Guest posts have become an important part of a well-rounded SEO strategy. For example, some think Google penalizes guest posts, but that’s simply not true. The old “do no harm” rule applies to SEO as well as medicine – if your guest post is bad, it will be penalized.
In this guide, we find out the following: Are Guest Posts Bad For Seo, Does Google penalize guest posts, and Is guest posting still effective.
Are Guest Posts Bad For Seo
Guest posts have a bad reputation among SEOs, but that’s because people don’t use them correctly. If you follow the guidelines in this article, then guest posting can be a useful part of your content strategy.
Guest posts are still a great way to get links, and if used right, they can be one of the best ways to build relationships with other sites. They allow you to create content on a new site (which is important for building your brand) while at the same time boosting your SEO.
When done right, guest posting is an amazing way to build relationships and drive traffic back to your site or blog.
But things have changed since the very early days of SEO.
But things have changed since the very early days of SEO. And that’s the worst news for guest posters: Google has made it harder for people to get away with spammy guest posting.
In fact, some SEO experts say that guest blogging isn’t even a good SEO strategy anymore—it’s just not worth all the effort when you can rank higher by writing original content or using other methods.
But there’s still something to be said for guest posting if you do it right. In this post, we’ll explore why Google doesn’t like spammy links and how you can use them responsibly without getting penalized by Google updates like Penguin or Panda (or Hummingbird).
Including the way that Google treats guest posting.
We all know that Google is getting better at spotting spammy guest posts and paid links, but we also need to look at the way they treat guest posting as well.
Google has made it easier for webmasters to report spammy guest posts by making it easy for them to flag it as such on their end. They’ve also made it easier for webmasters to report spammy paid links when they’ve been submitted through Google Adsense accounts (so if you’re writing a paid post, please don’t use your own account).
If you do find yourself in hot water with Google over a shady link or two, don’t despair! They have a mechanism in place where you can request for your site(s) to be reconsidered if you feel like your website was flagged unfairly.
So, while guest posts are still a useful SEO tool (and arguably more effective now than ever), they need to be used carefully if you want to avoid a potential penalty from Google.
- Google doesn’t like links that are too spammy
- Google doesn’t like links that are too promotional
- Google doesn’t like links that are too unnatural
- Google doesn’t like links that are too paid
- Google doesn’t like links that are too low quality
And in this post, I’ll show you how to do just that.
Guest posts are great for SEO, but only if you use them correctly.
Here’s how to do it:
- Write a quality post that adds value to your readers and their businesses. Guest posts should be educational in nature, not promotional or salesy.
- Make sure your site is optimized for search engines before publishing the article. This includes having a high-quality title tag, meta description and image alt text. You don’t want Google to think you’re trying to game their system!
So, what’s changed?
Guest blogging has been around for quite some time now. It’s a proven practice that can help you reach new audiences and build relationships, but it’s important to understand how Google applies its search engine algorithm in order to ensure that your guest posts are effective and not detrimental to your SEO efforts.
Google is constantly updating its algorithm so that it can provide the best results for users searching online. As these updates roll out, marketers need to adapt their content marketing strategies accordingly in order to avoid being penalized by Google Panda or Penguin algorithms.
One of these updates involves detecting paid links within articles where there was once none before—and since this update occurred several years ago, marketers have had plenty of time (and opportunity) for experimentation in order for their link building efforts not only stay on track but also remain undetected by search engines at large.
Basically, a recent algorithm update has made it easier for Google to identify paid links and other ‘unnatural’ links and see them as spammy content.
Basically, a recent algorithm update has made it easier for Google to identify paid links and other ‘unnatural’ links and see them as spammy content.
Google has made it harder for guest posts to pass their quality guidelines.
This means that as a guest post writer, you’re going to have a much harder time getting your articles published on high authority sites if you don’t know what you’re doing.
This includes anything that’s written for a purely promotional purpose – often referred to as ‘guest posting for SEO’.
This includes anything that’s written for a purely promotional purpose – often referred to as ‘guest posting for SEO’. Even if your post is well-written and informative, if you’re only doing it in the hope of getting links or traffic, then it’s not really adding value to the site.
Which is the kind of guest post that many people still associate with all guest posts.
You might have heard that guest posts are no longer effective as a link-building strategy. But this is only true of the kind of guest posts many people still associate with all guest posts. Guest posting can still be used to rank highly in Google, build links, and build brand awareness—but it takes a slightly different approach than what was typical in the past.
Guest posts are great for SEO if you use them correctly, but they’re not worth penalisation from Google.
Guest posts are still a great way to reach new audiences. But you need to do it right. Guest posting is still a great way to reach new audiences, and it can be used as a link building tactic in the right circumstances. It’s important that you write guest posts for the audience and not Google, however, because this will allow your content to be more helpful and relevant, which will help your readers find value from it too!
The best guest posts are those that are written for the audience, not for search engines. The best guest posts are those which provide insights or information that readers can put into practice straight away – don’t just give them links back to your own site (unless these also contain value). In general though: if you’re writing content specifically tailored around what people would want/need help with then there’s no reason why this wouldn’t work well on both fronts (search engine optimisation & user experience).
