The Demise of Guest Blogging for SEO

Guest Blogging and seoFor years, guest blogging has been a method individuals have used to build links to their websites. In 2014, expect things to change. Why? It’s because guest blogging, once filled with good intentions, has now become a spammy practice. If you have been doing a lot of guest blogging lately, then you may not be hanging out with the right crowd.

Back in the old days, which were not long ago, guest blogging was a very respectable thing to do. For the blog owner, it was like getting a respectable blogger to give some insight to the audience that they may not receive otherwise.

Unfortunately, it is not like this anymore.

Here is a scenario that shows precisely why guest blogging has become a practice that Google isn’t exactly smiling at:

Let’s say a blogger or a content company emails a blog owner about posting to their blog. The individual who wrote the spam email says that they write high quality content and can make a valuable contribution to the blog. They state that all they ask in return is to place a dofollow link in the body of the blog post that is relevant to the article and the audience. They may even say they will pay money to let their article be posted in the blog with the dofollow link placed in the body.

The fact is that sending a spam email that offers money to get links placed in the blog post that pass PageRank is a serious violation of Google’s quality guidelines. Over time, there have been more reports of “guest blogging” that isn’t really guest blogging at all. Instead, it is paying for PageRank. Sometimes the scenario is even worse, such as when the so-called guest blogger inserts spammy links on the blog without the blog owner realizing it.

This is precisely why it is difficult to have nice things when it comes to SEO. An SEO trend is completely authentic and then someone somewhere does something to it that makes it not so friendly anymore. Before long, there is barely a trace of legitimate guest blogging behavior.

So now it’s time to stick a fork in guest blogging for linkbuilding because it is finished. It is something that has gotten entirely too spammy. Now it is recommended that blog owners not accept guest blog posts unless they are willing to personally vouch for a person. In other words, you should know the person before accepting a post so you can vouch for them.

In 2012, it was warned that guest articles were on the decline. A fine line was being drawn between spammy guest posts and high-quality guest posts. Still, the trend continued. By the middle of 2013, it was suggested that individuals nofollow the links in guest posts. It was clear by that point that guest blogging was being seriously overused by a lot of spammy websites that gained no quality points whatsoever.

Toward the end of 2013, people were trying to find workarounds to make paid links not look like paid links. This is simply an area to steer from. By December 2013, the once-authentic way of reaching people suddenly died. Even those who post high quality guests posts that are legitimate will have to heavily convince Google’s webspam team that the post is valuable because the view of guest blogging at this point and going forward is quite dim.

However, while link building may not be the ideal reason for guest blogging, there are plenty of good reasons to guest blog. First you can get the exposure you need. You can still use it to get your brand out there. You are also increasing your reach and you can communicate with a completely new audience. Although those reasons existed before, they didn’t get the focus that they needed. Now those reasons can be why people guest post, removing the spam factor. Instead, the reasons behind guest blogging can be pure in all instances.

Just keep in mind that this does not refer to multi-author blogs. Some of these blogs have been around since the infancy of the Internet and they are very useful. This simply applies to those individuals who email blog owners and pull a quid pro quo rather than the guest post being 100% authentic with pure intentions.

If this ruins your day, the blame can be placed on the low-quality spam sites that have used guest blogging as a simple link-building strategy rather than a way to simply reach out and build links honestly. With that said, it is best to be skeptical when someone reaches out and offers to write a guest blog article for you. For the blogger, it is time to adopt a new strategy.

Author Bio: Brenda Barron is a writer and social media strategist from southern California. She’s a contributor to The Motley Fool, Brandxten, and The Content Standard. You can find out more about her at The Digital Inkwell or connect with her on Google+.


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