Link building is one of the toughest challenges of search engine optimization, and it’s tempting to do anything possible to get more links while putting in a little less effort. However, this usually isn’t a good idea. Cutting corners with link building has become one of the biggest taboos of SEO, and the wrong approach can end up hurting your ranking.
Guest blogging has been getting a lot of attention lately, with those on both sides of the fence telling you why you should or shouldn’t count on it as part of your link building strategy. This has understandably caused a lot of confusion and questions about if guest blogging is still an effective tool.
The short answer is that yes, guest blogging is still effective for linking building, but there are a few things to keep in mind.
What Google Says
Guest blogging started to come under fire several years ago when Google’s former head of web spam made a public comment about how guest blogging for link building was done. This was followed a couple years later in 2017 with a statement made by Google which issued some pretty stern warnings about guest blogging.
The gist of the statement was that quality guest blogging was fine, but too many businesses were using guest blogging in a way that appeared spammy and supplied no value to the audience. The message was do it the right way, for the right reasons or don’t do it all unless you don’t mind a hit to your site rank.
Here’s what Google says you should avoid if you want to use guest blogging to build links.
- Keyword stuffing, especially lots of keyword rich links to your website within the content
- Unbalanced approach – publishing on too many sites or overloading just a few sites with too many guest blogs
- Lacking value or hiring writers without knowledge in your niche
- Using duplicated content or content that’s too similar across multiple platforms
Generating Links with an Ethical Approach to Guest Blogging
Now that you know what not to do if you want to build links with guest blogging, let’s talk about how to maximize your results with an ethical approach. Fortunately, this isn’t hard at all, especially for businesses that are genuinely interested in connecting with their audience.
First, remember that who you associate with matters. Avoid publishing guest blogs on as many sites as possible and look at the quality of the ones you do engage with. Are they reputable? How is the quality of the content on their site? Use tools like SEMrush to get an idea of the amount of traffic the site gets and make sure that Google has indexed it.
Secondly, don’t produce guest posts for sites that make it too easy. If they accept any and all submissions with no questions asked, that is a huge red flag that signals publishing on that site could hurt your SEO.
Finally, keep quality in mind. You’re still representing your businesses, so make sure that you’re producing quality content that serves a purpose, isn’t a copycat of other content and aren’t abusing keywords.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to use guest blogging as an effective link building strategy, we’re here to help. Contact Ola Moana let us tell you about how our SEO services can help your business grow.