Guest Blogging and SEO: Still a Match Made in Heaven

blogging and seo

The other day, Matt Cutts – who runs Webspam at Google – wrote a blog post on why you shouldn’t use guest posting to build links. Here’s a quick snippet from his blog post:

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.

Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book. It’s not that way any more.

This statement made a lot of SEOs worried and frantic as they have been using guest posting as their main source of link building. And although it may seem like guest posting is going to die, my prediction is that guest posting will help with your rankings…just not the way you think it may.

Here’s what I think will change:

Google will discount the spam

Guest posting is a great way to drive traffic, increase sales, and grow your brand. Matt Cutts stated it himself. By no means is he trying to say that you shouldn’t guest post. Instead, he is stating that it is becoming spammy.

This means that certain companies are emailing every single blogger they can find, asking to guest post. I get these emails myself each and every day, and I just ignore them because I know 99% of the people hitting me up are just looking for a backlink from my site.

The reason guest posting won’t work the same way it used to is because companies are trying to guest post on irrelevant blogs. The content they are publishing isn’t high in quality either. In other words, they are trying to do the bare minimum to get a link.

So, what I think Google will end up doing is this:

  1. Discount guest-post links from irrelevant blogs.
  2. Discount rich anchor text links from guest posts.
  3. Start looking more at author rank to figure out if you are writing high or low quality content.
  4. Place more emphasis on social signals as the more social votes a post has, the higher its quality usually is.

In the end, if you are using guest posting to rank for specific head terms, I don’t think it will be a good long-term strategy. But if you use it to help build up your brand, referral traffic, and overall sales, it will continue to be a great strategy.

In addition to that, I think guest posting will help with your overall site authority and long-tail traffic, but I will get to that a bit later in this article.

Blogs will crack down on guest posters

I know bloggers right now that can get you links from Huffington Post, Business Insider, Forbes, and a lot of other high authority sources.

How are they able to do this? They applied for guest author accounts and were given one. Some of their accounts are “instant publish”, meaning that their guest posts are automatically approved without an editor reviewing the content.

The bigger blogs, like Huffington Post, are already starting to crack down on this as too much spam is being published on their blogs. I know for a fact that Huffington Post started to become irritated with some guest posters as a few of them started stuffing in rich anchor text links to auto insurance sites.

The smaller blogs won’t care as much, but I see the bigger blogs requiring all guest posts to be approved by editors, just like Entrepreneur Magazine does.

This will make it harder for you to get links from guest posting sites, especially from the blogs that have the authority. This means you’ll have to take the time and actually write good content that is relevant, without stuffing links.

So, if you want to obtain links from high authority blogs, which I feel Google will still put value on as they typically have editors who review the content before it gets published, you’ll have to:

  • Focus on writing high quality content that actually educates the reader.
  • Avoid using rich anchor text as it will cause editors to disqualify your post.
  • Link to your own website only when it is relevant and benefits the reader.
  • Link out to other sites, including your competitors, if it benefits the reader.

By following the four points above, you’ll notice that you’ll get more guest posts accepted, the posts will get more social love, and they will rank better in the search engines because you are doing what’s best for the reader.

Guest posting will help with SEO

I still think guest posting will help your rankings, just not in the way it used to. Because you have to avoid using rich anchor text and only link to your site when it benefits the reader, you won’t rank for head terms as easily as you could in the past.

But the links will still help with your overall site authority and, more importantly, increase your overall long-tail traffic. And in my opinion, that is more valuable than ranking for head terms as 80%+ of your traffic should be coming from long-tail keywords.

If you want to play it safe with guest posting, I recommend the following:

  • Only post on relevant blogs – ideally these blogs should also be larger than your website. In other words, do it because it will help with branding, traffic, and sales. Posting on bigger blogs that are also relevant will provide you with more good exposure than posting on small, unknown blogs.
  • Avoid using rich anchor text – rich anchor text will become a huge red flag and will probably cause your site to get penalized eventually, especially if you are building these links through guest posts.
  • Share the love – you won’t be able to link out to your site only. From Wikipedia to your competitors, you’ll have to link out to whichever site benefits the reader the most.
  • Build up your author rank – with Google Plus becoming more popular, it will be easier for Google to determine how good of a writer you are. So, you’ll have to focus on publishing only valuable content as you won’t want crap tied to your author account.
  • Co-citations are valuable – even if you don’t get a link from a guest post, just having your site mentioned in the article can help with rankings. I think Google will place more emphasis on co-citations in 2014.

Conclusion

If you are looking to increase your search engine rankings for head terms through guest posts, you are wasting your time. It may work for now, but eventually it won’t.

But if you are looking to increase your overall branding, referral traffic, and sales, you should continually guest post. This will also help you improve your overall site authority, which should help increase your long-tail traffic.

So, what do you think about guest posting? Will you continue to leverage it?