Does Google penalize guest posts
Bloggers accept sponsored posts because they are a good source of income. That means companies collaborate with content creators to market their brands and products on their websites or social media platforms. This partnership aims to drive the audience to their brand and product in exchange for money, a free piece of eBook or software, free access to a platform, and more.
While it’s not wrong to publish sponsored posts, you have to comply with certain rules of the trade. Google is not against paid-for content, but it has set some rules to prevent the manipulation of rankings using sponsored content.
Therefore the article will review these rules to help you remain in Google’s good books and avoid penalties.
As mentioned above, a sponsored post is a promoted or paid-for post whose objective is to get a brand in front of the target audience. So sponsored content holds vital information and tells people more about the company and its product via a blogger’s site or social media.
In the past, Google paid bloggers to generate and publish sponsored content in order to promote the Chrome browser. So the search engine company can’t prosecute bloggers and advertisers for doing what it did a few years ago.
However, between 2012 and 2013, Google penalized popular sponsored posts network PostJoint and MyBlogGuest, thus creating confusion in the market. As a result, many content creators have become reluctant to pursue sponsored content because they are afraid of being penalized.
The fact is Google has not banned sponsored posts; but instead, it has provided some guidelines that make publishing promoted content acceptable. These are:
Adhering to the two rules will eliminate manual penalties from Google.
How You Can Publish Guest Posts without Offending Google
A content creator who owns a site with steady traffic can partner with brands and publish their sponsored articles. Brands benefit in the following ways:
Backlinks are one of the main factors many bloggers regularly generate interesting, engaging, and unique content. However, earning backlinks naturally is not a walk in the park unless your website is very popular, really useful, and offers what nobody else has. So a high-quality site with huge authority, tragic and reach can charge t $2000 per sponsored post.
Google will penalize you for publishing sponsored posts when they have links that pass PageRank. The search engine wants to create a level playing ground and doesn’t allow companies to buy many links in order to dominate the search engine. This will create a poor user experience for everyone.
So Google spends a lot of time recognizing patterns of natural and unnatural links and penalizes bloggers when it discovers sites with a lot of unnatural outbound links. The outcome of a manual webspam action is reduced organic traffic and business. That means your monetization channels will drop, product sales and affiliate income will decrease as well.
So because Google has not banned the publishing of sponsored posts, it monitors unnatural links, so you have to follow its rules in the following ways.
Nofollow Attribute in Links
A nofollow link doesn’t boost your ranking, and many brands insist on dofollow links. So instead of focusing on PageRank benefits which can attract a penalty, you can use the nofollow attribute on all guest posts links, which tells Google not to pass the link juice to the brand.
More so, you should disclose to your audience all the sponsored posts, avoid publishing a large number of promoted content, keep dofollow links away from such content as well as poor quality links.
“Advertising and other paid promotional material on your pages should not exceed your content. We do not allow content that conceals or misrepresents sponsored content as independent, editorial content. Sponsorship, including, but not limited to, ownership or affiliate interest, payment, or material support, should be clearly disclosed to readers. The subject of sponsored content should not focus on the sponsor without clear disclosure.”
While brands and advertisers pay bloggers to get a dofollow link for their websites, they are not happy when they get nofollow links from their sponsored posts. However, they can still grow their ranking in another way, as discussed below.
Publish High-quality and Relevant Content
The search engine rankings that the brand and your site are looking for can be achieved by generating quality content, and there is no substitute for it. Publishing thin content will cause your organic search traffic to drop because Google finds such material valueless to your audience.
Indeed one is able to tell when the intended users are happy with the quality of their content. Such content drives increased site traffic which translates to its authority and relevance.
So you can strategically place keyword words or phrases on the page. Also, you can use a writing style and language that makes your content read naturally. Thus as much as you want rankings, it’s important to note that the best-sponsored posts are written for users, and quality should never be sacrificed for SEO.
Further, besides feeling strong about content, you should keep your site fresh regularly. That means you should audit the content and make updates as needed.
It’s through content that you’re able to meet each ranking factor such as traffic, backlinks, topic authority, user engagement, trustworthiness, and more. So prioritize quality and consistency in order to get the traffic and backlinks you and your sponsor are seeking.
Is guest posting still effective
When Matt Cutts’ declared, “guest blogging is dead,” the SEO world went into a tailspin. Fast forward to today and this statement is still used to back up claims that guest posting is ineffective. However, many in the industry overlook that Cutts later clarified the meaning behind his post.
He explained not all guest posting is dead – just the spammy guest posts on unrelated sites that provide no value. So, does guest posting still work? Let’s start at the beginning.
What is Guest Posting?
Guest Posting, also known as guest blogging, publishes content on other websites as a means to build backlinks, increase authority and online visibility, and grow your audience. Traditionally, you pitch sites a unique topic idea then submit fully-written content, but some websites still reach out to authors and thought leaders with guest posting opportunities (if only it was always that easy).
In the early years, guest blogging was a highly effective strategy that required much less work. Strong ranking boosts could be achieved by publishing a short 300 word guest post filled with unrelated links and virtually no value. For example, users could read a cookie recipe with links to a mortgage company, which Google would count as meaningful backlinks even though the contextual relationship was non existent.
