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Why Blogs that Allow Guest Posts Will Be Penalized in 2013

This guest post is by Jeff Foster of WebBizIdeas.

Just as low-level article directories (ezinearticles, articlesbase, and others) got hurt by Google’s Panda Update in 2013, I predict that Google will hurt sites abusing guest blogging in 2013.

I don’t feel guest blogging is bad, nor that all bloggers who do it will be penalized by Google. SEOMOZ.org allows guest blogging and their rankings increased during the Panda update. But when SEO companies start to abuse any link building tactic, you need a preventative plan in place because an update from Google will be coming.

How do we know an update is coming?

Quite simply, Google’s spam team has warned us.

What’s the wrong way to publish guest posts?

1. Stop telling people it’s a guest post

Would you find the information credible on the front page of the New York Times if the title said: “Guest post: 10 Ways To Improve Your Home Value”? Stop using the words “guest post,” “guest blog post,” “guest author,” or whatever phrase you’re using.

There is nothing wrong with allowing someone to contribute to your blog, but if you wouldn’t trust an article in the newspaper that says the writer is a “guest author,” do you think Google will trust it?

Notice What SEOMOZ.org does:

seomoz-author-name

Does this person work for SEOMOZ? No. Do you notice what the title is? A regular title that you would use if you wrote the article. Do you notice who it is published by? A real person. When you click on his name where does it go? To an internal author bio page using Google’s recommended rel=author tag.  Learn how Google wants you to link a guest author’s name correctly.

2. Stop letting authors add unnatural links in posts

Google’s Penguin update penalizes sites that link text unnaturally. What is unnatural linking? If I linked the words “Minneapolis SEO Company” to my homepage, that is unnatural. An editor of CNN.com wouldn’t link to a company talked about that way.

Should you add that to your “write for us” guidelines page? No. You should just not accept guest posts from people who submit content to you that way. Just like Google doesn’t tell you their algorithm, don’t tell people your filtering mecognizsim.

People who write content this way are spammers or a terrible SEO Company. You don’t want to be associated with their company or their clients. Why? Google has a new Co-Citation Algo that associates people with one another. Just as Google will devalue your website if you are in thousands or bad link directories, they will devalue your website if you are associated with spammers.

3. Stop letting people add unnatural links to their author bios

Many sites that were not pumping out low value content in exchange for links were still affected by Google’s Panda and Penguin updates. Why? They weren’t trusted websites. The truth is Google thinks differently than you.

  • What you say: Sure, I would love to accept a well written article from you that relates to my blog.  I am ok if you add only a couple of links in the author bio.
  • What Google hears: If you tell people (i.e. SEO Companies) they can give you something for free (i.e. an article) in exchange for a link, it violates our link scheme guidelines.

Rationalize and argue all you want, but that is what Google will hear if you are not a trusted site. Do you think Google cares if the unnatural link occur in the article or author bio section? Do they they say, “We allow spammy links in author bio sections?”

You have a much higher chance of being penalized for this unnatural linking if you are not a trusted site—especially if Google knows your site is just built to accept guest blog posts in exchange for links. They normally don’t penalize sites they trust, but be safe and don’t give them a reason to get confused.

When in doubt, check out trusted websites that allow links in their author bio sections and emulate them. For example, check out this case, this example, and this one.

4. Stop promoting links as a benefit of submitting a guest post

Please read again Google’s link scheme guidelines. Anything that a person gives you in exchange for a link is spam in Google’s eyes.

Stop giving them reasons to not value your website. Nothing is wrong with having a “write for us” page with editorial guidelines. Nothing is wrong with allowing a natural link(s) in the author bio section. But saying one of the benefits of giving us an article is a link back to your site technically is in violation of Google’s policy.

You may never get penalized for it, but why take the risk? Instead of an overdone “write for us” page that begs people to submit content, why not try this?

Make your little blog look like the CNN.com in your industry, and Google will be happy.

What is the proper way to allow guest blog posts?

1. Allow author bios

Download an author bio plugin or create your own so people can connect with the authors on your site. A basic author bio section (bottom of post) looks like this:

Author-bio-section

What are the main features of this section?

  1. It’s about a real person: it links to an internal author bio page, correctly coded
  2. It includes social links: these allow people to follow the author socially, and are correctly coded.

