The Right Way To Guest Blog (Google-Approved)

Why Blog? written on a chalkboardThe SEO community has been all-abuzz in recent days over a pretty bold statement made by Google’s Matt Cutts:

“Guest blogging is done.”

What he meant to say (and actually did if you read closely enough) is that guest blogging for SEO is dead. Cutts has since made this abundantly clear, thus clearing the way for guest blogging to continue, just with a different approach.

Once upon a time, guest blogging was a pretty powerful way of building quality links to your website. But once this cat was out of the bag, spammers jumped in and what we wound up with was a whole lot of non-quality content being produced for the sole purpose of dofollow link building that contributed positively to PageRank.

Since Google’s aim — now and always — is rewarding websites with quality content, it’s now too risky rewarding guest blogs for dofollow links. In fact, they’re now likely to get you penalized.

Fortunately, guest blogging in-and-of-itself is alive and well for all sorts of benefits that have nothing at all to do with SEO.

Here’s how to do it right, Google-approved.

1) Do it for all the right reasons (i.e., never SEO).

If you guest blog for another website, do it to:

  • Increase your’s brand exposure
  • Reach a new audience
  • Direct traffic to your site

If you accept guest blogs from other for your website, do it to:

  • Introduce your readers to a voice you respect
  • Offer your readers a new perspective on a topic of interest
  • Share quality content to supplement your own

2) Only get into guest blogging with websites or bloggers you can personally vouch for.

If you’re approached about a guest blogging situation — either asked to contribute a post or to publish someone else’s — only accept if it’s from a site or blogger whose work you know well. Otherwise you could wind up having your quality post published on a non-quality website that you do not want your brand associated with. Or you could end up publishing the work of a blogger who not only provides you with non-quality content, but with a link to an equally non-quality website as well.

On the flip side of things, be sure to apply the same standards of quality control when making your own guest blogging suggestions to other websites and bloggers.

3) Insist on quality content.

If a guest blogger sends you content that doesn’t meet up to your quality expectations, don’t publish it. By the same token, only to send to other websites guest blogs that you have taken as much care in writing as you would the content for your own.

4) Make links nofollow.

Google has made abundantly clear that guest blog posts will not negatively affect your page rank provided the links within them are nofollow. Make sure you do this for any guest blogs you publish on your own site, and make sure other websites are doing the same for any guest blogs you have published on theirs.

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