This is a guest post on guest blogging by Jay Yadav, from Designmodo.
Sometimes I feel that Google is out to decry any method that online entrepreneurs devise to promote or advertise their business. Guest blogging is one such thing. Then I realize that what Google does is perhaps the best way because ultimately, the purpose of Google search engine is to offer relevant results to search engine users and we are really aware that the search engine results can be suitably manipulated.
Lately, it seems that guest blogging is turning from a positive strategy to a negative one. If you accept guest posts on your blog, you will know what I am talking about.
There is a rumor going about the blogosphere that Google might devalue the whole concept of guest blogging. Here is the YouTube video where Matt Cutts explains what Google considers as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guest blogging.
Therefore, the relevant question is what to do if Google really comes around to devaluing guest blogging links. I finalized these options after a lot of thought and analysis.
1) Don’t Give Google the Chance to Devalue Guest Blogging
Do this right now. Login to your blog and check out all those guest posts you have published over the last few months. I am sure you must have regretted a few times for accepting a guest blog which you shouldn’t have and didn’t have the courage to delete it either.
Delete it today. But don’t forget to add the 404 redirect.
If you have accepted a large number of guest posts, this will be a time consuming process. Again, which is better? Is it better to let Google to drop your blog search rankings or improve your blog today? You decide.
If you are still undecided, make a list of the guest blogs you want to delete and contact their authors informing them of your decision. Trust me, most of them won’t even bother to reply because they were just ghost writers doing their job.
2) Improve Guest Blogging Guidelines
Matt Cutts states in the video that webmasters should monitor what kind of guest blogs are published on their site/s. He clearly indicates that spun and duplicate content should be a complete no-no. Moreover, the typical 400-500 word blog posts are completely passé. If the rumor is true and your blog search engine ranking suffers, you must revise the guest blog guidelines or stop accepting them altogether.
What usually happens is that when blogs with less attractive PR needs content, they open it for guest bloggers and lo and behold, all types of SEO agencies come after it to get a blog post published for their client.
Okay, there is no problem if someone is getting paid to write for your blog. The problem is the generalization of the method. One of the best and effective solution will be to impose stricter guest blogging guidelines. When a SEO agency sees that the blog requires 1000 words per guest blog post, 99% of the agencies won’t approach you because a) they are billing their client for 500-word posts and b) who is going to make all the effort?
If you happen to receive guest blogs still, it is possible that they are serious guest bloggers or damn good writers, and if they have something worthwhile to say, its okay to give them a chance.
3) Give No-Follow Guest Blogging Links
If Google devalues guest blogging links, it won’t be because Google doesn’t like guest blogging method. It will be because Google knows that the method is being misused for getting do-follow back links. We know that do-follow back links are a vote of approval for the linked site. Back links in exchange of guest posts is like an “enforced” vote, which is irrelevant in the eyes of Google.
Therefore, if Google comes around to devaluing guest blogging links, it will be great to start offering no-follow links only or a mixture of both.
If any blogger or online business owner approaches you for contribution, knowing that the link will be no-follow, understand that the person is looking for “real” user engagement and not just a link!
4) Target High Authority Blogs
It is possible that you too are guest blogging for your blog. Right?
If Google devalues guest blog links, your guest blogging effort will suffer too.
To recover, you should try to get published on high authority blogs, even if its just one post per month. A large number of guest posts on mediocre blogs leading to penalty should be much less appealing that your blog featuring on a top blog like Search Engine Journal and SEOmoz. Don’t you think?
Guest blogging is on the edge; it can either topple over to the bad side or we can retain its good value. Ultimately, its useless blaming Google because its our collective fault for letting it get misused.
Please take 2 minutes to comment your opinion below. What will you do if guest blogging is devalued?