However, over time the strategy became abused. Low quality guest posts were rampant, which diluted the user experience and meaningful rankings. Google took action with multiple updates that targeted contextually irrelevant linking and low quality content. After the Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird updates, many began questioning if guest blogging was still beneficial for SEO.
Is Guest Blogging Good for SEO?
Yes, there are still many SEO benefits to guest blogging, including increasing traffic and online visibility, dofollow links, broadening your audience, building authority, and supporting ranking boosts. The confusion comes when guest posting is generalized.
Not All Guest Posts are Equal
In reality, each guest post is different. Some are low-quality, spammy sites with 300-word posts that don’t actually provide much value to the audience. These are the opportunities that will not improve SEO. Steer clear of these.
Other guest posts are published on high-quality, authoritative sites with real traffic. These are the guest posts that impact SEO. They focus on niche relevance and actually provide value to their audience. Remember, the best results come from the best guest posts so be choosey about where you publish content.
While quick, low-quality guest posting is dead, leveraging high-quality, niche relevant guest posting opportunities is still an effective link building strategy. The bottom line is you must evaluate each guest post opportunity individually. The downside is, manual evaluation can suck up a lot of your time…
To save time and ensure you are guest posting on high-quality websites, check out Web 20 Ranker guest post opportunities. We only work with high-authority sites, so you can rest assured you’re on the right side of guest posting with our product. In addition to our general guest posts, we offer niche guest posts for law, ecommerce, and more to come.
Why is Guest Posting Important?
While many SEOs think guest post link building is ineffective, publishing content on third party sites is still a powerful link building strategy if done right. Informative, relevant content can bring many SEO benefits, including:
Most importantly, guest posting with quality websites strengthens your backlink profile. You not only add more backlinks, but you’re also diversifying your link profile. Backlinks are how search engines determine the authority of your domain, and thus ranking. They are essential to build. Without them, it’s exponentially more difficult to compete in the SERPs.
Broaden Your Audience
Publishing content on 3rd party sites with real traffic gets the brand in front of new audiences. Guest posts can also rank for terms outside your keywords. This is a great way to grow brand awareness and online visibility. Be sure you have a strong CTA in your guest post to bring new users to your site.
By broadening your audience, you attract additional traffic. This is especially true if you publish content on high-traffic or high-ranking sites. Look for guest posting opportunities with high-traffic potential. They do not necessarily need to be high authority as authority metrics cannot be trusted. The most important considerations are relevance and quality content.
Guest posting often provides great link building opportunities for dofollow links. These are the highly coveted links that pass on authority to your site. Keep in mind, even though some guest posts are nofollow, these links still bring benefits like directing users to your site and increasing online visibility. Adding guest post links to your link graph also supports a diverse backlink profile.
With meaningful dofollow links your authority increases, allowing you to climb in the rankings. This is especially true if your target page is currently ranking on page 2 to page 3. Consider building links to content that’s currently ranking in positions 10-25 as it is easier to move the needle .
Build a Community
If new users find your content valuable, they can become a part of your community. Strengthening your community supports long-term traffic, sells products or services, increases thought leadership, and builds a following to grow your audience.
Increase Online Visibility & Brand Awareness
Publishing content on third party sites allows you to build brand awareness with users who may not be familiar with your site. It also increases the number of brand mentions, to strengthen your online brand. If the guest content ranks well, you also increase online visibility and exposure exponentially. Even if the piece doesn’t rank on page one, you are still improving your visibility and exposure online with an audience who may not know about you.
How to Guest Blog the Right Way
In order to see the SEO benefits that come with guest posting, you must do it the right way. If done correctly – with authoritative, relevant sites – it is a worthwhile SEO strategy. If not done properly, you can harm your site more than help it. Here is an overview of our recommended guest posting process:
Find Relevant, Quality Domains
When choosing which sites to target for guest posting opportunities, consider the quality, relevance, and audience. Does the site align with your domain or niche? Does the site publish long-form content that fully answers audience queries? Can you add value for their users?
While the host site doesn’t need extremely high domain or page authority, the content must be quality. The best way to do this is look for sites that are already ranking on the first few pages. Google recognizes ranked websites as quality sites, so you can safely assume there is some value.
Here are some examples of quality guest posting opportunities:
Find an Appropriate Topic
Once you know which domains you’re targeting for opportunities, you need to develop a content idea and outline. You want your topic to be closely aligned to their current content, but unique enough to attract attention and stand out.
The best approach is to do research on the host sites to understand audience pain points, current content formats, and what topics are popular on the site. Most importantly, your content should bring value and benefit their audience. Creating a mutually beneficial situation will increase the chances the site will publish your content and potentially feature prominently on their site. It could also rank for terms outside your normal keywords.
Pitch Your Article Idea
Next, it’s time for the pitch! When pitching your guest post, personalize each email. You don’t need to write every email from scratch, but adding a few sentences specifically relating to their site adds authenticity and increases your chances of a response. If you have writing samples or similar content on your site, send links to show your credibility and content quality.