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Comments

  1. Great post. Thank you Neil

  2. I’ve never been a huge fan of guest blogging, for the simple fact that it’s dog and cat mentality.

    Guest bloggers with a lot of profiles on recognized sites, eventually become monsters taken over by the ego.

    I ain’t taking any part in that!

    Thanks Neil,
    Alex

    • You shouldn’t. You should only guest post if you are trying to build up your brand, traffic, and sales from the post.

    • I am agree with Alex, Now so many webmaster doing business through guest posting, Well i have good article but i have not money $100 to approval through webmaster. I am always agree with natural guest blogging to promotion brand but not for ranking factor as well.

      Thank you Neil to explain your natural view

    • hey alex,

      I am also a huge huge fan of guest blogging… but now so many webmasters doing this… (Given how spammy it’s become……)
      you know.

      Thanks for this Great Article Neil.

  3. Neil, I read Matt Cutts article last night and really scared, I spent tons of time doing my research in SEO and found guest post is good way to promote brand. After reading your post I feel relax now, as a conclusion if you guest post quality content and doesn’t spam it should be good RIGHT?

    Thanks,

  4. Yisroel Reiss :

    Neil,

    How is it that you somehow write a blog post that answers exactly what I am wondering that particular week?

    Thanks for this good advice!

    Yisroel

  5. Great post. I think the Matt Cutt’s post scared a lot of people, but I agree, if you’re publishing quality guest posts that are well-written, informative, and value-added, their value isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

  6. Choose the right blogs to submit your guest post, write something original, use descriptive anchor text, get more social shares & eventually it will help your Website with traffic & links.

    Guest Blogging still works if done the right way.

    Thanks
    Praveen

  7. I agree with your vision of guest blogging. But there is something you didn’t mention: The follow/nofollow aspect of the links will also be considered, according to what Matt cutts said.

    At the end of the article, you mention Wikipedia. I am wondering how wikipedia helps a site with ranking because wikipedia links are nofollow. I personaly made some tests to see if nofollow links allows a page to rank and the result is definately no.

    • Now, I’m no expert in SEO, but the SEO consultant for my company insists that nofollow links are being ignored by Google because there are so many websites out there using them in an attempt to “control” outbond/inbond link ratios and stuff

    • I was just mentioning Wikipedia as a good site to link to.

      Yes nofollowing links is a good idea, as it will just save you from running into Google issues.

  8. What about the other side of the table, accepting guest posts. Is this something that you recommend? I have started this in hopes to reach out to individuals in my industry, to create relationships with them. Also in hopes that they share their post on their social networks etc.

    Would you recommend that if one of these people in my outreach list have a blog on their site, to guest post for them, or have them guest post on our site?

    I

    • Shawn, I just wanted to mention my take on this. The main thing I got out of Matt Cutt’s article on this is that if you are accepting guest posts on your site, make darn sure you read them first and that they are of high quality, relevant to your blog subject and without a bunch of link or keyword stuffing.

      Everything that Neil says here about what we should do when submitting a post to someone else’s site is what we should expect from anyone’s post we accept on our own sites.

    • Shawn, I think as long as you use moderation and check the quality of the posts you shouldn’t have a problem. Filter through and make sure everything is in order :)

  9. Great post but i want to ask as I’m never use this technquies. Is a great damage for me ?

  10. Great post, Neil.

    I especially like the point that you should only guest post if your are trying to build up your brand, traffic, and sales from the post. Very important.

    Ray

  11. I’m sure this will only apply to spammy blogs.I can’t see the search engines discounting a high quality post on a authoritative website. They would have to discount links in general if they did that.

  12. very interesting artical. i have been involved in removing bad backlink recently and this article give me an idea of what links to keep. i will make sure any blogging will be relevant to my industry and in moderation.

  13. I agree – I think this is actually a good thing for the SEO community and I think the Authorship will certainly be coming into play like you mentioned.

  14. Great article…the simple lesson is link with quality sites, write quality contents and avoid the craps.

  15. I think the message from Matt is a serious warning note that will reduce the number of spam mails we get from these so-called SEO agents ;)

  16. yeah. my friend’s blog was penalized by google due to guest post. the post is so fishy where so many rich anchor text.

  17. Hello Neil.I read every single article of yours and you are my idol when it comes to seo and internet in general :) When i read this article about how blogging is going to waste i knew that you will reply on this and told this to my friends :) You really made it clear and ofcourse i will follow your tips :) Thanks again master and keep up the good word.

    Best regards

  18. I used to guest blog in the past ( say 2 years ago). Right now my new blogs (fairly 1 year old) are doing really well without a single link from guest posts.

    So, I personally think that its not really compulsory to have guest post links for better rankings. Good social signals and good content should always do the trick.

  19. Hi Neil,
    I’ve a question; I recently wrote a guest post which got good readers engagement (50+ comments). I didn’t use any anchortext links, but I received over 1,500 backlinks from that single site! will Google see it spam?

  20. Makes perfect sense, and is at the core of what Google has stated all along – make high quality, relevant content. With the big push for Google+, the social signals seem to have more weight than they had before. Thanks Neil for clarifying!

