After the Penguin update in April 2012, guest blogging became the one of the most popular SEO techniques. I know that some big websites practice using guest posts. Well, even Google Chrome used methods that violate Google’s guidelines.
I was very surprised when, back in 2012, Chrome was found guilty of paid blogposts. Here is the statement Google published:
“We’ve investigated and are taking manual action to demote www.google.com/chrome and lower the site’s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days.
We strive to enforce Google’s webmaster guidelines consistently in order to provide better search results for users.
While Google did not authorize this campaign, and we can find no remaining violations of our webmaster guidelines, we believe Google should be held to a higher standard, so we have taken stricter action than we would against a typical site. ”
I’m not sure that at least 1 webmaster got a similar penalty such as lowering the site’s PageRank for a period of at least 60 days. Anyway, we know that Google is using its own services to promote another of their products.
Let’s continue with guest blogging… At the beginning of 2014, Matt Cutts published a post on his blog called “The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO”. The main point of that post was that guest blogging is dead and you must be careful when asking your readers to provide you with a guest post. More and more guest posts today are spam and they do not provide any useful information. Their main purpose is to publish a dofollow link. In that post, Matt showed a real example of the message that many of us got in the past:
“My name is Mr. X and I work as a content marketer for a high end digital marketing agency in [a city halfway around the world]. I have been promoting high quality content in select niches for our clients.
We are always on the lookout for professional, high class sites to further promote our clients and, when I came across your blog, I was very impressed with the fan following that you have established.I [sic] would love to speak with you regarding the possibility of posting some guest articles on your blog. Should you be open to the idea, we can consider making suitable contribution, befitting to high standard of services that your blog offers to a larger audience.
On my part, I assure you a high quality article that is:
- 100% original
- Well written
- Relevant to your audience and
- Exclusive to you”
Here is the message I received last week:
The purpose of my message is to have a business relationship. I want to place some?Blogpost Links? on your website “____________” blogsp. The links are non spammy and free from pornographic material of any kind. A competitive price will be paid to you in case you show your willingness to have a business affiliation with me.
Waiting for your reply,”
Do you believe that this person really can write a good post for your site? From the message, you can understand that he wants only a link from your site and not traffic or business relationship.
From this video you can find what low-quality guest blog posting actually is according to Google:
Some criterions of a paid blog post from Matt Cutts:
- Irrelevant topic
- More likely to see the keyword-rich anchor text
- Usually 500 words
- Links embed in author bio in the end of the post
I’m sure that it is very easy to discover if a guest post is genuine or not. For example, let’s visit some blogs that accept guest posts.For this just type “guest post blog”, “submit a guest post” or something like that. Here is the site I found: http://www.datingloveandsextips.com/attract-a-new-date/ (it is not advertising and the owner did not pay me so the link is no follow LOL). Actually, I know the webmaster of the quackquack.in site, and I’m not sure that she is still working for it. The site is very busy but seems that some time ago; it was affected by Penguin or manual Google web spam team. If you look at that guest post, you will notice:
- There is “Guest Post” link in the navigation menu on the top.
- The post is 522 words so I guest webmaster paid $5 for that post because it is not very high quality.
- At the end of the post, there is an author bio with two links and one is keyword –rich.
I have checked “online dating Chennai” in Google and did not see that site in the TOP 30. So the post is spam and must be removed or links must be disavowed or nofollowed.
Want another example for this website? Check this link http://theurbandater.com/date-ideas/does-age-really-matter-when-looking-to-date-someone.php/. Everything is the same but the link is on the top and, again, with keyword-rich anchor.
When doing a guest post, you must think first about content and how useful it will be for blog readers. Matt Cutts says that good links must bring traffic and not just pass Page Rank.
I think you can easily find many good examples online. I don’t want to show them because the website owners may not be happy that someone named EvgeniyGarkaviy called their post “guest” and a link inside “paid”. The reason I showed two sites above is because you can find pages where they accept guest posts.
