Amidst Criticisms, Guest Blogging Remains an Effective SEO Tactic
In a surprising move that shocked not only the online marketing and SEO community but also the general public, Matt Cutts (@mattcutts) declared that guest blogging was “dead”. In a post dated January 20, 2014, Cutts wrote:
Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.
Since the publication of the controversial blog post, Cutts has made efforts to clarify that he was referring specifically to guest blogging as an SEO tactic. He later tweeted, “Sorry for all the drama I caused with the guest blogging apocalypse. Guest blogging is okay again. My Bad.” Nevertheless, many online marketers and bloggers were left wondering whether guest blogging remained as effective as it had once been.
Is Guest Blogging Really Dead?
Fortunately, the answer is no—guest blogging is alive and kicking, at least for the majority of online marketers. It’s true that some marketers have used guest blogging as a means of promoting link building strategies for SEO by producing spammy, repetitive content. But if the content is 100% unique and of high quality, then guest blogging remains a good way to optimize a website’s online presence and boost its search rankings.
In his blog article published on Content Marketing Institute (@CMIContent), Louis Gudema (@LouisGudema), CEO and founder of revenue + associates, countered Cutt’s statement by laying out a number of reasons why he remains faithful to guest blogging. Gudema started his company believing that its name was unique, which would leave a lasting impression on those who heard it.
However, Google mistook the company name to mean “revenue” and “associates,” instead of “revenue + associates” (a proper noun). As a result, his website was buried in the SERPs for this search (a search which apparently delivers more than 95 million results).
Upon discovering that guest blogging could help him solve his problem, Gudema started submitting original blog posts (with links to his site in his bio) to authoritative sites such as Econsultancy and IDG Connect. Long story short, Gudema was able to successfully boost his company’s online visibility and improve its rankings in the SERPs through guest blogging.
“By November, when I wrote a blog post for the Harvard Business Review website, it was icing on the cake: My revenue + associates site was already ranked No. 1 by Google when searching on my company name,” he said. “Guest blogging lives. Problem solved.”
Tips for Effective Guest Blogging
Guest blogging remains a great form of content marketing, especially if you aim to improve your site’s online visibility and rankings in the SERPs. However, you need to be mindful of these “golden rules” if you want search engines to recognize the value of your guest blogging:
- Submit high-quality content only to relevant and authoritative guest blogging sites
- Do away with rich anchor text
- Apart from linking out to your site, share links of other sites that are relevant to your subject matter. Cite them in your article as well, if possible.
- Use Google Authorship
- Use appropriate phrases and keywords
What other guest blogging tips can you offer those who want to boost their sites’ rankings on Google’s SERPs?
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