  21. But i wonder how google is gonna target and devalue guest post links.. unless done manually.

  22. This is a fantastic post, Neil – very helpful with what I’m wondering about with all these changes that are coming around from Google.

  23. Absolutely correct! As I have also comment on Matt Cutts’s post that we have to have concentrate on building brand instead of just generating backlink from guest post on blog.

  24. Neil, thanks for the reassurance here. It’s like everything else – forget about just trying to get links any way we can.

    For those writing great quality guest posts, there isn’t anything to worry about. And the same for those accepting great quality guest posts on their sites. But I think that is where the scare comes in – to those accepting guest posts.

    So my feelings are just like you said – it may get more difficult to get a post accepted on a high ranking site because these site owners are going to start being more careful about what they accept and from whom.

    But as far as continuing to submit guest blog posts, I don’t see any reason to be scared off from that unless a person is only doing it to get back links, in which case they need to re-think their objectives. Just like Adithya said above, you can write a great post without stuffing it with any anchor text links and still get a lot of traffic from it.

    Quality and value for the readers. If you don’t have that, then don’t write a guest blog post.

    • Karleen, thanks for sharing your thoughts. These are very poignant and I couldn’t agree more. It’s vital to focus on content and it has been for the last couple of years. Long gone are the days of link wheels and link spamming.

  25. That’s right, but variable according to niche you’re talking about, in the gaming industry the content isn’t really very important, but the experience.
    So i do guest posting, because my competitors do so, they even use black hat methods that matt pets like panda, etc. claim to punish, but they are still at top results (some of them ) and making allot of money.
    Also there are languages that google algorithem act very different from their official statments, once a month guest blogging is too much?

    • Josh, I think as long as the content is great you shouldn’t have any limits on how many times you can guest post. It’s all about finding quality content and moderation.

  26. Great post Neil. It provided some very great points. With this update it is sure that guest bloggers will now tighten the guidelines and will only accept articles from credible authors.

    However I believe people may start finding other ways for building links. The focus will shift to other techniques and at the end Google will again need to take action. So I personally believe this can never end.

    Google may completely revise the rules and factors for ranking sites in search result pages but ultimately people will find ways to manipulate it.

    Neil do you personally think there is an end to it.

    • Bilal, I think the end all be all is to create quality content that converts. It’s important to keep a focus on original content. There is very little you can do to penalize that :)

  27. Absolute timely post Neil!

    If I am not wrong before this update Google has already called of links from the author bio section which used to be the link spammers heaven. Lately due to different guest blogging communities a new wave is running through emails i.e. “guest post exchange”. One creating multiple site (in some cases up-to 50) and accepting irrelevant low quality guest posts. If any good part I can see/expect/hope these stuff will go down with time.

    But some will still continue, as they are continuing with keyword stuffing in comments (as Mr/Ms “Free SEO Resource” above).

    There always will be rules/laws and people will always try to find loop holes in it. As an example Google looks for social signals also and one can buy real +1s or Facebook likes on any specific URL
    just buy doing a Google search. So kinda need to be prepared Google may be calling that off too.

    But without tracking down the exact person/event penalizing the whole community is it a good decision?

    • In general what Google is doing is smart as people are abusing it. They have been able to identify unnatural SEO a lot better in the last few years and I think the changes will just help provide a better user experience.

  28. Great post Neil!

    I was inspired to write a (debut) post about this very topic because of Matt’s post yesterday. Thrilled to see you adding your voice on it too.

    I think a lot of SEOs take what Matt Cutts says as pure truth, as if all that passes his lips is gold.

    Guest blogging, as you know, can be done quite successfully with great results. It is unfortunate that so many SEO agencies are still using antiquated link building methods but not applying them to guest posting. As if guest posts are the new way of article submitting!

    Worse, no one likes those dreadful guest posting emails that start with, “Sir, I really like your blog…”. I can see why some people just distrust guest posts right from the get-go.

    We know Google knows how (or will soon) to check for thin content – low quality guest posts are no different. There are certain red flags that Google knows to penalize for. Excessive use of exact match anchor text is just one of them.

    So one cannot but agree that Google has the right to filter the craptastic stuff out of the index. Guest posts included. But that does not mean that guest posting itself is the evil culprit. It’s the bad apples doing it.

    Just like everything else in SEO (and life), moderation is the key.

    • Shannon, thanks for the great insights. I agree completely.

      I think if we place a great focus on quality and real interactions with others we wont have these issues. Moderation has always been my key :)

  29. Good post Neil, very timely and some very interesting thoughts.

    I think we all saw this coming.

    I’m sure you must get a hefty amount of spammy requests amongst the large number of emails you get on a daily basis.

    I find myself just deleting a lot of requests.

    So I can see your predication about blogs tightening their belts happening very soon.

  30. Thanks for posting this Neil. I agree that guest posting should still be a part of your strategy and focusing on writing quality content submitted to relevant blogs will be the key.