The most important part of the example is the Google+ link. By default, you should have it link the Google+ anchor text to the profile of the user in the format of: <a href=”https://plus.google.com/(number)?rel=”author”>Google+</a>

Why would you want to do that? Because then the person’s picture appears in Google’s search results! Is the picture the only benefit? No. What if Rand Fishkin of SEOMOZ posted on my blog and Google could identify that it was actually Rand Fishkin? Do you think Google would trust me more if I am associated with Rand? Yes. Google’s Co-Citation Algo is already in full swing, so code correctly!

2. Provide author bios for each author

To “feed” the Google Panda Update you needed to create quality unique content. To “feed” the Google Penguin Update you needed to create natural links. To “feed” the next update that attacks guest blogging you will need to create co-citations.

Step 1: Create an author bio page to create co-citations

Here’s an example author bio page.

Author-bio-page

What is an author bio page? It is a short biography of the author with properly coded social links. It also includes links to all the content that the author published on your website.

Step 2: Link the author’s name to the author bio page

Do this using rel=”author” on each blog post when you say “By [author name]” and in the author bio section.

This way, Google will associate the person with your website. If you get President Obama to write a guest blog post on your website and Google knows it really is the President, do you think they will find that article and your website valuable?

On the flip side, if Google doesn’t know who anyone is who’s published content on your site, are they going to value—or worse, devalue—your blog posts or blog? In 2013, that is my prediction. If the blog doesn’t tell Google who wrote the article, or if Google can identify that the people who wrote the article are spammers, the blog will be penalized.

3. Allow natural outbound links in the post

Many website owners are scared of Google. Some media sites don’t allow links because they just don’t know if Google will penalize them for it or not. Worrying that Google will increase or decrease your rankings shouldn’t be a reason why you don’t allow links in your posts.

Imagine reading this article (see screenshot below) and not being able to click on the resources the author is talking about. Even if the author, CEO of SEO.com, links to his own site, it is still cleverly relevant to the post:

Allow-links

Does Google penalize you for allowing relevant DoFollow links in posts? Well, Google ranks this post #1 for ‘link building in 2013′

Link-building in 2013

So it is not wrong to allow contributing authors to add natural links to posts. No, you don’t have to put Nofollow tags on every outbound link; Google does not want that. What do they want? They want you to ensure the content and links are relevant. So do allow contributing writers to add natural links.

4. Allow real people to comment

Are you giving real people reasons to want to contribute to your site? Do people actually read and respond to your comments? Do your comments look like this:

Links-in-comments

How should you code your comments?

  1. Link the person’s name to their author bio on your site using a Dofollow link; not to their website. Learn how to properly code your author bio section.
  2. Automatically make all outbound links NoFollow links.

The benefits of doing this are:

  • More people feel part of your blog.
  • More people comment.
  • Which means more new/targeted content for Google.
  • Authors get links back to their author bio pages.
  • This increases the value of those pages.
  • And this ranks their articles (on your blog) #1 in Google.

When Google comes out with its next big update, if you have followed the steps above and associated each blog post with a real, influential person, you won’t be penalized.

But if you have low-value spammers writing content for you, or you don’t tell Google who wrote your content, expect your blog to be devalued.

is the owner of WebBizIdeas, an SEO, social media marketing and website design firm. WebBizIdeas Visit his seo resource center for more helpful tutorials on how to promote your business online.

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Comments

  1. Barry says:

    If there is no unnatural linking and it genuinely isn’t “spammy” would there still be a problem? Either way this was an (ironically) useful (guest)post.

    • Rank Watch says:

      Hey Barry! There wouldn’t be any problem, but this post is all about tips on making the guest post on one’s blog look more natural or acceptable in the users and search engine’s eyes. It doesn’t make sense to allow guest posts on irrelevant topics or low quality guest posts to keep ones blog active. It really makes sense when its from an authoritative blogger or by an influencer in the niche who blogs on the relevant stuff. Implementing Google authorship markup does make lot of sense to get more clicks from the serps and also to get the benefits of the author rank. When done effectively guest posting is by far the best link building tactic on the web.

      • Garret says:

        I think it’s safe to say that the new strategy is making posts that add value to the website and are relevant. Spamming won’t be helpful.

  2. Lisa Brown says:

    Ugh… my heart is dropping. I just read about the link schemes, and had no idea. I’ve published a number of “sponsored posts” with specific words to link back to a certain site. Do you know if deleting these posts from my blog will improve my standing with Google?

