Back in the early days of SEO, on-page SEO dominated the top results in Google. As a result, SEO’s and black hats easily manipulated results with over-optimization tactics like cloaking and keyword stuffing. To combat these unfriendly results for the users, Google made external links have much higher importance in their ranking algorithm. As expected, black hats adapted to this and used cheap articles, syndicated and spun content, and link farms to once again manipulate results. In reaction to junky content and excessive link farms, Google penalized these sites and with algorithmic updates like the infamous “Panda update” of 2011. This update greatly devalued junk article sites like Ezinearticles, and provided much more value to quality sites like good, engaging blogs, which contain quality unique followers and are popular among social networks.
Guest blogging has always been and will continue to be a primary method for online marketers for building SEO and online visibility, both for its link building capabilities and for its social media potential.
Here are three reasons why guest blogging should be a primary tool in every online marketer’s toolbox.
Link Building: Even though link building has lost some of its importance, it is still hugely important for SEO and ranking. Writing optimized guest blogs with optimized anchor texts is still highly beneficial as it still is a major part of Google’s ranking algorithm. To forsake link building and guest blogging altogether would be a serious mistake.
Amplification: Quality blogs have a large amount of dedicated followers. If you are able to guest post for these types of blogs, you will gain a tremendous amount of exposure that would not otherwise be possible. For example, I wrote a guest post about social media at bloggodown and had almost 80 people tweet the article along with over 30 LinkedIn shares. I hardly have 80 Twitter followers, so getting 80 people to tweet about an article was a major feat for me! Additionally, with more and more importance being given to social signals in Google and Bing’s search algorithms, blogs with a highly engaged audience is like gold.
Networking: Building relationships with other blog owners can be very beneficial. Most likely they are an expert in your given industry, and it is very likely that you both can learn from one another. When guest blogging, you are providing them with free, quality content, which never hurts. Finally, bloggers are typically highly connected with other bloggers and experts in your field, and can likely put you in contact with more valuable connections.
When seeking out guest bloggers, it is important that you have credibility in the area that you would like to blog about. For example, if you know nothing about the Nikon D3100 SLR Digital Camera, don’t ask a highly niche blog owner if you can blog about this camera’s various lens kits for shooting portrait photography. Stick to what you are good, respect the blogger and do your homework on the blog in which you’d like to write on.
I have talked about only a couple of reasons for why marketers should be guest blogging. I would like to hear your thoughts on guest blogging. Do you have any success stories from guest blogging? Maybe you have found guest blogging to be a waste of time and would disagree with me on this post. Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts on guest blogging.
*Photo credit: tnarik (Creative Commons)