    Cheers,
    -Keller

  31. I think a lot of places will either stop accepting guest posts, or award no follow links.

    I personally think that Google will discount SEO benefits and penalise spam.

    A link that conveys SEO benefits is supposed to be a “vote” in favour of the site. However most guest posts are published because of the quality of the article, not the site that it links to. So it doesn’t make sense to interpret this as a vote in favour of the site.

    • Jon, great points. I firmly believe that there is an emphasis on penalizing spam that has been evident for years. It’s vital to create quality content that converts!

  32. Well, Neil, you certainly give Google a lot more credit than I do. Your belief that they will approach this problem with a scalpel rather than the hatchet they normally use offers some hope.

    I’m more inclined to believe that they will require all links in guest posts to be no-followed – at least all links with keyword anchor text. Only time will tell …

  33. Here’s what I struggle with.

    You write an awesome blog post on your site. Now, you want to guest post and get some backlink juice. Are you ‘re-writing’ your awesome blog post to guest post it?

    I mean, if you spend so much time writing a great, quality guest post on your subject, why would you post it on a site other than yours?

    • Mike, I wouldn’t suggest re-writing. I think tweaking and making the post different, but along the same lines would be a good strategy.

    • Mike, people always wonder why should I write an awesome post and post it freely on another site.

      And I love to ask them if they’ve heard of the law of giving. Give and it ll be given unto you.

      Doesn’t that law sound foolish, stupid? just to mention but a few.

      But it dam works. Lets consider Bill Gate and Warren -they give, do you think they are damn foolish- no way! They understand things that work.

      Bringing it home now.

      Offering your best to a larger audience helps you build your brand- Imagine if you are able to guest post on QuickSPROUT I think have seen only one guest post- do you know people like Adam Connell will kill (figuratively) to get one on this site because Uh Uh they will receive offers from a brand new audience.- I tell stop being selfish. They want to keep the whole fish for themselves and believe me its a sick really sick attitude that needs to be purged.

      Let me hold my lips:>

  34. Great article and tips to stop wasting time on guest posting for higher ranking. Also the tips about Anchor text is very important to play the SEO game safe and clean. Thanks for the article.

  35. This is actually good news to me. I’ve always seen guest blogging as a way to build community among other like minded bloggers and thought-leaders. I’m not diminishing SEO techniques, but the key word for me in Guest Post isn’t traffic, it’s “Guest.”

  36. Hey Neil, great post, dig everything you say however if you’re looking to ‘increase your overall long-tail traffic’ would it be better to post the content on your own site to be indexed and then try and get it syndicated on an authority site?

    Thanks so much, really appreciate the effort (and expense) you put into your content.

    Richard

  37. After reading your blog i came to know what google want.. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post… It will help me lot..

    Thank Neil

  38. I think it’s absolutely fantastic google are doing something about it. How many times do we see loads of spammy posts? Its also so irritating for the editors to keep going through their guest posts and deleting spams posts every day. Well done google and thanks Neil for the info. I think we all knew sooner or later something had to be done! We all want to see great content which at the end of the day is what we all want to give out and become a trusted source online :) Cheers Neil :) All the best once again! Sorry I struggle to write a short response most of the time ha

  39. Neil, I totally agree with your take on this. The part about Matt’s post that bugged me was the tone more than anything. However I think a lot of it is barking at those spammy intruders, not biting the postman who’s coming in the front gate.

    (BTW, how do you find time to answer all these comments? Do you even sleep?)

  40. Thanks Neil,
    I’d just read about and shared Matt’s post yesterday. I think you’re spot on, guest blogging still has some value for SEO and works like PR to help your reputation. The key is high quality writing without anchor links and placed on respected media and blog sites.
    The question now is how will Google ultimately judge what is a high quality blog or news media site? We shall wait and see.
    Cheers,
    Simon McManus

  41. Hi Neil, great post.
    But what about the sites that accepts guest posts.
    Like we get a lot of requests from brands and companies to guest blog on our site to promote their products.
    Are there any specific things that needs to be considered before accepting a guest post.?

    Side question. Are you writing on Medium.?

    Thanks again for sharing.

  42. I generally agree with your stance here Neil. It’s true that the spammy pitches have gotten out of hand, and we also believe that author authority is the answer to the problem. No need to roll out another penalty or algorithm change that could result in more collateral damage, a’la Panda and Penguin. They have the answer, if only they take advantage of it when they aim to tackle the guest blogging situation. I wrote about this last night on my own blog – let’s make the vision of identity verification and author authority a reality. The time is now.

  43. I have seen a similar pattern with previous types of link building. Once Matt Cutts issues a warning, it’s really time to take notice and stop if you are engaging in the kind of link building practices that Matt is warning against.

    I respect Neil’s expertise in all things SEO but I have seen and experienced too much damage in mine and many other sites to take Matt too lightly. It’s best to stop guest posting on other sites and just post quality articles on your own site(s).

