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Guest blogging has been a tactic used by both Grey Hat and White Hat SEOs. Last week a WebmasterHelp video further clarified where the line is between where quality meets Web spam. Now that Panda is integrated into the search algorithm, there’s little wiggle room for poor quality content. In this post I’ll briefly explain why guest blogging can trip up your SEO efforts.
How Guest Blogging affects SEO?
To answer this question I need to explain two of Google’s Web spam initiatives. First there was Panda which targeted keyword stuffed, poorly written content that proliferated through the web catching unsuspecting searchers. You remember these pages; the SERP link looked promising yet when it clicked on it you quickly figured out it was garbage. The second initiative was Penguin; it targeted websites that bolstered their SEO rankings by getting paid inbound link (like votes of confidence from high-ranking websites). Penguin figured out which links were unnatural and removed the artificial ranking boost.
Now to the good part. Guest Blogging straddles both strategies: content and link building. Done right, you find others in your industry where posting content would benefit your website as well as their audience. For example, a local professional organizer might guest post on a local moving company website about “getting organized pre- and post- home moving.” As long as the content is unique, original and adds value, that’s following Google’s quality guidelines. On the other end of the spectrum, let’s say this organizer has a guest post on a renowned site (read: lots of SEO ranking juice) that features a medical device used in open-heart surgery. It obviously isn’t related. That’s Grey Hat. That will get you into trouble.
More Answers About Guest Blogging
Earlier I referenced this 3-minute video. Matt Cutts answers the question “How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?”
In my opinion, the White Hat SEO rules about guest blogging are:
- It’s occasional
- It’s focused on quality and content is related to industry topics
- It doesn’t detract from consistent posts on primary website
- It’s about relationships with other relevant websites
- It uses links as natural business builders, meaning it drives qualified prospects to your site
Have you used guest blogging for White Hat SEO purposes? How have you fared with Google’s algorithm changes?
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