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Digital Marketing

Stop Guest Blogging for Links

by Allie Kelly
First, search engines used volume of links to identify relevancy and quality of websites. It didn’t take long for webmasters to turn “links” into a marketplace and start buying and selling them regardless of the quality.
As a result, volume was no longer a reliable indicator. Instead, search engines started to identify quality and relevancy of links by digging deeper into the links, the quality of the content they were in, and the list goes on.
As search marketers, we saw algorithm updates such as Penguin and once again a “shortcut” technique was no longer a shortcut at all.

What next? People starting manually reaching out for links via guest blogging – asking to blog on a different domain and leaving a link to their domain in the post. However, it didn’t take long for this to turn into a marketplace either.
Guest blogs are a dime a dozen and the quality is slowly decreasing while the volume is increasing – a relationship that acts as a surefire signal to search engines that the practice is spammy and therefore should have much weight in ranking.
Google has been pointing out the fall of guest blogging over the last couple years. Matt Cutts summarizes all their “warnings” well in this blog post. Furthermore, earlier this year I spoke at SMX West and listened to other speakers and industry leaders – namely Cutts and Eric Enge – drive the point home about the fall of guest blogging.
So what does this mean for search marketers? And what does this mean for legitimate guest bloggers?
Search marketers – as always, the “quick win” route is not the way to go. It seems apparent that search engines, at least Google for now, is working on an algo update that will identify ill-intended guest blogging and penalize for it. I am sure this is when “AuthorRank” will start to play a part, but, more on that later…
So as always, if you are going to guest blog, do it when it is helpful to the user, not when it is a “way to get links!!!” And remember, you are the company you keep. So don’t put your content on crappy sites.
The same goes for legitimate guest bloggers themselves, continue on guest blogging with the true intent of sharing relevant information with an interested and engaged audience who may be unaware of your insight.

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Allie Kelly

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