    • Shahzad says:

      Lisa,
      I’ve done same approach on one of my blog and as the result my Google traffic has declined. Its been almost one year since my blog got Google slap. Still my blog doesn’t recover from it.

      So be safe!

    • Jeff Foster says:

      Hi Lisa,

      1. You can delete them. Better yet you can re-purpose the old content. You can re-create it correctly, re-publish it. You could also 301 re-direct the old content to a new page. But I usually don’t fix it if it is not broken. Meaning, I don’t do anything if Google hasn’t penalized you.

      2. You can be proactive. For sites that you may feel you have been building ‘unnatural’ links you can start building natural links to counter act this. So diversify your link portfolio by getting more links to company names, people, and a wide variety of anchor text so your link portfolio looks natural.

      Jeff

      • Allen says:

        I’m in the same boat. Can you explain more about what you mean by re-create and re-publish? Would the re-direct be as efficient?

    • If you’re worried about those links wouldn’t the rel=”nofollow” tag fix any issues you have with those sponsored links? Also, if those sponsored links are pointing to relevant sites (in relation to the article content and your website) I wouldn’t stress over them.

  3. Actuate IP says:

    It’s a bit of a slippery slope though. How about horrible blogs(domains) that share high quality posts from respected authors (with permission or not)? Does that effect the author’s profile as a ‘respected’ writer, just because 200 horrible domains scrape and spin their content?
    Never mind the intellectual property issue, purely from a reputation tarnish perspective, where would activity like that leave authors…
    Seems like dangerous ground to play in.

  4. Yakezie says:

    The entire SEO industry is really nervous right now. 2012 did a number on SEOs who had to go back and start removing lots of their link building after their clients got punished.

    It’s fascinating for bloggers to sit in the middle of this all. As a blogger, it’s pretty clear what we must do. Publish good content that is unique and network with the community. There’s nothing really more for us to do, and SEOs know this.

    Put it this way, if an SEO was so great, why wouldn’t they just have their own fantastic platform that is so SEO optimized they have so much traffic that they wouldn’t need to be an SEO?

  5. Constantine says:

    I think you are wrong on point number 2. “Google’s Penguin update penalizes sites that link text unnaturally.”

    The correct position is Google penguin penalized sites that had links from spammy sites.

    Best Regards.

  6. Darryl Burma says:

    Until now I was not aware that you could add a ?rel=”author” string in this way. Very helpful tip and good to know!

  7. Ocha says:

    This is one reason I enjoy Problogger because of the forward thinking and ideas.

  8. James Dailey says:

    This article was very informative! Thanks!!!

  9. Yes ,,There are no short cuts for SEO anymore. The sooner business people realize this the better.

  10. I read on many websites that google preffer to guest post. It is 2013 and i don’t even know about any update about guest post penalization it must be rumors.

  11. Monja says:

    Awesome article. Guess we should stop caring about Google but engaging and marketing our sites. If we apply this to local businesses: I don’t think a supermarket would try its best to be liked by the town (according to Google) it is in. It’s all about making your visitors/users/customers loving what you have to offer. And then we do never ever need to care about Google. So instead of SEO we might better care about the quality of our content :-)

  12. Really interesting article.. I’ve been hesitant accepting guest post on my blog..now I see my stance is correct in screening the blogger/person before deciding whether to accept his guest post.

  13. Tayyab Nasir says:

    Getting pagerank is becoming more difficult day by day in the presence og Google animals.

    • Michael says:

      And that is a good thing as more and more people try and build crappy sites just for clicks.

  14. Great article.

    I have one question about unnatural linking.

    Does nofollow tag get rid of link being unnatural like links in comment sections?

    For example previous commentator has linked words for “Real Estate Dubai”. Is that unnatural link or is it not due to nofollow tag?

  15. Sarah Park says:

    I haven’t heard of this update. If so, a lot of bloggers would surely be affected. But knowing Google, this update is for the best of everyone serious with the business.

  16. First line of this post: “This guest post is by Jeff Foster of WebBizIdeas.”

    First point this post makes: “Stop telling people it’s a guest post”

    Apart from that, this was a fantastic (guest) post!

    To be honest, I think anchor text needs to die out (or at least be given less weight). I find that 99.9% of the time, linking to my website with the keywords I want to rank for looks extremely unnatural because really, no-one ever does it, at least not with homepages. For example, if you ran an SEO company in London and you wanted to rank for “SEO London”, how many truly natural links would point to your homepage with the exact anchor text “SEO London”? I think hardly any as most people would link using your company name.