  44. Fantastic response to Matt Cutts, Neil. Reassuring.

    Let me ask you this: What if we all simply stopped using the term “guest” writer? If we simply avoid the word, would that help avoid retribution from Google’s algorithm?

    Journalist websites rarely call a freelance writer a “guest writer” so why is it necessary in our business blogs? Just call outside writers what they are, a writer. Or come up with a different term/title. Just leave “guest” out.

    Just curious if you think this has any benefit? Thanks

  45. I agree with you 100 percent, Neil.

    In fact, I wrote this yesterday:

    Move on. Fuhgettabout Google. (Did I just say that?) Guest blog if you want – by doing the proper outreach first. Get to know–intimately–the sites and publishers for which you want to guest post. Build a relationship. And when you do get the awesome news that you can write a post for somebody else, treat the opportunity for what it is. Write the best damned post you can. Go all out. Make it awesome!

    And look forward to direct traffic back from the source site to your own, where you will be greeted by visitors who are perfect for your content on your own site.

  46. Guest posting is the only single option left that we could use to build online reputation and bring quality traffic. When we do this in bulk without keeping the post quality in mind, that’s where Google used to punish us.

    I’ll keep following the golden rules that is quality content, more social reputation & shares, site reputation etc. to keep this tactic alive till the SEO will be.

    Thanks for your valuable sharing though Neil.

  47. Hi Neil

    I think Matt Cutts is really worried about seeing the advantage people are taking with guest blogging. With a good number of guest posts its become very easy to out rank competition even you guest blog on a low quality blogs.

    Matt at this point just want to threaten webmasters so that they can reduce the number of guest posts they do each month. If they are really concern about it, they have to make a change in Google algo and i think that is not that easy and will take at least 1 year or so.

  48. I think guest posting is key to promoting your website and increase its authority. Obviously need to focus on the content of the highest quality both as regards the form and the content.

  49. Hi Neil
    It’s pretty much like everything else SEO, you just have to make sure that you are doing an ethical job. most people would know even if they don’t admit to it, when they are pushing the boundaries. I think it will put a lot of people off though as not being worth it.

  50. Hi Neil,

    Thanks for the great stuff. I just love it. One thing I want to ask:
    Is it bad for a blog as well if most of the blog post on it are from guest authors.

  51. Thanks Neil, for these insights.

    I work with a lot of clients who have been educated on link building practices, such as “Guest Blogging”, however I think it is important to re-educate our clients and change our way of thinking towards “Reputation Building”. If we were to take this approach, it will allow us to be more agile in our strategies. Hopefully by building reputation in their market, the search engines will follow.

    When do you expect Google to start being aggressive in terms of “Discount guest-post links from irrelevant blogs”?

  52. Great article. I’m working in SEO company and guest post is one of our main tactics to get link juice from high quality website and even in those website with below 30 Domain authority will work as well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Neil. I really loved your post.

  53. Hi Neil,
    I think a guest post without a link will do very well in 2014 as you wrote”even if you don’t get a link from a guest post, just having your site mentioned in the article can help with rankings. I think Google will place more emphasis on co-citations in 2014.”I completely agree with this point and i think that serious bloggers should move to this approach now.Thanks for the article

  54. I just love Guest blogging but some time I can’t see the search engines discounting a high quality post on a authoritative website.Guest blogging is the best way to get traffic.

  55. I am really looking for a post like that will explain to me that guest posting is still alive and still effective. I’ve been doing guest post lately and I was scared that all the things I’ve made will be wasted.

  56. I think guest blogging is still important for businesses. But we should always put in mind that content is the king, and the best thing to do is to post a high quality and relevant content if you want to see a positive result.

  57. I came to visit the site of Matt Cutts, and other webmasters and each of them have their own personal perspective about it. Some beg to differ the idea of Guest Posting being a big problem in website optimization, others just made a neutral stand while others agreed on what Matt says.
    If we will only take into consideration on how guest posting is being utilized by webmasters all I could say that the discretion of using that strategy depends on how responsible and professional an SEO expert is.
    Issue of website spamming are just only superficial. Come to think of it, MAJORITY of strategies in SEO can have its own potential pitfalls since it could bring a lot of great risk in the website’s reputation and credibility.
    As for me, my stand is guest posting can both have its own potential advantages and disadvantages, which solely depend on the webmaster’s idea of how its done.
    Thanks for letting me share my thoughts about this one Neil! More power.. =)

  58. Lazar Cristiana Anca :

    Thank you Neil for the post! I think bottom line good and valuable content makes readers come back every day to your blog. Helping us who need advice and support makes Social Media a better place, relevant and valuable.

  59. Day by day Google are becoming so tough. Thanks for your great article

  60. Really it’s a great experience for me to read these posts which help me to learn something new and interesting. Thanks for your explanation.

  61. Neil I have one doubt, like my niche is on inspiration,motivation nd success n if I do guest posting on blogging niche, will it be fine?

