Chris Hill of Construction Law Musings recently invited me to submit a guest post on his blog, and I obliged with some observations about the life-time value of blogging almost every day for 8.5 years. You can read it here. (Hill’s blog is competing in the 2015 Best Construction Blog competition, but since I’m not judging the results, there is no conflict in writing the guest post for him.)
There’s an interesting inverse correlation to my decision to accept Hill’s guest post invitation, compared to the inverse, where others see if they can become guest bloggers here. Inevitably, I decline. This is because of the unfortunately growing and widespread abuse of guest blogging as a search-engine-optimization technique.
The idea: You embed your URL and link within the text of a highly ranked site/blog, and this boosts your own reputation. Accordingly, marketing agencies (and spammers) go about trying to obtain these placements, sometimes offering money to the host blog/site and in others, asserting they have “valuable content”.
When this practice became extensive a few years ago, Google’s web spam team took notice, and I learned first-hand (at a Google-sponsored summit in northern California) from Matt Cutts about why the search engine giant had decided to clamp down on abusive guest blogging. That cemented my decision to ignore or respond with a firm “no” to inbound guest blogging proposals.
That doesn’t invalidate a legitimate guest blogging strategy, but the correct approach to take is either make an outbound proposal(such as Chris Hill completed with me) or to propose your own guest blog submission in situations where you have a proven, consistent and historical close relationship with the blog for which you wish to contribute a guest post.
The first (outbound) strategy can save you having to write many posts yourself, while maintaining your overall quality and content. (I won’t republish the exact words I used with Chris here or elsewhere, ensuring his sustained SEO value, and as you can see, have provided a valuable link back to his site.) I do this rarely, but for example, have one invitation “out” for a really intelligent person who provides a keyword advertising management service.
In the second, I would argue that you should only propose contributing a guest blog with your own content if you have a viable and meaningful relationship that transcends the blogging process and your immediate SEO goals. As a recipient, I might consider proposals from long-time clients/advertisers or relevant associations, or friends or others with worthy information or stories to share. However, in these situations, I might also elect to simply write my own posting on the relevant topic and provide helpful links to the source, effectively supporting the colleague/client’s SEO objectives.