google might take notice. And they have. Last week, Matt Cutts, the head of web spam at Google reiterated his position and despise of guest blogging for SEO specific purposes. The synthesis of the article and the community is that guest blogging for SEO is quickly fading away. The practice is getting out of hand and spammy to the point that too many bloggers continue to publish poor quality content with questionable links that have been influencing Google rankings.

Google hasn’t said how they plan on enforcing guest blog posts but I have a feeling that a bigger emphasis on its authorship program and good quality, authoritative content will be in the near future. All of which makes sense but as of now quality guest blog posting can go on as normal. The rules might be changing a little bit but realistically I don’t see how Google can keep their thumb on this aspect of the web quite yet. More attention will be needed from guest bloggers and blog owners but I feel that guest blogging for PR & SEO benefits is still an acceptable tactic. Here’s my advice:

What Should PR Pros & SEO’s Do About Guest Blogging?

I understand where Google is coming from and I understand the context of Matt’s article. The above situation describes a method that’s sole intent is to try and manipulate search results and manipulating search results is a violation of their webmaster policy. The way we build links at PadillaCRT is that we lead with PR. We lead with the story/angle/uniqueness of what we’re pitching to a blogger and a link(s) occurs naturally due to it’s relationship and relevancy to the content and blog. Should we get penalized for that link in the post? No. Keep in mind the easiest way to think about a link is like a vote. If you link to a site, you’re essentially “voting” for it in Google’s eyes. If a link is a vote and a blog owner stands by our guest post due to its relevancy, insight and usefulness why wouldn’t they feel compelled to “vote” for our links that reside on their blog? No need to nofollow the links – our links represent good content that’s relevant to their blog that Google and the rest of the world should know about.

I still stand by my tips for guest blogging as they are still relevant despite Google’s frustration with the practice. I still believe that guest blogging is a worthwhile tactic if you are going after active, relevant and quality blogs related to your niche. With that in mind, here’s some additional advice the will keep you on Google’s good side.

What Should Blog Owners Do About Guest Blogging?

Google does acknowledge that in the right context a guest blog post is a very acceptable form of content/promotion. If you are currently accepting guest blog posts, be careful as poor quality posts could potentially harm your website and Google rankings. Here are a few tips to keep your guest posts clean:

With Google’s ranking algorithms and rules ever shifting SEO is definitely a moving target but for now I don’t see a real threat to quality guest blogging.

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