    Can’t we write guest post out of our niche ?

    • Hi Vishnu,

      I am not an SEO expert, but i would like to tell you that it’s very much important for you and your site that you always publish and guest post on other’s site only in your niche. If your site is related to inspiration,motivation and success etc, then it would be better for your site that you always guest post on the relevant sites which are related to your niche like inspiration,motivation and success etc. and if you want to publish any guest post on your own site then you must check whether the guest article is relevant to your site topic or not and you should also check the internal link whether is it also relevant or not to your site topics. i think this practice will save your site from Google penalties.

    • Vishnu, if you follow the guidelines you should definitely be fine :)

  62. I so agree with everything here. If I can sum it up in two points… 1. Quality is (as always has been) what counts the most, and… 2. As important as it is to keep SEO in mind, keep it in the *back* of your mind and write for fame and fortune instead.

    And thank you also for inspiring a blog post that I now plan to write.

  63. Hi Neil,

    I agree with what you said. Guest blogging is still relevant is done in the right manner. Don’t go for backlinks; even if the site is not linking back to your site, guest posting is still recommended when it gives you new audience, engagement and *potential* sales.

    ~ Chitra

  64. Hi Neil,

    Thanks again for the very best article of your. Neil today i just wanted to share my blogging experience with you and others which i think would be beneficial for bloggers. As i always accept guest post on my site and using it on my blog for a long time, but i have never provided any guest post to any other site to get back links for my own site. i never used any SEO service to get more backlinks to my site. From last one and a half year there was only 60+ backlinks of my site with a Google PR 1 and and it still has only 90+ backlinks but tow weeks before Google rewarded my site with PR 3. I still accept guest post on my site and i have not found any issue from last one and a half year.

    I think guest blogging is really a good way of getting more exposure, getting some quality backlinks, and some high value for your site but if we don’t do this in it’s right ways then it could be very bad news for you.

    To do this in a right ways always try to publish good quality articles only related to site niche, avoid using duplicate content on your site if you accept guest post on your blog. You must check the articles carefully whether it’s original and related to your site niche or not, always check that the link in the article is relevant and pointing to a niche site or not if the link is pointing to a irrelevant site then you can make that link No-Follow or just avoid such links in your articles. Also, if you wish to contribute any guest post for your site the just contribute that post to a higher PR site than your’s with relevant topic and relevant niche site. try these tips if you like and there will be no harm for your site.

    Also, Neil i think this comment of mine is going so long, from to days back i am receiving many link removal request by emails, and i have checked and tried to search the title of the pots of my site which has the link but i didn’t get any result for that post in Google, i have tried this on many other titles of my site article for which i have got the link removal requests but i didn’t understand this. All the links for which i have the removal request are irrelevant to my site so writers want to remove them now.

  65. Fantastic insights. I agree, it’s not guest posting that Google has a problem with so much as bad guest posting. It’s the same as all content, it has to be upgraded to premium to rank and it has to be valuable to the reader.

    There are other reasons people guest post, such as exposure, and Google has to know that. Not everyone does it to game the system. Therefore, the flags will revolve around bad practices, such as keyword stuffing.

  66. Thanks for clearing confusions Neil.

  67. Great article, and wherever I read stuff like this, it always makes me ask this question:

    “Why haven’t people been doing this all along”?

    Don’t people realise that they could save themselves a lot of time and effort if they would only target other blogs that were relevant? I mean, I write mainly about cars, dating, and random stuff, so it wouldn’t make much sense for me to go out and request to guest post on say, a DIY crafts blog.

    Or Quicksprout. :-P

  68. Thanks for the post, Neil. It was very useful (I’m sure Google will approve). You say to avoid rich anchor text when guest blogging. Does this rule apply in general? For example, should I avoid using rich anchor text to link to other pages within my site?

  69. So, still user experience is what really matters huh? Lately Google has been trying to make their bots more intuitive with their latest Google algo… more like they want to make sure interact with people the most natural way possible. So the idea of guest blogging to provide real value makes sense.. not just for the actual readers but also to the blog owners.. It’s a win win situation for all.. Thanks for emphasizing thsi point..

  70. Well, I think blog is a good place to build brand image, help customers build brand awareness. I don’t think it’s a strong tool to generate traffic for the brand website.

  71. Hey Neil

    I was very curious to see what your response would be to this statement by Matt Cutts. When I saw the majority of SEO bloggers going crazy over it, I had a bit of a chuckle.

    I completely agree with your views that guest blogging is going to be as effective as it has always been.

    Even if all the SEO benefits had been removed, guest blogging is the most powerful tool in the arsenal of anyone that is trying to build up their audience, generate relevant traffic and get to know others in their industry.

    When I post, I don’t look at Doman authority, Page authority or the backlinks that will be generated.

    I don’t use rich anchor text, or even care if the blog owner decides to create a no follow link ( rel=”nofollow”)… you might ask why?

