Guest blogging has been promoted as a good way to obtain backlinks for your SEO campaign for a long time now despite repeated hints from Google that they were becoming less than impressed with it.
Well now Matt Cutts has declared that guest blogging is dead – so if you are engaged in this practice then we recommend that you stop – now!
It’s time to move on to new ideas…
So What Is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is where you write an article for someone else’s website or blog on a topic related to the niche of your website, and in return for this unique and (supposed) high quality content, the owner of the blog gives you a link or two back to your own website from within your article’s content.
In this way you end up with “dofollow” backlinks (that is to say ones that pass juice, or affect rankings in Google), which helps your website to show up higher in the results, and also if the blog giving you the link is popular then you’ll also get some of those readers clicking those links and visiting your website.
It’s essentially a way to obtain backlinks, I think it’s fair to say most people did it for this reason than to get their name out there as an expert within a niche to a wider audience.
It Sounds Like a Good Idea! What Went Wrong?
It had been recommended by Google sometime back that in order to not look like you were trying to game the system you should make all of the links from guest blogging “nofollow” (i.e. so that they didn’t manipulate search results), but since the reality is that most people were doing this specifically to rank higher, no one listened.
What’s the point of writing content for someone else if you don’t get any benefit from it (is what people involved in this will have thought to themselves)?
And that’s a bad idea, because when Google start to recommend things like that you know it’s only a matter of time before the hammer is going to fall. And now it has.
The problem, as is so often the case, is that some tries something legitimately, finds it has a positive effect, and then suddenly everyone is doing it and on a grand scale, and when that happens the crumby “SEO services” pop up and the quality drops off a cliff.
It ends up as just another form of web spam.
So if you have been involved in this practice then you need to stop, and if you were thinking of trying it then you need think again.
What Can You Do Instead?
The Key to building a successful and long term online business is not to look at this and think oh well, this “trick” or “method” has stopped working – what’s the next one?
Rather you need to adapt to a genuine strategy that will allow you to build your brand and online presence legitimately, without relying on finding systems to build backlinks from here, there, and everywhere.
If you pursue SEO tactics that rely on “gaming the system” then it’s inevitable that you’re going to get found out and hit eventually, it is going to happen because all of the services and software that you might employ are also being used by people who are trying to make as much as they can as fast as they can from low quality “churn and burn” websites.
These are the people that not only employ “web spam” tactics to rank, but their websites themselves are web spam – low quality sites that are made with one thing in mind – to part the visitor from some money.
If you want to build a long term relationship with your customers, which all real businesses do, then these methods and tactics are not for you. Instead you need a real process to raise your brands awareness while delivering quality to your visitors.
The irony is that when you develop this kind of process and get to this point you won’t need to worry about SEO and backlinks any more.
If you’d like to discuss a suitable strategy for your business then feel free to contact us for a free, no obligation chat.