This is a question that has received a lot of attention over the last month or so. Ever since Matt Cutts' article 'The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO', online marketers and seo specialists have trying to work out if guest blogging can still be used in their marketing strategies.
For a while now guest blogging has been perceived to be a method that attracts a lot of spam that could actually do you website and online marketing campaigns more harm than good. Here are a few rules that might help to recap on the topic.
1: Know why you're guest blogging
If you're guest blogging for the sole purpose of building inbound links, you should stop. If, on the other hand, you're guest posting in order to drive traffic, increase awareness, or build up your reputation through Google, there's no reason you should stop.
Guest posting is a great way to reach people outside of your own online community and expand your reach. If this is the intention behind your guest blogging strategy, then you are on the right track.
2: Guest blogging is about building relationships, not links
While there are few hard and fast rules for guest blogging, one general rule to keep in mind is to focus on building relationships, not on links. Both publishers and guest posts need to be careful about whom they form relationships with. Again if this is not implemented with the right intentions you could damage your online marketing campaign.
If you have a site that typically accepts guest posts, there's no reason to stop. However, you should be careful and make sure that you only accept top-quality content from people you know and trust.
Rather than accepting guest posts from a group of random bloggers, ask a few contributors to write regular posts. In the long run, this will mean less work for you, and could potentially lead to better results for both parties in terms of SEO.
3: There are some types of sites you should never guest post on
This is directed at those of you who are wondering how you can determine which sites are 'worthy' of your guest posts. Fortunately, there are some insightful general rules you can follow to avoid posting on less-than-trustworthy sites that may be seen as 'spammy'. Avoid guest blogging on the following:
- Blogs with very little content, or content that is consistently poor-quality (typos, short articles, grammatical errors, etc.)
- Blog networks
- Blogs that act as link farms
- Blogs that have no obvious social proof such as social media followers or comments
- Blogs that allow anyone to guest post (the higher the standard the better; while it will be harder to be accepted, at least you'll know you're in respectable company)
- Blogs that only have old, outdated content.
These types of sites are unlikely to grow your audience or your reach, and in fact, may do you more harm than good.
If you are looking for more information about guest blogging, check out my Forbes article, which is still relevant in light of Matt Cutts' announcement: How to Run a Successful Guest Blogging Campaign After Penguin 2.0.