While having started out as a legitimate practice among both unknown bloggers trying to gain more recognition for their work and website owners looking to find fresh new content for their onsite blogs, guest blogging has taken a tremendous hit in recent years as a result of spamming practices.
Matt Cutts, one of Google’s top engineers, as well as the head of their Webspam team, has recently emphasized the overall decay of guest blogging as a genuine promotional practice, urging webmasters to use a more careful screening approach when allowing guest posts on their blogs.
The Ideal Role of Guest Blogging in SEO
Modern SEO is all about quality content, and the more insightful, genuine, informative, entertaining and easy to read your articles are, the better your chances of getting improved search engine results.
It is no wonder then that guest blogging has caught on as quite a popular practice. A blog owner looking for new ideas and a talented blogger who is only just starting out can often make a great team in helping each other out through the practice of guest blogging. Also, bloggers who want to add an aura of legitimacy to their online publications may do well to invite or allow well-known writers to contribute with a post.
In these types of win-win situations, backlinks from blog posts can become extremely valuable, both for the blog and for the person writing and submitting the post. Also, search engines will not even think about penalizing or banning occasional, high quality posts, since their high PageRank and place in SERPs are well-earned.
The Decline of Guest Blogging Practices
Despite its obvious benefits, as Matt Cutts himself has recently explained, guest blogging is not what it used to be. What initially started out as a genuine practice has been taken advantage of by numerous entrepreneurs blasting low quality content everywhere they can.
The practices used may be manifold. Some may try to send the very same article to different blogs in the hope of getting more links, while others spin 2-3 articles to create 20, 30 or even more “original” pieces of content that they would then try to send to unsuspecting bloggers.
What can and often does happen, however, is that, despite the website owner seemingly benefitting from a lot of newly included articles – which could otherwise be a benefit for increasing SERP rankings – and the provider gaining recognition from backlinks, the quality of the blog itself has a lot to suffer.
As a result, the blog may be penalized or even banned by search engines like Google, and the initial success is, in most cases, short lived.
A Word of Caution and Encouragement
While Mr. Cutts has admitted that guest blogging, when done right, can still be a valuable practice as a whole, both blog owners and entrepreneurs seeking to promote low quality or spun content are likely to be at the very least penalized as a result of that practice.
It is very important, therefore, to submit to the latest search engine guidelines and policies with regards to guest blogging, as well as any other similar practice that could potentially be used for link building in an inappropriate way, especially since Google and all the other highly rated search engines are getting better and better at spotting and penalizing spammers.