What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is a process where someone contributes an article to another blog in exchange for value.
What Value does the Site Owner Gain?
Content: The site owner is provided with content tailored for his/her blog
Traffic: The Guest blogger promotes the content, thereby leading to more traffic
Social Shares: The Guest Blogger shares the article on social networks, thereby providing more social media visibility for the site owner.
Money: Some Site owners request for money to publish guest posts.
What Value does the Guest Blogger Gain?
In return for providing site owners with content, guest bloggers are customarily given one or more backlinks and full author’s credits at the end of the article with links back to the author’s social media profiles.
Backlinks: In return for providing site owners with content, guest bloggers are customarily given one or more backlinks (a link back to a post or website)
Social Media Visibility: Guest Bloggers are usually receiving full author’s credits at the end of the article with links back to the author’s social media profile.
Traffic: Guest Blogging is also a way to get traffic to a blog, the audience on the host blog would most likely visit the author’s website if they found the article useful.
SEO: A quality backlink to a website has a couple of SEO advantages.
Money: Some site owners reward guest bloggers with money as a way of thanking them for a great guest post.
Expertise: When you contribute to leading websites in your niche, you are perceived to be an expert on your topic.
Brand awareness: Guest blogging exposes your brand directly to thousands loyal blog readers
Networking: Even in the digital world, Networking has remained a very valuable marketing tool. Conferences and seminars have become social media Hangouts and Webinars. Guest blogging allows you to discover and develop new valuable relationships with the players and users in your niche.
What Does Google Think about Guest Blogging?
The truth is Google does not know what to think about Guest Blogging. Google keeps setting new rules and in true human fashion we keep finding a way to live by these rules.
Guest blogging seems like it’s the fad of the month,” It is best done in moderation. “It shouldn’t be your full-time job.”
While guest blogging is good, it should not be all you are doing to drive traffic to your site, as you would not be doing your site’s reputation any favours. – Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts
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. – Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts
His last statement caused a lot of backlash and confusion among webmasters. If anything it was too broad to make any sense. Here is Matt’s update:
It seems like most people are getting the spirit of what I was trying to say, but I’ll add a bit more context. I’m not trying to throw the baby out with the bath water. There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.
I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article. – Google’s head of search spam Matt Cutts (January 2014)
What is Google really Saying about Guest Blogging?
Google works hard on its search engine algorithms and we humans work harder to game the system.
Guest Blogging is the joker in this game.
Google claims guest blogging has become spammy. This is very inaccurate to say the least, consider these facts
Bloggers write better articles when writing a Guest Post
For a guest post to be approved, it has to meet the requirements and follow the guidelines of the host. The Guest post is then edited by the host blog to make sure it conforms to the standards its readers expect.
This means for your guest post to be accepted, you have to bring your A game.
Readers always welcome a different perspective
The major flaw of blogging is that it is traditionally a personal diary of your opinions on different topics. How long can you keep people interested in your thoughts? not long. This is why the biggest blogs in the world are published by various writers and not one person. Guest blogging has helped many bloggers solve this problem.
Guest blogging saves advertising costs
People love stories and we love to feel a human connection in whatever we do. Ask any affiliate marketer, writing a review of a product converts higher than displaying a banner. There is no add-on to block your review or article, but more readers are installing ad blockers.
Guest blogging could become more valuable than Google ads for small business owners and Google knows this.
Traffic from Guest Blogging is more valuable than Organic Traffic
Traffic from guest blogging is targeted, the visitor has already developed a trust for the author and there is an idea of what kind of information is on the website. This leads to a lesser Bounce Rate, more comments and higher conversions
When Two Elephants fight, it is the forest that suffers.
As Google takes on Guest Blogging, bloggers are definitely going to bear the grunt. Expect a lot of animal-named updates to Google’s search algorithms.
The best solution at the moment is to apply a simple change in your guest blogging strategy.
Matt Cutts says If the links are nofollowed, then they don’t affect PageRank, and then it isn’t Google’s business. A high-quality guest post with nofollowed links is still be a good way to get exposure to a new audience, branding, etc.
Can We Really Trust Guest Bloggers?
Matt Cutts advises that going forward, Guest Articles should only be accepted from people you can personally vouch for.
Of course this does not make any sense; if he had completed the statement it might have made more sense.
Google does not want you to give any site that is engaging in Guest Blogging for the purpose of SEO a dofollow link.
If you can vouch that the Guest Blogger is clean, then good. If you do not know much about the Guest Blogger, a nofollow link is recommended.
Google does not want these backlinks to be for SEO purposes, it can be for traffic, brand visibility, or any other reason but not SEO purposes.
So Yes, you can trust guest bloggers but not those looking to use your website as a ladder up the search engine results page.