In the good old days, guest blogging was considered a respectable practice, much like getting a sought-after, esteemed author to write the introduction for your novel. Now it seems things have changed. If you or your company is using guest blogging as a way to improve your search engine optimization in 2014, you should perhaps reconsider your approach. Why? Because over time it’s become an increasingly spammy practice.
White Hat Guest Blogging Practices
Guest posting and blogging started off innocently enough. A writer had relevant and useful information to share, but their website wasn’t getting enough traffic. In an attempt to get their name out there and bring new audiences to their site, they sought out a more reputable site for which to write a guest post. This was a win-win situation for everyone; the reputable site got an original, well-written post that provided some great ideas to their readers and the fantastic writer got a link that helped boost their site authority, traffic and personal credibility.
Black Hat Guest Blogging Practices
So where did it go wrong? Soon enough that white hat writer decided to write a few more guest posts and earn a few more links to their site. The reason for writing these posts began to change from building personal credibility to building site authority via link building. As finding decent sites to write for became increasingly difficult, this writer decided to start writing for any site that would provide a link.
One day, this writer had a thought, “If I could scale or even automate this process, I would get a lot more links! I’m going to use a team of outsourced writers and find any place that will take a guest post in order to get as many links as possible!” This is the number one misconception in guest blogging: The link matters more than the quality and relevancy of the article.
The Future of Guest Blogging
Because this story has been repeated time after time, the Internet has ended up with thousands of low-quality or spam sites that have latched onto “guest blogging” as a SEO and link-building strategy. For this reason, we recommend that you proceed with caution when individuals reach out and offer you a guest blog article.
There are still many fantastic reasons to feature a guest blogger who provides information on an interesting topic that applies to your readers, and there are some excellent, high-quality guest bloggers out there; however, guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes is over and furthermore, will likely be a target for webspam in the future. If you’re considering guest blogging or featuring a guest blogger on your site, ask yourself if you’re willing to personally vouch for that individual or company. Because when you agree to a guest blogging relationship, that is what you are essentially doing.