I often get asked whether guest posts are good or bad for SEO?
Guest posting is where you contribute a blog post to another website with the hope of getting backlinks and traffic.
Some people believe that guest posting is bad for SEO and believe that there are more effective ways to increase your online traffic.
In this article, we will discuss guest posts in detail and find out really whether they are a good or bad strategy when it comes to SEO.
What is a guest post?
- What is a guest post?
- Are guest posts good or bad for SEO?
- How do you build guest posts ethically?
- How do guest posts impact SEO?
- What are bad guest post practices?
- Should you build guest posts on your website?
- How to find a suitable guest posting website?
- Why should you guest post?
Guest posting is a great way to build your brand and increase traffic.
Guest posts are pieces of content that you write for other websites, generally within the same industry as yourself. The benefits include:
- Increased brand recognition with readers who may not know about your website.
- Authority from websites that will pass link juice to your website.
- A great way to share your content with readers who will be interested in topics similar to what you offer.
Are guest posts good or bad for SEO?
Guest posts and link building is something that is often scrutinised within the world of SEO. There is often debate as to how effective guest posts really are and whether they have the same impact as they once did.
Google’s stance is quite strong when it comes to link building and states the following:
Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
This includes any behaviour that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.
How do you build guest posts ethically?
When it comes to guest posting, if you are doing it purely to build links and not provide any value to your customers or potential readers, then this would be a bad way to think of guest posting.
You should rather be using it as a way to enhance the reputation of both your website and your content. Reaching out and providing genuine content that other websites within your niche may be interested in is a completely organic and safe way to build guest posts.
There are a lot of spammy guest posting sites out there that should be avoided at all costs but if your research is good and you are targeting the right kinds of websites, then you can’t really go wrong.
How do guest posts impact SEO?
Guest posts certainly still can have a big impact on a websites SEO efforts. Whilst link building is not what it once was, it most certainly still has a big impact on how well your website performs organically.
Guest blogging is a great way to get featured on real, relevant and authoritative websites. If you are able to land a guest post on a super authoritative and super relevant website talking about something highly specific to what it is you offer, then this is the perfect link you can build.
You ideally want to have only a few links within the guest post content itself so that you can maximise the link equity going from the guest post back to your website.
What are bad guest posting practices?
Bad guest posting practices can have the opposite effect. If you are reaching out to sites that are linking out to a number of irrelevant websites and are filling their content with a bunch of links back to all manner of websites, then this is the kind of website you want to avoid.
You strictly want to be building links on sites that can send referral traffic from the content (ie. a reader that is reading your guest post and is interested in what you are talking about), rather than a spammy article that is packed full of links and not really serving any purpose for the user.
Should you build guest posts on your website?
When it comes to building guest posts on your website, you should only consider this if you believe it is genuinely going to provide value to your readers.
I often get emails from strangers asking about sharing guest posts on my website and 99% of the time, I will decline the offer.
Your website should only house the content that you believe will really engage your readers and increase value. If you know and trust the source of the guest post and think that it will benefit your readers, then by all means you should consider it. However, you need to be very particular and ensure that if you are to share content created by someone else and link back to them that it is doing the following:
- Giving your readers value
- Is a well-written piece of content
- Is not full of spammy links
- Has not been written with the aim to build links in mind
- Something unique that you are not currently speaking about on your website
Traditional guest blogging as people know it often does not involve high-quality content and is often churned out. Users are not going to engage with your brand if the content is sloppy and doesn’t read well.
How to find a suitable guest posting website?
If you are considering writing a guest post and sending it out to a website that you would like to feature on, then you should definitely do your research if you are planning to use it as a “link building strategy”.
You can quickly audit a website using free and paid SEO tools that will tell you whether the site you wish to feature on is good or bad. When I am looking for suitable sites to feature on, I follow this checklist to make sure the sites are good:
- How many outgoing links does the site have?
- How many incoming links does the site have?
- How authoritative is the website?
- Does the website have contact information?
- Is the website completely relevant to what I do?
- Are other blog posts on the website written well?
- Where does the other content on the website rank in Google?
These are just some of the key steps I take to ensure the site builds relevant links and creates high-quality content and is recognised in the search engines I wish to rank my own content within.
You should also ensure you can contact the site owners directly and be sure that there is someone real you are speaking to.
You should generally look for good sites that you recognise and would like to feature on and set that as a goal to try and feature on those kinds of niche relevant websites.
Why you should guest post?
Guest posts can provide real value to your website and put you in front of people that may be interested in your brand.
Guest blog posts should be written to attract readers that would like to engage with your brand. If the topic is relevant to what you are doing, then certainly you should consider guest posting.
If you are creating genuine quality content and sharing it across the right channels with the purpose to increase your reach and sharing quality information, then the fruits of your labour will naturally follow.
Avoid guest posting if you are strictly doing it as a way to build links. Instead, focus your efforts on giving real value.
To conclude, is a guest post bad and is guest post link building something you should avoid? The answer is… No.
Guest posting can be a great way to feature on other websites within your industry and give a real opportunity to share value.
You should be careful and particular when finding the right sites to feature on but ultimately, if executed well enough, guest posting can be a really great way to increase the reach of your content and website.