Guest Posting for SEO: Still Valuable or Not?

As Google continues to roll out small and large algorithm updates, what many have considered great SEO tactics are now scratching their heads (or pounding them against their desks) as they try to figure out what it is that will really work.

One of the things that caused quite an uproar is when Matt Cutts (the mastermind behind the Google updates that hit our life) was apparently fed up with Guest Posting for SEO and swore to kill it off. Not only was he threatening to kill is off, but he made it sound as though anyone with guest post backlinks were going to get slapped with a ban or something dramatic of that sort.

As you can imagine, this threw the world of blogging into utter rage and chaos. I mean, of course, I understood Matt’s irritation with crappy guest posts that were just there to snag link juice from a site in order to boost PageRank (we all hate those), but doing away with the SEO value altogether seemed super harsh.

Thankfully, a few months later, Matt apologized for overreacting and gave the green light again for Guest Posting. However, Matt was still fed up with what he was seeing so Google wasn’t letting things go back to the way they had always been after that.

So even though Guest Posting got the green light, many people still wondering if Guest Post with SEO in mind is still a good idea or not.

As you likely figured out, the answer is both yes and no, which is why there is some confusion. So let’s clear that up right here.

Guest Posting for SEO is Okay; Crappy Blog Posts Are Not

So here is how things have changed a bit. Back before all those updates that Google started rolling out back in 2010, people were taking advantage of the “legal loopholes” of Google’s SEO laws and were spinning articles and posting them on other sites in order to gain backlinks and up their standing in the SERPs.

This was a big no-no and many people were slapped with penalties. Why?

Because the content being created was CRAPPY. No one wanted to read it and it didn’t help anyone.

Google is now all about offering great content to her customers so all the people how were trying to take the easy way out no longer had the advantage.

However, Guest Posting is not altogether a bad thing for SEO. It’s the way you go about doing it that can be either good or bad. First of all, most people will slam the door in your face if you try to use their blog for just the SEO benefit. Even though most understand that there is a benefit to this and that you’ll likely be seeking this benefit, if you want to write for them, then the trade-off should be mutually beneficial.

This means that in exchange for a link back to your site, you should provide amazing, evergreen, epic, unique content on their site.

Doing Guest Posting Right

Ask the blog owner about their audience and what kind of content his/her audience responds best to. This can give you and idea of who to write for. Next, go on to create you epic piece of content.

Not only will taking your time to do this benefit the blog owners site, it will benefit the audience that you are looking to attract to your site, it builds your authority on the topic and it help you win over that blog’s audience.

In this way, not only can you win backlinks to that page for the blog owner, you are driving traffic to your own site and you are likely going to earn backlinks. All of that from one single epic blog post.

So, yes, guest posting can be beneficial, but you have to do it correctly. For a more in-depth look in the topic, check out Matthew Woodward’s post on White Hat SEO Guest Posting.

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