    However, when it comes to blog posts, I think it’s a different story. Many people would link using anchor text links when referencing your post in another post (like some of the links in this post).

    The problem is, I still see Google ranking websites that have huge percentages of exact match anchor text links to their homepages (and other internal pages) and to me, this is clearly unnatural. I kind of hope Google brings further anchor text restrictions in their next update, at least for homepages.

    But anyway, these points were extremely useful. Just don’t get overly scared as Google is never going to devalue the process of high quality guest posting in my opinion, as it’s a truly natural and legitimate way to raise awareness for your website.

    My general rule of thumb is that if it’s difficult to get a guest post on a website, it’s probably worth it. If you email a website and they reply within 5 minutes allowing any old crap that an Indian writer can string together for $3, don’t bother.

    Sorry for the rant.

    Josh

    • Nick Nelson says:

      My thoughts exactly. Laughed at a guest post that broke it’s own rules..was the irony intentional?

      • Georgina Laidlaw says:

        I mentioned earlier that the “Guest post by” intro is a PB standard that we’ve been using for years, and although we’re changing the way we present contributed content this year, this post was published before that happened.

        This is something that, if you’re guest posting, you’ll have to consider: will you contribute guest posts to blogs that continue to present your content as such going forward? And, from the host blog’s perspective, will we backtrack through our ~6k posts to revise all those introduced as guest posts?

        • I honestly don’t think Google is going to penalise anyone for writing “This is a guest post by…” or anything like that.

          Google is smart; if you provide a guest poster with an author bio with links to their website, Facebook, Twitter and Google+ profiles (with rel=author too), Google’s going to know it’s a guest post anyway.

          So really, it’s not Google that it makes a difference to, it’s the blog reader.

          Obviously, the way that SEOMoz does things (as mentioned in this post) is a smarter way of doing dealing with it, but really, if the website that you’re reading a guest post on is an authority site (like this one), I think readers are going to automatically understand that the writer must be an industry expert (and have something useful to say) to have gotten their content placed on the site anyway.

          Plus, it’s the job of the author bio to establish that trust. If a guest post was about SEO and the author bio said something along the lines of “This is a guest post by Brian. Brian has 8+ years experience working for SEO companies and has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands etc..”, you’re going to trust the post.

    • Jeff Foster says:

      Hi Josh,

      Thanks for the feedback. I agree with your anchor text rant. Google is getting much smarter with on identifying that your company for example is a video production company in London. On-page Optimization is coming back strong and social signals (especially Google+) is playing a large role in how Google is figuring this out. There is a reason Google is buying blogger, youtube, and all these content media companies. If they own the content, they can identify if it is popular and who owns it. Basically see someones footprint (or social footprint) online with out needing to look at anchor text.

  17. Tim Sumner says:

    Thanks for this very interesting post.

  18. steven says:

    “The most important part of the example is the Google+ link.”
    What if I don’t actively use Google+, what other link would you substitute?
    Great article by the way, very informative, relevant and well written.

  19. Thanks, really nice (guest) blog post and some practical tips to take away. So do you think that Google is looking at the content of a site for phrases that would indite the site for exchanging links for content and then actively reducing the authority that the site has?

  20. kuldip says:

    This is a very good way from google to phish out ‘guest bloggers’ who are not accountable to anything they say nor is the website accountable.
    This will ensure that websites put responsible people in action and are responsible for their content on their websites.

  21. Tom Howlett says:

    It’s definitely an interesting debate. I think Google see the value of guest blogging if done properly – for example if you run a blog and you allow a guest post from someone who is highly knowledgable/experienced within the sector, it can be useful to your readers. Naturally you would link to the guests website and social profiles as a thank you.

    The problem comes with excess, people latching onto this craze and you see an influx of guest posts and blogs offering this service. With excess, you will always find low quality examples and I believe Google will be able to identify these.

    Nice post though, some good tips to help anyone avoid Google’s wrath if thinking about utilising guest blogging as part of their online strategy.

  22. Thanks for the informative post Jeff. You’ve made this really easy to understand – something that is sorely lacking in discussions of SEO anything. Agree with lots of the others commenting here that this is a great development from Google. For me, the main takeaway is not so much to ‘not guest post’ (as you say) but more to critically evaluate the opportunities and to make sure it’s all ‘above board’ and natural. The G+ author attribution is so important – thanks again for pointing it out / reminding us.

