Guest blogging is one way in which website owners can attempt to build up the link profile of their website. The method is brutally simple, you write an article for another website and you include a link back to your own website somewhere within the article. There can be problems with this method of link building that were set out in a recent video posted by Matt Cutts, head of Google’s spam fighting team.
In the video the question “Will guest blogging look like I am paying for links?” was asked. Matt gave some pointers on best practice for guest blogging. His first point was that the article should match the subject of your blog, so if you are operating a blog on SEO and Social Media there is little value in having an article on the benefits of interval training for building up your stamina. Include a paragraph explaining who the author is to help establish them as an expert in their field.
Matt also recommends that you go easy on the keyword rich anchor text, including lots of links that are keyword rich can appear spammy. Creating quality content is the key
The attraction for a website owner in allowing guest bloggers on your website is that they are potentially providing you with free content to make your website more interesting and saves you having to keep writing articles yourself. At first sight it feels like a win-win situation. You get fresh content for your site and the blogger gets an inbound link back to their own website. It is not always as good as it first seems though.
As has already been mentioned the content needs to be relevant to your own website. While an off topic blog post may be quite interesting or amusing it will dilute the authority of your website. Every word on the page is scanned by Google and Google looks for signals from your text to help establish at page level what the post is about and at site level what your website is about. If you allow guest bloggers to post one tenth of your blogs content and they always post off topic then you will find that Google is less sure about the subject of your website and this can impact upon your rankings.
Site owners also need to beware of article spinning. This is where a blogger writes one article and then software is used that changes particular words so that the meaning is still correct but that the content is not the same. Spun articles are almost without exception poor quality and look like they have been written by somebody for whom English is at least their third language.
You also need to be careful that you are not posting duplicate content to your blog that is already available elsewhere on the web. If you do then your site may get blacklisted by Google. One way to check is to check the URL of a blog post on copyscape.com. You will be amazed at how quickly duplicate content can be found.
It would probably be best if you know the person that is providing the content rather than replying to an email that lands in your inbox purporting to be able to offer you a gazillion unique articles for your website in return for a couple of links within the articles.
Guest blogging can be beneficial to your website but can also be detrimental. Proceed with care if you are thinking of employing this tactic.