There’s been a lot of buzz across the Internet that guest blogging is dead. Recently Matt Cutts, head of Google’s Webspam team, posted the article, “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO,” stating that website owners need to be cautious about writing guest posts. This article caused quite a stir in the blogging world.
In his article, Matt didn’t say not to participate in guest blogging opportunities, rather to make sure that the content in the post is of high quality and relevant to the hosting website. I’m in a 100% agreement with this.
Guest blogging is an excellent tool to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and expand your audience. It can open many doors, create relationships online and increasing site traffic. But first…
What is Guest Blogging?
Guest blogging is a practice in which website owners write an article related to their business that in turn gets published on another niche related website. Business owners or authors are often invited to provide a guest post or the business can approach the website owner on their own.
Guest blogging can add many benefits to a company’s marketing strategy. Here are two important reasons for guest blogging:
Improve Your SEO
Improving your SEO involves having high quality, niche related websites linking back to your own. Guest blogging is a great way to get these high quality links.
How does it work? When you write a guest post, you generally include information about yourself and your business in a brief bio, including a link to your website. Typically the bio is seen at the bottom of your post in the “About the Author” section.
By providing this link to your website, you have created a high quality incoming link, which in eyes of Google shows your website’s popularity. This, in turn, results in higher placement in Google search results. To research what websites are linking to your website, check out Robin Strohmaier’s post, 4 SEO Tools For Checking Back Links.
Reach a New Audience
Guest posting introduces you and your company to a whole new group of readers and potential buyers. If the readers like what they see, they are more likely to click on the link in the bio and check out your website.
So, now your website has received more traffic and possibly new followers and/or buyers.
What Not to Do
Going back to Matt Cutts’ article that guest blogging could be bad for Google rankings, guest blogging can be harmful to a website’s rankings if the post is:
- Poorly written
- Not related to the hosting website’s niche
- Contains too many “spammy” links in the body of the post
- Does not provide value
In a nutshell, if a guest blogger writes high quality content that provides value and is related to the hosting website’s niche, it’s a win-win situation.
How to Find Guest Blogging Opportunities
The best method for finding guest blogging opportunities is to simply ask. Some websites display a link to information on how to submit a guest post or contribute an article. Submission guidelines are generally available, including post length, topics, etc.
For those websites that don’t advertise that they accept guest posts, it’s a good idea to develop a relationship with the website owners through social media before requesting to submit a guest post. Follow them on social media, leave comments, and share their posts – build a real relationship and engage in real conversation.
Guest blogging is not dead. It’s alive and well and an excellent way to build your online audience as well as your popularity with Google. Just remember that the most important element is to always, always provide value to your reader.