In recent years, we have seen search engine tweaking their algorithms and making lots of updates to make their search results more relevant and useful. It’s easy to see why. Over the years, the online community has become more focused on search engine optimization (SEO) and is constantly seeking ways to stay ahead in related keyword searches.
One of the popular techniques is to guest blog. However, like almost everything else that is influential, it is also prone to abuses. The Internet world is not immune to being abused. In fact, it may seem easier to abuse the system as no proper guidelines are in place.
Guest blogging and abuses
Guest blogging has been pretty popular lately in increasing online presence as well as getting backlinks. In simple terms, it refers to finding other bloggers who share your interest or topics and offering them content or articles to be posted on their websites. It is a win-win situation where you get more exposure and links to your own site while the host gets content and the site visitors receive new information from a different view point.
However, guest blogging too had its fair share of problems. For example, some bloggers spin their article so that they will be able to post them on a large number of blogs and get a good amount of backlinks.
You see, these guest blogs concentrate on quantity and are generally low in quality. They do not raise the quality of websites and definitely do not provide much quality information to readers. Therefore, it is not logical for these websites to shoot up the search engine ranking, right?
Search engines are now penalizing those who misuse guest blogs solely for building links. But what about those genuine guest bloggers? Unfortunately, they sometimes do get penalized by the search engines.
Are there any way to avoid penalization?
Yes, and here is a guide on what you should do and what to avoid when you guest blog.
It is essential that you do your researches BEFORE you start your article. Things like where to post and what keywords to use are what you should determine prior to offering your guest blog posts.
I may sound like a broken record but you should focus on creating content that people wants to read. It may take some extra effort on your part but with the penalization ahead, it is definitely worthwhile.
This is because Google will be capable to detect poor quality guest posts that are aimed at building links. These websites, when identified, will be penalized!
No large-scale guest posting campaigns
One thing Google has warned is that guest bloggers should not go on a massive blogging campaign that has keyword-rich anchor text links. Read more on Webmaster Tools content guidelines. If Google keep seeing your links in guest blogs ever so often, this might end up giving a negative impact on your site!
If you were invited to guest blog at a website which churned out huge amount of guest posts in a month, then it’s best that you avoid that website. Google might already be on them. There’s no precise data here but personally I think having more than 5 guest blogs per day is a little on the high end.
Don’t write an advertorial
An advertorial is the combination of advertisement and editorial. Instead of traditional advertisement which asked readers outright to buy a product or service, an advertorial disguised the advertisement as an article. They are usually paid articles.
Ethics would require the writer to include a disclaimer to inform readers that what they are about to read or have read was a paid review. However, many times, these disclaimers were not there. And that’s what Google is targeting in the latest search algorithm update.
Check your work
I have said it before but I’ll say it again. Check your work before clicking on the “send” button. Ensure that your article’s quality is your best and that you do not make spelling and grammar errors. What about your article’s length? An article with 1,000 words would be adequate, not too long and not too short.
Not only that, you should also place just as much attention to the post’s title as you would the content. A hastily thought of title not only is unattractive to readers but gives the impression that the article is also just as hastily written.
In short, ensure that you are providing the readers quality article and valuable information. If the readers enjoy your article, you will get into Google’s good books!
Anchor text strategy?
An anchor text strategy is really very simple. Once upon a time, the more keywords you used in a post, the better the ranking would be for the post. This was really awesome.
However, far too often, the same keywords were shown over and over in the same post and majority of these keywords are being linked to the same page! That’s not very healthy! So instead of using the same keyword over and over again, let’s create a strategy where similar keywords are being used (instead of exact keywords). By doing so, you are able to stay under the radar of Google’s link building algorithm.
Quality and informative content
Lastly and one of the most important thing to remember is to concentrate on writing quality, useful and informative content.
Not only is great content a hit with readers but a well-written post is also popular with the search engines. If you show that your posts are relevant and informative as well as entertaining, you are more likely to avoid Google’s link building penalty.
Guest blogging should be used to share your expertise to a different group of readers and hence, expand your audience range.
Google’s recently updated webmaster guidelines on link schemes were largely meant to deal with those who used guest blogging as a mean to build links. We probably won’t know exactly how Google detect these errant guest bloggers but one thing for sure, we should avoid being targeted by this update. Once you get penalized, the process of getting your website back up on the SEO ranking is rather difficult and a time-consuming process. Sometimes, you may even require professional help who of course, will charge you high professional fees!