  23. George says:

    I have to admit that this is a unique perspective on guest posting indeed! It’s too bad that only a few blog owners will read it. “Stop letting people add unnatural links to their author bios” is mandatory in my opinion; I see lots of guest post articles that have unrelated bio links.

  24. Rizzo says:

    How will Google determine if a blog has a lot of writers or a lot of guest posts?

  25. Rob Wagner says:

    I completely disagree with the title of the article and I will go further and say that it is irresponsible. I would consider this as using controversy for the sole purpose of link bait.

    Some things in this article that are stated as fact are incorrect. For example, “Google has a new Co-Citation Algo” implies that it is real, in fact it is pure speculation and is the wrong terminology. The referenced article is referring to co-occur not co-citation.

    Unfortunately some people trust this site and will make decisions based on this bad advice given in the title and unsupported within the content.

    • Jeff Foster says:

      true: co-citation has not been publicly stated by Google

      fact: The most trusted source in SEO (has provided recommendation to Google, just got 18 million funding for his company) has not only predicted it but has shown proof if it:
      http://www.seomoz.org/blog/prediction-anchor-text-is-dying-and-will-be-replaced-by-cocitation-whiteboard-friday

      Don’t argue with me (just copy/pasting stuff here), go argue with Rand.

      • Rob Wagner says:

        Ok Jeff, I have no reason to argue with Rand, he didn’t write this article, you did. Besides he made a mistake and called it co-citation and he meant to call it co-occurrence.

        Here is a quote from his article “In this week’s whiteboard friday, I make some predictions that anchor text may be a fading factor (still powerful, just on the downswing) while co-occurence (which I mistakenly call “co-citation” in the video) is becoming stronger.”

        He is not talking about citations, he is talking about how many times a word co-occurs on a page. This could be based on Google’s Phrase Based Indexing patents. There is a link on Rand’s post to Bill Slawiski’s blog where he explains this in great detail.

        In your article Jeff, you say that Google has a “new Co-Citation Algo”. This statement is wrong. Rand did not say that there is a new algo, you did.

        For the most part I have no issues with the advice that you give, most of it is makes good sense. The issue that I have is with your title “Why Blogs that Allow Guest Posts Will Be Penalized in 2013″. This is not true and is based on no facts. You clarify this in your first two paragraphs and I totally agree with your assessments. So why write a title that is misleading? Why did problogger let this slide? Was this just for shock value?

        I understand that you want a title that will grab people’s attention, but come on you have to admit that this was a little over the top. You wrote a guest post about not allowing guest post! Did you link to your site? Yes you did! Nothing wrong with that, right? This was hypocritical on your part and problogger for that title. Clearly you can see the irony.

        By the way, I hope Rand would agree that just because you have money does not mean that you have all of the answers or that you are correct on all of your predictions. But I will not put words in Rand’s mouth. Do a search on Google for “Rand Fishkin seo predictions 2012″ and you will see, although very good, he is not correct all of the time.

        • Jeff Foster says:

          Rob.

          example #1: Rand Fishkin (correct rel=author so Google knows it is him) says on SEOMOZ.org from their blog that Tomoson is the next up and coming promotional tool, he links to the site and provides the NAP of the company.

          example #2: Joe Nothing says the same thing (correct rel=author so Google knows it is him) on SEOMOZ.org on the same blog.

          Are you telling me that Google (1) will give the link / citation the same value if Rand writes it or if Joe Nothing writes it? (2) even if Google has not published this do you think with how hard they are pushing Google+ and Eric’s recent comments they do not have this algo already in place?

          Dude, my title is just words, I am an SEO’er not a editor. I wrote the article to teach and sometimes you need to get people’s attention for them to listen.

  26. Nizam Khan says:

    Awesome and very informative article! Well, the most important factor is to stop allowing unnatural links in the posts and author bio’s. Thanks for sharing :)

  27. If you allow commenters to have a link back to their site in the form of linking to their latest blog post (like commentluv for example) would that be considered an unnatural link since it may be totally unrelated to your blog topic?

  28. Halfdan Timm says:

    Everything in moderation :-)

    You made a broken link to a author bio plugin – just a quick heads-up.

    /Halfdan

  29. Terry Dunn says:

    Jeff,

    I find this article, and video from google, confusing. There is no clarity here.

    How do you know there will be a google update? It’s not even suggested in the video. And talking of the video, what on earth is a ‘quality writer’? Who defines such a person. A celebrity writer, who doesn’t write that well, but is cool and popular, or perhaps, an obscure but great writer? Who decides? Google?