    The simple answer is that I post to places that have a relevant, large and engaged audience. You can usually tell if a blog is popular by the number of comments articles generate.

    Guest blogging is also a powerful tool to network with powerful blog owners – after all you are both in a beneficial relationship. You provide well written, engaging and powerful content for them and in turn you get a slice of their readership.

    Thanks for the great article Neil, as always a pleasure to read.

    Paul Back

  72. Chester Maitri Ku-Lea :

    Thanks Neil for another great post. Just wanted to say you’ve been such a great resource that my SEO peers often talk about you and how great your information is. For example, your Advanced Guide to Link Building has been read by my peers and I several times, we’ve referenced it lots and downloaded/shared the .pdf. I often cite that piece as a reason to build Ultimate Guides. Now that’s authority!

  73. Very much agree with you Neil! It all started with real bloggers writing great quality posts in order to connect to an audience of a larger site, but has turned into something that is done by outsourced writers that spam any site they can get access to with the only objective of putting some dubious links within the copy.

    - Alagan

  74. Thanks for the great article Neil.

    I think that the spammers are hurting those people that are actually trying to build legitimate businesses. I am not surprised with the quote from Matt Cutts. I do think that there will be a penalty of some sort this year from guest posting backlinks.

    However, I agree completely with you that there are still great benefits to guest posting. Certainly as you mentioned the traffic, sales and growing your brand is beneficial. But as well I think that when you post on high authority blogs in your niche you also are able to establish yourself as an ‘Influencer’ and that can lead to followers and directly impact your author rank.

    But there’s a problem…you have to be very selective as to which blogs you want to guest post on. The practice has been just find a blog that accepts guest posts, regardless of their authority or rank, write a guest post and get your backlink. Instead I think you have to do your homework. In other words ‘Qualify’ the blog. This however can be time consuming and frustrating. But recently I came across a software that helps me to find the exact type of blogs I want quickly and easily. It’s called GuestPosterPRO if anyone is interested.

    The reality is that we can’t all swarm the top 10-15 blogs out there…the Huffington Posts of the world. We need to find other ways of accessing the blogs in our niches that will benefit us.

    What do you think? Agree…disagree?

    • What you are saying makes sense. It’s hard to find good blogs and not everyone will get accepted on the Huffington Posts of the world.

      I’ll have to check out the software.

    • Thanks for this. It could not come at a better time. I am just starting out and have been reading a lot about guest posting. I’ve been really confused about how to find the right blogs to approach. As I’m a newbie I don’t feel comfortable going after the really popular sites. I checked out the software you recommended and just picked it up. Again thanks.

  75. Nice post. I agree with you that guest post is really helpful for SEO. I am saying this with my own experience. Thank you

  76. I have to agree with you in that if you are producing quality content, not keyword stuffing and posting on relevant blogs I cannot see that it will in some way cause a penalty. If Google is pushing authorship and Google+ why would they not want you to publish quality as a guest post. Seems to be somewhat confusing.

  77. So, it seems like Google still wants guest blogging to be viable but they want it to be more personal? They want bloggers to actually have a relationship with one another rather than use each other for personal gain. That’s how I interpreted all of this anyways. Hopefully it does cut down on all the spam guest posts that are so prevalent now.

  78. This is very beautiful post and helpful for SEO followers

    Thanks

  79. I think this step by Matt Cutts is taken to control the spammer which are increasing relatively. Guest posts was very valuable for SEO persons in 2013 but with the introduction of Hummingbird algorithm update now it is necessary to build backlinks on relevant websites and maintain the quality of contents. Duplicated contents will be strictly treated as spam and your website will be penalized. Your post is good enough to think about quality content or say good bye to guest posts.

  80. Hi Neil,

    Firstly, thanks for this beautiful post. So finally you conclude that if we are doing relevant guest posting, then Google won’t consider this as spam??

  81. Awesome job as usual. I was just getting into guest posting and about to have my first one published when I heard about this. I was bummed but now I feel better. I saw guest posting as a way to help readers, grow my brand and evaluate the quality on my content and to find out just how good it is. With these stricter guidelines it just makes the hurdle that much higher. I’m up for the challenge as it will make the rewards that much better.

  82. Hey Neil, Awesome post. Your article as usual well conceptualized. And your topic is really important for marketers specially in 2014. Because many marketers thing guest blogging is dead now. Thanks for share.

  83. Neil as SEO continues to evolve and many doors to the top of page 1 are being closed or refurbished.

    Do you think the industry will see an increase of marketers turning to paid search to get guaranteed results?

  84. Hi Neil, I have read up to bottom of your post. Really great. Thanks.

  85. Thanks for the great post Neil!

  86. Well guest posting will always be a good technique to build relationship and authority for a blog/web. As time passes people started doing guest post for link building, doing in this way guest post will harm the spammers and even original guest bloggers too.

    As it is clearly mentioned above and is truly stated doing guest post for link building will definitely harm your web and even get you penalized after. Its my suggestion to all of you always create content for users not for link building (google).

