In 2014 Matt Cutts, then Head of Webspam at Google, penned an article titled The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO. His advice to all search engine optimisers was that they immediately refrain from guest blogging, because “over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice.” Six years later and SEO professionals are still utilising guest blogging, as one element among many, to improve the ranking potential of websites on search engines. So, what exactly is guest blogging, how does it affect SEO, and should you be doing it? Let’s find out:
What is guest blogging?
Guest blogging has been around since the dawn of blogging itself. It is extremely common among bloggers, but many businesses that have website participate in guest blogging from time to time. The concept is pretty simple. Blogger A reaches out to blogger B in the same industry or field, and pitches an article that they think could add value to the blogger B’s website.
Most times blogger B will request that, in return, an article of theirs gets uploaded to blogger A’s website. In other words, each blogger becomes a guest on the other’s website, which holds many advantages in terms of brand reach and search engine optimisation. So, how exactly does guest blogging help a website’s search engine rankings?
How does it affect SEO?
There are a number of factors that a search engine like Google uses to determine a website’s ranking on the search results pages. One of these factors is links. While internal links are important, the holy grail of SEO is being able to get high-quality external links. These are links that point to a website from other sites. However, it isn’t a numbers game.
Google and other search engines also assess the link’s quality. One link coming from a renowned, trusted website is better than 20 coming from unsavoury ones. When there are high-quality links pointing to your website, search engines know that other high-quality websites trust you and your site enough to share a connection with it, which in turn boosts the search engine’s trust in your website.
The benefits of guest blogging
While overdoing it could be detrimental to a website’s SEO, there are a few benefits to guest blogging in moderation:
- Have greater control over the links pointing to your website
- Gain access to a larger network to promote your business
- Increase the traffic coming to your website
- Forge partnerships with fellow industry professionals
Should you still be guest blogging?
There isn’t a yes or no answer to this question. Some websites that have never guest blogged enjoy top three spots on Google’s first page, while other sites that guest blog once a week can’t make it higher than tenth position. Our advice is to give it a try using a blog article that has been sitting in a low position since you posted it, and monitor its rankings once it goes live on the other website. Remember to scrutinise the sites you partner with, ensuring that they aren’t spammy or participating in black/grey-hat SEO practices.
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