    And surely, if a writer is going to the trouble of researching and writing an article to appear as a guest post, he will want a link back to his website or blog. Who wouldn’t? What’s the point if he doesn’t have a link. You have a link at the end of your article. What use is a bio without a link to your website?

    Terry

  30. OK. You do realize that Google does not know that it is one person vs another person writing the text. Google knows text. It doesn’t that a different person pressed the keys on the keyboard. So the answer is no – google doesn’t know or care about guest blogs post. Google cares about bad SEO, and this is bad SEO

  31. vipin says:

    I’ve done same approach on one of my blog and as the result my Google traffic has declined. Its been almost one year since my blog got Google slap. Still my blog doesn’t recover from it.

  32. Ricky says:

    Great article, makes a lot of valid points and is inline with what Matt Cutts is trying to get across.
    Although I wanted to point out that the very first point in the post is to ‘stop telling people its a guest post’, and at the end of the article, the author is ‘guest blogger’ haha

  33. Sofie says:

    About creating author bios and author bio pages: the author bio page per guest author doesn’t seem so interesting if a guest author never returns as such.
    I know of a lot of travel blogs who allow (quality) guest contributions, but they usually allow someone to guest post once and then they collaborate with someone else.
    Would you say using an author bio plugin is enough in that case?

    • Jeff Foster says:

      Hi Sofie,

      I would agree with you. Many popular & trusted magazines / newspapers / blogs encourage or require people to be regular contributors….or columnists. I think requiring people who contribute to write on a consistent basis is good, weed out the people doing it for the wrong reasons.

      • Sofie says:

        So you would say that a blog that has guest posters that only contribute once, can do enough by working with an author bio plugin?
        And adding the rel= author for google+?

        Sorry if these are basic questions. This is pretty new to me and I’d like to get it right from the start

  34. Peter Nisbet says:

    I agree with most of the above: there is nothing in Matt’s statements to indicate that stating a guest blogger is indeed a guest blogger is retrograde. I would be more likely to visit blogs that have guest bloggers than simply state the same person’s opinion all the time!

    Google seeks variety, and this is variety! This is one blog I might give a miss in future if this is the false information it is promoting! Where’s the moderation and approval?

    Pete

  35. WJS says:

    This update is really going to make or break 2013 for me because I have spent so much time building up–and actively, positively engaging people–on Google+. I am hoping that Google will reward me fairly and honestly for being an early adopter; if not, I can’t see the advantage of investing in Google+ anymore. Why penalize people for being able to build a healthy following?

  36. Are you FAILING to succeed?

    Guest posts are a huge part of blogging. The problem is, people abuse them and use them for the wrong reasons. When I used to write guest posts, I used to write for the backlinks; And that is what many people are still doing today.

    If you have something AMAZING to offer your readers, then the last thing you will have to worry about is backlinks, and here’s why:

    Let’s say you have a blog about making money online, and you get the opportunity to write a guest post here on Pro Blogger. Your focus should be CONVERTING subscribers from Darren’s blog into your own subscribers. Obviously, the better your guest post, the more subscribers you will get.

    Look at a guest post like a MOVIE PREVIEW to YOUR BLOG.

    There are many other movie previews that may appear before a movie, and the better yours is, the more people will go to your site. The more people that go to your site, the more subscribers you will get.

    My entire point of this post is to show you that when used for the right reasons, guest posts are a good thing; This is true in the eyes of the readers, which also makes it true in the eyes of Google.

    Anything GOOD for the READER is also GOOD for Google.

    That’s a good rule of thumb to go by.

  37. Jeff, you gave me a heart attack for a minute there!

    It just so happened that I actually just got over here at Problogger from a guest blogging tactics blog that mentioned the site on the very same article I was reading (it was about the top blogging sites to guest blog on if it’s blogging itself is your niche)

    Anyway, I was just scrolling down to see what’s a good read this morning here at Problogger, then what do you know, next thing I saw was your title. :)

    Moving on though, I suppose the main essence of it all is that instead of trying hard focusing all your content on feeding the search engine, you should focus instead on feeding your readers, because after all, it’s not the search engine themselves who are making use of these articles.

    They’re simply the ones sorting things out based on the satisfaction readers are guaranteed with from making use of these articles.

    To be honest, when I was new to the whole blogging thing, a friend just told me to mention the keyword here and there on your article.