    • Great point. You should always keep users in mind when doing anything for your blog :)

      • This is an awesome article about consideration request, link building according to Google rule and without following Google rules. I am always saying weather use black hat or white hat you cheat Google guideline because there is a machine not human. You can beat an algorithm by making another best algorithm.

  87. Guest blogging with a purpose is good, plus I think Google Authorship will become more important for SEO, so this is a great way to build Author Rank.

    If you are really concerned with your link profile from guest blogging then you may choose to nofollow your links in guest posts. But if you feel the need to do this then perhaps you misused guest posting in your overall SEO strategy in the first place?

    I guess it depends on each websites situation, but shoot for quality when guest posting, not quantity.

    As always, thanks for sharing.

  88. That’s the kind of article I was looking for. :)

    My many blogger friends have been notifying me up about the probability of getting penalized by Google for posting too many guest articles , But now I know that I am safe because I have not done it in a spammy manner :)

    Thanks for sharing it. :)

  89. I have been reviewing guest blog posts to get a good understanding on the whole point that was raised by Matt Cutts and peoples reaction and this is what I have concluded;

    Matt Cutts started indicating that guest blogging was being abused and this was being looked into.
    People started asking the same question and getting the same response back and then everyone waded in with their interpretations.

    Lets step back and review this from a high level view, when doing anything online think of it as if you are in a relationship or doing something for someone. .

    Would you want a long term benefit and relationship with this person and build your friendship/network/brand.

    If so would you treat or give that person poor advice? That cuts out 98% of the content and behaviour that people are selling or promoting as they will all be onto the next “thing” and advising that.

    What are you left with basically people who build relationships. Go down the road to develop a relationship and to work with someone and help that person means you help their customers and readers. Ask for nothing in return and you will get back so much more.

    If anyone has seen Eben Pagan’s videos on extending the free? I know Frank Kern also uses this approach. Give people 10x the value of what you are selling. This means people trust you and you build a relationship and you attract the right customers.

    Use this approach with blog posts, quality, relevant content which will help the blogger’s readers which you want to build a relationship with.

    Dont ask for anything back because this is the magic. When you help that blogger you have no idea who else he knows and how they will talk to their network of friends. You might out of the blue get someone approach you with an offer to work with you based on your help you gave.

    What did this cost you? Not much some content but in the end the word of mouth value you get back is 10x what you gave. Look at the potential of the relationship and your approach to the whole guest blogging practice changes. Your approach changes and your focus changes.

    Lance

  90. Thanks for this grate piece Neil. Perhaps this is what i’m looking for.

    Thanks a million for sharing.

    ~James

  91. Hello Neil,

    Excellent Post! I agree with you – I think this is actually a good thing for the SEO community and I think the Authorship will certainly be coming into play like you mentioned…

    Thanks for Sharing

  92. Yes it is an excellent post I just started to fix my previous blogs and also updating my G+ account.
    I own a transportation company name Virtual-Dispatch we have about 150 transportation websites around USA and Canada and our goal is to similar to many companies to obtain good rankings in the SERPs.
    Post like this one definitely help many of us to understand how the complicated SEO world operates.
    Now I was wondering if we place links in our sites from different cities will that hurt or help the ranking of our sites?
    now with so many changes in Google,Penguin,etc we are moving with caution.

  93. I wrote a quick post today on the below quote :

    “As you blog, so shall you convert” – This adage will stay forever. The very definition of blog might change somewhat, but building relevant content is must.

    You can see the quote and it’s image at the link below.

    http://contentmarketing.netcurate.com/stories/as-you-blog-so-shall-you-convert

    Let me know what you think, Neil!

  94. Neil, I hope you will comment on this post (not VA’s) I hope :)

    Is there any case study found that any website got penalty because there link profile was circled in Guest Post ?

    Another question – Is Google hitting hard on sites those host guest post or sites those are placing content on such hosts ?

    If sites are considered to be penalty then are they penalized because they did guest post even if they wrote great article with awesome content. Crime was they did guest article on host which was open for public.

    So back to my question – do we have any case study ?

  95. I love reading your blog. It is really very impressive. Thanks for sharing such useful information in your blog.

  96. Thanks for sharing this information. Its so helpful and wonderfully written. Guest posting is one of the most effective ways to skyrocket a blog/business.

  97. We now know that Matt Cutts is against guest blogging as he feels that too many use the process to spam links rather than to add value. My contacts have just stopped the process, but It doesn’t make sense that any specialist that contributes to a quality blog will be punished.

    So only publish your guest post on a blog where only a small percentage of posts are from guest bloggers with outgoing links.

    It is the blogs that get punished with an “unatural outgoing link” penalty that appears in webmaster tools.

    A blog that is punished is likley to send negative or neutral lonk value.

  98. You have continually provided relevant and often amazing information. Just now, your ‘guest blogging’ has started me down a whole new road.
    Thank you for the support,
    Daniel

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