Guest blogging a few years ago was the latest greatest way to build links. The reason we build links is to give Google and other search engines signals on how trusted a website is and to build authority. In turn, search engines hopefully will give us better rankings in their results because we are seen to be responsible and honest.
Over the years as an SEO company, we’ve seen the many various ways in which link building has been carried out – not all of them respectable! So where do we stand now on the SEO benefits of guest blogging?
Google’s SEO guru, Matt Cutts told us recently that guest blogging for SEO is a no no! With this in mind, is there still merit in guest blogging or should we stop, before we get penalised? The striking cuts to the search engine rankings that have been made by Google’s Panda and Penguin algorithm over recent times is a good reason to be cautious.
Well to answer the question, if the only reason you guest blog is to build links then the answer is yes you probably should stop. Chances are you are more interested in finding any random blog or spammy website that will give you a link for adding a piece of low quality possible duplicate content.
Having said all of that, when done in the right way, there are still SEO benefits to guest blogging. If it is done sensibly, with unique quality content that adds value to the reader you can build relationships that last – not links that will be short lived or even harm your SEO marketing efforts. Guest blogging benefits include building authority, trust and ultimately can drive traffic to your website.
This is where social media comes in; building relationships and social media go hand in hand and can be a great place to find quality blogs relating to your business in addition to sharing your own content. The aim should be to naturally build relationships, become a trusted authority in your field of business, and then you’ll find when you approach someone with a request to guest blog they know you and your work. You many even find you get requests to guest blog, which is the ultimate compliment.
So while guest blogging for SEO purely to get huge numbers of links is no longer a good reason to do it, you need to think about building relationships. Inbound links from quality sources will help connect your website with other reputable sites and grow your authority when these links are shared across the social media networks.
The other upside is that you can grow your audience with guest blogging and this will impact your SEO through increased social media interaction giving stronger industry visibility, better networking opportunities and brand awareness.
In summary, the goal of the search engines always has been and always will be to match quality content online with users who are looking for that particular piece of information. That’s why quality guest blogging on the right websites with the right content will continue to impact your hard work and drive traffic to your website, growing your online business.
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