Recently, Matt Cutts informed via his Twitter that:
Ann Smarty, the owner of MyBlogGuest service, confirmed that:
Does it mean that, soon, sites like PRweb, PRleap… will be banned, too? A few months ago, they started to offer nofollow links to advertisers. So when Google wants to penalize such sites, they can easily tell by looking at our guidelines where we give recommendation to nofollow links in the posts.
A very good blog does not have many guest posts because, if you are running a nice blog,then you must spend some time moderating it. So hundreds of different guest posts within a week looks spammy. Guest posting is not easy job. From my experience, I can tell when I find a person who is ready to accept a guest post from me. I always ask about requirements and some topic ideas. I am told that it does not matter, I leave that site. Why?
- I have to spend a lot of time in a creating really nice post and then blog owner can just tell me that my post is not suitable for his readers. Wasted time.
- It means he is accepting rubbish posts and I do not want to get a link from such site.
Another important question is what you should consider when doing guest blogging. Are you a blog owner that does not have a lot of time to create new posts regularly, or do you just want to publish a guest post on your site?
First of all, think about content. Ask people to show you their previous works to see the quality of their writing. Guest posts must be not for links. It must have something interesting for users. Do not use the same writers because you may end up with many of the same outbound links. It would be great to nofollow the link but, if the owner of the post wants only a dofollow link; add it with no rich-keyword anchor text. It is better to use a brand keyword or even non-anchor link.
Now, the following are things you should consider as a writer doing a guest blogging post:
- Do not get a guest post only for links. Remember that good a guest post can bring you potential clients or new readers even if your link is nofollow.
- Do not send hundreds of rubbish emails asking for a guest blog opportunity. People who run quality blogs even do not read them.
- Obviously, do not use the same guest post on different sites.
- Do not write a post 500 words length.
- Tell about the writer and add his social links.
My last guest blog experience offered a rather amusing moment. I will not be sharing a blog name but it was one of the most quality blogs in the UK. I spent a few days writing the post about landing page mistakes. For two examples, I could not find good pictures so I just used images from a similar article that was written a year agoby someone else. I did not copy content or anything of that sort; just took 2 pictures. However, when my post was published, I got a message from a person who spotted the pictures and stated that my post was stolen and not unique. Naturally, I told him that, yes, I used his images, but my content and everything else was unique. In the end, as I do not want my readers to consider me aplagiarist, I just found other images for that post.
So be careful even if you know that your post is unique. Remember that everything you take from someone’s post must have a reference. It will also add something natural to your post.
Here are some tips from Matt Cutts of what you should consider when doing a guest blog post. However, it was recorded in October 2013 and I’m not sure that it is still in effect because, after that, Matt Cutts said “Guest blogging is dead”.
I agree that today there are many spam guest blog sites. As I said earlier, MyBlogGuest was penalized. But what if I type “MyBlogGuest” into Google?
LOL. It seems that people do not waste their time. And, I have to say, it is very good marketing move. After penalizing the site, a lot of webmasters will be looking at how to recover their site following the penalty, and such tools would help them.
Okay… But what should you do today for SEO in 2014. At first, I’m not saying to forget about guest posting. You can still do that; BUT it is more important to do a quality guest post than just a “filler”guest post. People who do not want to get banned from Google will not accept your post if it is of poor quality. Forget about rich-keyword links. Use branded links or non-anchor links. If you still want to use rich-keyword links; add a nofollow tag to be safe. I’m not saying that you will be banned immediately but, when theWebspam team reviews your site; they can mark that link as unnatural. You must consider guest blogging as an opportunity to get more potential clients for your business.
Inconclusion, be careful when communicating with a person about your links in a guest post. In the latest update from the Webspam Team, they stated that theypenalized Web Design Library. A person with the username VitalyKolos was communicating via Twitter asking to renew paid link agreements. Their donors were some big sites like T-Mobile, for example. That tweet was spotted by Matt Cutts who announced, “I’m watching you.”
Even if it was only one paid link from Web Design Library, their site was penalized and removed from index for some important queries.
Now, we know that Twitter is not the best way to find guest posts partners. LOL.
I wonder if Google Webspam team reviews our Gmails to discover if our site violates their guidelines.