How Safe is Your Guest Blogging Strategy?

Carmen Rane HudsonGeneral Online Marketing

guest-blogging-strategy

guest-blogging-strategyI’ve been hearing more and more buzz around the fact that Google will be targeting guest posts on their next algorithm update. So how safe are your guest posts, and thus your website, from Google’s newest push?

For example, hisWebMarketing recently suggested adding the “no-follow” attribute to links in author bios. If you don’t know already, a “do follow” link tells Google’s bots to count the link as part of your overall link profile. Google does not count “no follow” links, but humans can still choose to click on the link in order to follow it back to your website.

A couple of months ago, James Finlayson posted on Moz.com and offered a graphic representation of the ways that guest posts can skew a link profile. He was full of great advice about keeping your head above water when it comes to avoiding penalties.

I’ve been doing a lot of my own thinking on the subject of guest posts, and I’ve come up with a few takeaways of my own. Here’s how small business owners can continue to pursue guest posts without losing the benefits of guest blogging.

Build Your Author Rank

I’m getting the impression that people with a higher author rank will have a lot less to worry about when it comes to seeing penalties on their guest posts.

Consider this Matt Cutts video, also featured in the hisWebMarketing post:

I’m getting the impression that people with a higher author rank will have a lot less to worry about than people with a low author rank, or no author rank. So post great content no matter where you post it, and make sure the content is attributed to you.

No doubt Vanessa Fox and Danny Iny can both expect to have a pretty awesome author rank. I’m finding it hard to believe that Google would ever want to penalize their guest post efforts.

And the only way Google could distinguish a “star” or “high quality” author from those who are perhaps not so amazing would be to use author rank.

Develop a Handful of Good Relationships

What’s better? Making 30 posts on 30 blogs in 30 days or making 30 posts on one highly trustworthy blog in 30 weeks?

I’m guessing that it’s going to be 30 posts in 30 weeks on 1 high quality blog. 30 posts in 30 weeks is a more natural progression, and it speaks of providing solid value to readers.

30 posts in 30 days on 1 high quality blog (your own) would also speak of providing solid value to readers. No penalties there.

but 30 posts in 30 days on 30 guest blogs smacks of smearing low-quality content all over the Internet. And avoid “services” which farm out guest blog posts to whatever blogger seems willing to take them…they’re just trouble waiting to happen. The results will be low-quality blogs that may not be entirely relevant to your content, stuff Google can spot as garbage a mile away.

Remember, too, that guest blogging isn’t just about creating “link juice.” It’s about building an audience and a following, which leads me to my third point.

Yes, Guest Posts are Still Useful

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Don’t assume that Google’s penalties will strip all the value out of guest posting.

You don’t need to get fixated on grabbing hundreds of do-follow links. They’re nice, but no-follow links still provide value.

And guest posts still contribute to your web presence. They help you create a following and build your brand. So build a relationship (or hire someone who can build a relationship) with a good blog’s followers and you should see some of those followers over on your own site.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about what you should do if you have decided to host guest posts of your own, since hosts can be penalized too.

What are your predictions for guest posts and how Google will treat them? Let me know in the comments below!