    And it was actually not even a topic I’m an expert at, yet it was able to rank at the first page of Google! It actually made me feel a little insecure (until now) because I knew other people who had more experience and insight on the topic who deserved to be in that place.

    For every keyword, just imagine it’s the amount of times you shout out for the search engines passing by to notice what you have for them. Too much, you get too loud and that might just scare them away.

    Then with the backlinks, it’s the people pointing you out to the search engine, “yeah, he’s over there – he has this site about school uniforms. I read it, it was simple yet straight forward, plus the design was neat. You should drop by some time!”

    I don’t think you’d ever get enough of back links (the more, the merrier) but one wrong approach to getting them, the people’s encouragement to go to your site starts appearing suspicious, instead of being interesting, to the eyes of the search engine.

    Cheers,
    Tyler

  38. Google seems to be getting it wrong on most occasions where spam is concerned because guest posts are a good way to create collaborations in the industry. If they kill it with such updates, then the web will be poor. Compared to directories and other link farms, guest blogging requires more input from the bloggers and is thus, a win win situation for the webmasters and Google who need a better, more useful web.

  39. Peter Nisbet says:

    Agreed, and everybody should keep in mind that guest blogging is not commenting. It’s a guest blog relevant to the blog niche itself. Also, guest bloggers are invited, although many bloggers don’t seem too fussy who they guest on their site. Maybe if Google also punished the blog site that allowed an obvious self-serving guest blog, then perhaps the perceived problem would solve itself.

    I think that’s what Matt is getting at – if the guest blog relates to a relevant topic and is written in an informative way then there is no problem. I have guest blogged several times, but only for clients who requested it. I have never asked to be a guest blogger- and that,surely, is the meaning of the term. A ‘guest’ is ‘invited!,

  40. Thank you for this timely and helpful post. I have been approached several times about allowing a guest post on my blog and each time my gut tells me no. The latest is from an author I think I would actually like to work with but I had no clue how to proceed, until now.

  41. Lewis says:

    I like that Google is penalizing spamming. It’s frustrating to read the comments on your blog only to find that every one of them is “thanks for the amazing post.”

  42. I never heard about this update….it really sounds terrible, i do have couple of blogs and accept guest posts on both of them. However, I do not make it obvious, as you have suggested, i use the author bio plugin to identify who has written the article.

    Not to allow spammy links is a good advice, that can really hurt your rankings.

  43. Alex says:

    I’ve given up jumping when Google says jump – and its the best thing I ever did. So sick of their endless petty “rules” on this, that and everything. I just don’t care about google rankings any more and I don’t need to – I’m doing far better with Facebook and Pinterest traffic than I ever did with Google and it is 100x easier.

    The love affair is over. Last year they crippled my sites, which had the best quality content on their subject on the entire web – ground breaking research and professional content and they wiped it out because they didn’t like my domain names, which were obviously keywords because that was the most sensible thing for them to be! Google cannot detect quality content – because quality is a human value and not discernible by a machine.

    I still rank in the top 3 in Bing and Yahoo for many of my keywords, but I’m not playing Google’s game any more. Simple. Free yourself! I can’t even be bothered to post my link in the box because I just don’t even care – and it’s great!

  44. praveen says:

    Thanks a lot for your valuable information. Now i got clear idea about guest blogging

  45. Gurwinder says:

    That was a great article. Thanks for sharing.

  46. Rijin says:

    Ya. Google caught me red handed. I have allowed guest post on my blog and my PR and UV goes down. Now i have removed all external links and enjoying the blogging. But still dropped and waiting to hear a good news ..

  47. I think that any form of a backlinking strategy seems so cheesy. I really hope that Google finds a way to ONLY look at quality sites that link to a page. It just seems unfair for a business that pumps out a lot of great content to be beaten out by a business that just goes on every blog and writes “Great blog!”, posts their link, and then never returns. One day all of these spammers are going to be shaking in their boots because they won’t be able to find the “easy” way out.

  48. Kingsley says:

    I think its time i work on my guest contributors. Most of them just care about promoting clients business

  49. Azubuike says:

    This is a hidden secret revealed. I allow guest posts though I don’t mention that it was a guest post but at the Author Bio, I allow them to link to their external sites. I think I will stop that asap

  50. John David says:

    Googles going to be okay with the term guest blog and you can always use that term but other than that, top notch post, always thinkin ahead. Thanks pal