Google continues to dominate the search engine business. They do this by providing the best search experience possible for its users. Google wants to continue their reign and over the past few years have updated their search algorithm numerous times. Each update has changed the SEO landscape to a different extent.
During this past summer there were some smaller updates specifically targeting press releases. These same updates can also be applied to guest blogging. These changes were not announced by Google (no surprise there) following their new policy to neither confirm nor deny algorithm changes.
Google updated their link schemes document by adding what they consider to be against their SEO guidelines:
- Large scale article marketing or guest posting campaigns with keyword-rich anchor text links.
- Advertorials or native advertising where payment is received for articles that include links that pass PageRank
- Links with optimized anchor text in articles or press releases distributed on other sites.
As always Google is vague in its explanation. What qualifies as large scale? At what point are you guilty of keyword-rich anchor text? While we are not provided the details to these answers it is not too difficult to know when you have crossed the line. Simply put, do not drop 6+ keywords in your press release or blog post and then scatter the same content throughout the web.
These changes may seem common sense and your right, they are…but as you read through Google’s Guidelines you will also find this: “…creating links that weren’t editorially placed or vouched for by the site’s owner on a page, otherwise known as unnatural links, can be considered a violation or our guidelines.”
Looking at this statement, you may wonder, “are my guest posts in trouble?”
We are in the middle ground here. My guest post most definitely is an editorially approved piece. The blog owner read it, liked it and placed it on their site. However, the blog owner did not place links on the post, I did. Additionally, does the posting of the content on the blog count as the editor’s approval to the links?
Knowing the Difference
The difference between getting in trouble and great SEO work really comes down to your post itself. Can you read through the content and honestly answer that you provided a valuable resource to the reader and your link is related to the content?
Guest Posting is great in that it is mutually beneficial for all involved. You have a link back to your site, the blogger has good content to draw readers, the reader has valuable information, and Google has happy users who found the content in their SERP.
As long as you are part of this relationship you need not fear for your guest posts.
There are some black hat individuals who are dropping identical content on many sites with blatant keyword optimization. Fortunately, these individuals are more the exception than the norm.
The mutual benefit of guest blogging makes it one of the safest ways to link build and link building will not be going away anytime soon. So, yes, guest blogging definitely has a strong future. Admittedly, guest blogging falls into categories of bad, good, and best and you need to understand where your personal posts fall. To learn more about creating a well-designed guest post read my article, How to Create a Valuable Guest Blog-post.