The downward spiral of guest blogging
The term guest blogging has been around for many years and anyone in SEO or marketing is likely to be familiar with this phrase. Guest blogging used to be something that was quick and easy to do and a regular channel to use for building simple backlinks. That is in fact where the problem lies.
In the past low authority and poorly managed blogging sites littered the web and the quality of these websites deteriorated year after year. The quality of content being placed on blogging sites was poor and often unreadable. The levels of spam and duplicate content increased and it became far too easy for shabby writers (black/grey hat SEO folk) to spin articles – a term used for putting them through software that would change the content to make it appear unique.
It got to a stage where thousands of blogs were charging small fees, many from just £10 to have articles placed on their sites which went against Google guidelines and it was simply not ethical. Although this still occurs in 2021 it is not at the level it was a few years ago.
Even last year Google’s John Mueller said if you are guest posting for links and it results in unnatural links then Google are already devaluing them.
Using an SEO strategy
However it is not all bad as guest blogging is still a great tactic to use as part of a wider SEO strategy. It is best used as part of a combined SEO strategy with other marketing tactics and only ever with unique and original content of a good quality that adds value to the publishers audience.
You can use guest posts to build up your brand presence, increase the reach of your business, get traffic to your website but the main reason many people use it is to get a backlink to your website. The effectiveness of guest posts is often down to the quality and reputation of the domain that you are posting on. The better the authority of the domain, the more SEO link equity flows to your site.
Should you accept guest posts?
If you are busy or do not have a team that that can write your own blog content then as part of your own content building strategy you could accept guest posts. If doing this then it’s important to remember to check the quality of the content, make sure the tone of the article will resonate with your audience and any links out of the article will add value to your readers.
Big brand publishers
Although there are thousands of small sites that you can engage with, there are also big brands that still accept guest submissions like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Hubspot, MarketingProfs and many others. However, before connecting with big brands you need to spend time constructing quality unique material that offers value, solves problems and will be of interest to their audience. Follow their pitching guidelines closely to build relationships with these publications.
The more domains you have pointing to your website will increase both your website authority and ranking, part of your link profile can naturally come from guest blogging. In fact, a study by Backlinko showed in search results ‘the 1st result in Google has an average of 3.8x more backlinks than positions 2 to 10’. So as long as you use guest blogging to provide useful content, insights and external links as part of a wider SEO strategy then this can continue to be a great solution to support the growth of your business online.