Earlier this year when Matt Cutts of Google announced guest blogging was dead, he was referring specifically to using guest blogging as a means of link building for SEO. He argued that too many people are abusing the practice.
At the time, he asserted that there are still other benefits to guest blogging such as building your brand that do not directly relate to SEO. Most took that to mean that guest blogging was still OK; it just wouldn’t be given the same weight in search engines as it had previously.
This week Cutts came out again announcing they were taking action against websites that they felt abused guest blogging solely for link building. To set an example, Google punished the guest blogging network MyBlogGuest and a lot of their publishers using the service. This sent publishers and bloggers into a frenzy because they didn’t want to be penalized by Google.
This also left many wondering how they are suppose to guest blog without being penalized for intentional link building. Guest blogging is still a great way to spread awareness, build a brand, and market products and services across the web. If done correctly, guest blogging can still be effective.
Here are four ways to utilize guest blogging without offending Google.
1. Use “nofollow” links. Making your links as nofollow the html code will make them unseen to search engine robots. This means you are not using the link as a means of SEO and increasing your search engine ranking. Although search engines will ignore the link, it still allows you to promote your product, service, or website and lead potential customers to your website.
2. Authority. There is a clear difference between a guest post on the WSJ for example and the types of guest posts that Google is looking to eliminate. If you focus on guest posts on blogs with authority and a good reputation, you have nothing to worry about. If you’re sending spammy articles to hundreds or thousands of blogs to publish content that includes your link, Google is coming after you.
2. Be selective. Instead of trying to get as many guest posts out there as possible, focus on a few very high quality posts published on high quality websites. There will be less links out there, which will save you from offending Google, but the links you do put out there will be seen by a high quality customer base.
3. Focus on social media. Instead of guest blogging on someone’s website, as if you can guest blog through their social media. In other words, right a high quality article directed at their audience, publish it on your website, but have them share it through their social network.