Guest blogging is dead! Or so we are sometimes told.
It all started early last year when the guy who heads the anti-spam team at Google – Matt Cutts, declared that Guest Blogging has gotten to be a more and more spammy practice.
A long, long time ago, Guest Blogging was a legitimate and mostly non-spammy way for new web owners to outreach, meet new people and build links to their new blog. Sadly, like almost all good things in the world of SEO, people have found ways to abuse it.
Backlinks you see, remain an ever important aspect in determining where you rank on Google (and the other search engines). In fact, I and plenty of others would argue that it is the most important aspect of SEO.
Marketers know this all too well and see guest blogging as a “cheap” way to get backlinks and better their own search engine rankings.
Now this is where Google and Matt Cutts come in. They don’t like the fact that many guest bloggers today are straight up spammers who want to pass off a low quality or spun article to some other web owner in return for a juicy backlink pointing toward their own website.
Thanks to the massive amount of spam now, Google has declared action against spammy Guest Blogging practices.
Recommended Reading: 17 Things All New Bloggers Should Know About Blogging
How Do Bloggers Guest Post The Right Way
This isn’t too difficult to answer. Google made it pretty clear that they do not place much or any value on low quality, guest posting content (or any low quality content for that matter). This simply means that, if you are a blog owner, you need to be extremely picky about what you accept on your blog.
Most of the big websites are already doing just that. They only post the best of the best. Many even require a hefty word count as well.
What To Do if You are a Web Owner
If you are a blog owner and want to accept guest posts then there are a couple of ‘rules’ you should have all of your guest bloggers abide by.
1. Only Accept High Quality Articles
Part of Matt Cutt’s beef with Guest Posting is that many guest bloggers are spammers trying to sell a low quality article for a backlink.
As a result, many bloggers are now only accepting the highest quality articles in return for a backlink.
If you want to be on the right side of guest posting then you should probably be rejecting the vast majority of guest posts and only accept articles that you believe can rank high on Google and that your readers will enjoy.
2. Require a Word Count
Requiring a word count will ensure you don’t get these quickly thrown together crap articles that many guest bloggers love to pitch. I mentioned on many articles before this that the longer the posts the more social sharing they tend to attract and the higher they tend to rank in the search engines.
In fact, the top ten search results on Google tend to be over 2000 words.
Requiring a word count kills two birds with one stone. It makes it so that the article has a better chance of ranking higher in the search engines and it discourages spammers from trying to sell you low word count (and low quality) articles.
3. Check Those Guest Bloggers for Plagiarism
Another beef Matt Cutts has with Guest Blogging is that many guest posters try to get a backlink with spun articles. What is a spun article? It is an article that has been heavily plagiarized from another source on the web, with half or so of the words changed to help pass it off as “unique.”
And you will be getting lots of these types of submissions if you accept guest posts, here is one I received a while back:
So what do you do? If you think an article is of high enough quality to be accepted on your blog then double and triple check it for plagiarism using plagiarism checking tools.
I discussed this in length in my recent dangers of plagiarism article so I won’t go into much detail. Whenever you get a guest post submission simply copy and paste it into a plagiarism checker (I would use multiple checkers) and see if any plagiarism hits come up. My three favorite free options are Plagscan, SmallSEOTools and Plagtracker.
What To Do if You Are A Guest Blogger
If you are a guest blogger trying to get your post accepted here are some 2015 tips to help you get your article accepted.
1. Only Go After Quality Websites
If you want to effectively guest blog in 2015 and beyond then you will want to identify the appropriate “target” websites.
Target websites should be websites/blogs that are in or are related to your own blog’s niche. If you are running an SEO blog, then other high quality SEO related blogs should be your targets. Think websites like Moz and Ahrefs.
Finding target websites isn’t that difficult. Simply navigate to Google and search these results:
- [Keyword] + news
- [Keyword] + blog
- [Keyword] + “Write for us”
- [Keyword] + “guest post”
Depending on your niche, you could find dozens of guest blogging opportunities.
2. Make Sure It’s Unique
I can’t tell you how many times guest bloggers have tried to submit some article that’s already been posted 1000 times on other websites. Think things like: “Best Responsive WordPress Themes” and “Top Ten Google Adsense Alternatives.”
Yes, those article topics should be covered, but in much greater detail. Take my recent Google Adsense alternative article. Instead of posting the same crap (“Top Ten Google Adsense Alternatives”) I decided to post a list of 38 Google Adsense Alternatives, giving my article a bit of uniqueness.
3. It Needs to Be High Quality
Before Matt Cutts raged against Guest Posting, most reputable websites were already requiring high quality content. And now…well let’s just say you better go above and beyond if you want to get accepted on high page rank/alexa rank websites today.
Guest Blogging Dead?
Guest blogging is still an effective way to build your backlink profile. It is not dead, but it may be considered spam in the future if you are not careful about how you go about doing it.
If you are a blog owner, do not accept any type of low quality articles. If you are a guest blogger then only submit high quality articles to reputable websites.
Doing guest blogging the right way will help build your profile and authority in whatever industry you are in. And as a result, your standing in the search engines will better. Soon you will get natural links from authority websites without having to guest blog.
So guest blogging is not dead, it’s just being refined to prevent spammers from abusing it.