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Sep 19, 2013

Why Guest Posting Is In Danger?

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SMG Convonix
Guest Posting for many marketers has been rescue of sorts. With all the available link sources slowly depleting, this has been the only stable provider for link juice to websites after the recent Google updates. This like all other link avenues in the past has been exploited to the fullest & big G is fully aware of this. Almost everyone by now has predicted that Google will definitely bring out a change in its algorithm to bring out an even playing ground for everyone. And taking into account Google’s past approaches (punitive actions) to the link source abuse, the change is only a matter of time.

This has led the digital marketing world into a tizzy as to what ideally should be their approach for guest posting? Should one leave completely the guest posting avenue & move on to something else? Or wait for the next Google update which might dent into the recent efforts of content outreach? Should one use do follow/no follow links for content outreach? If do follow is being used, then how many links from the content? Nobody exactly knows the answer to these questions as to what should one do to make their content outreach program full proof from here.

As always, the best thing to do when facing such a situation is to go back to the basics. Google has always been very clear about giving the best search experience to its users. The recent approach that has been suggested by Google is “If you link to something with the intent that it should help your Google rankings – then nofollow the link. If you write something without that intent and the link is really natural, then there is no reason to nofollow the link”

Now the next question is how does one give weightage to our need of passing the value via content outreach & on the other hand what Google is saying? We all know that many website owners & businesses hire content writers to generate outstanding content month after month. This content is specially created so that it can be shared across relevant niche domains so that link value can be achieved. When Google says “ If you write something without that intent and the link is really natural, then there is no reason to nofollow the link” – it means when you share content which is very outstanding, extremely relevant to the audience, a hot topic which is trending & making people buzz about it, only then should one use a do follow link. This seems a very good idea at the outset & makes us all feel that this is the right step moving forward to make web search more relevant & meaningful. However this implementation seems extremely lofty since creating such content in itself is such a huge challenge. Moreover the whole idea seems to directly affect the backbone of SEO – link building as a whole. These changes make one limited to on-page optimization. How does one make his site rank for keywords which his target audience searches for week after week? The only other alternative remaining with us is to use citation sources. In addition, we do have scope of utilizing niche directories as well which too are soon going to come under scanner. In addition, the relevant niche directories are numbered after the updates. Both of the above link sources have their constraints.

Thus guest posting is an extremely invaluable modus operandi to make a site tick for its search terms. Google too is fully aware of this & thus has not taken any punitive action against guest posting despite content being posted in exchange for money without considering relevance & quality of the content along with the other abuse this medium has suffered.
The only solution to this is we as search engine professionals use this invaluable resource thoughtfully. Here are a few steps that we can take-
1. Ensure that only quality content is posted (The term quality is subjective. However we need to be rationale while deciding on the content)
2. Balance of do follow/ no follow links in a content
3. Trying to use all types of anchor text in your backlinks to reach a balanced link profile
4. We still need to target our keywords in content outreach however we need to decide which keywords are our priority & need to be targeted in content outreach while others can be targeted via other mediums. Let us not forget that content outreach is the last ace in our hands.
It is highly unlikely Google will ban guest posting since it knows the immense value that fresh content adds to web search. However it is high time we pull our socks up & use this invaluable resource in moderation since Google will definitely keep an eye on the abuse of this medium. We need to take the above mentioned steps not only to avoid our sites being affected with the next update but also to save this tool called Guest Posting which we are so highly dependent on.

Author Bio:
Aaditya Shah works as a Search Marketing professional at SMG Convonix. He loves every aspect of digital marketing especially content outreach & link building. Closely follows Google updates & algorithm changes & loves to continuously experiment with SEO to decode the mystery around web search. A complete foodie!! -his hobbies include playing Cricket & watching movies.


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