There used to be a community interaction between blogs and writers that was an excellent exchange of information, dedicated work, and professionalism. It took the shape of “guest blogging” and was all about writing guest articles for a neighbouring site in the hope that the audience would become aware of something new and spread the information.
It was a reciprocal exchange that was win-win for audience and bloggers alike. But eventually, this practice was emptied of its currency of quality and left in the dust. What once used to be a culture of guest blogging and shared social networking devolved into glorified advertising on a large scale.
The quality of writing declined sharply and guest blog entries only existed to get a blog’s name out there. There was no quality material attached to give people a good reason to check out the person’s blog and the online community became saturated with vapid self-promotion.
The idea of guest-blogging is not inherently bad. Blogging communities and relationships naturally grow and there comes the opportunity to offer friends or respected writers the opportunity to write an article for a neighbouring blog and vice versa. It’s an exchange that gives authors more exposure and blog-runners can help out colleagues by getting links out in the blogosphere. This opportunity would not only give the blog more exposure by human eyes, but search engines would recognize these blogs as legitimate sources of information and begin linking to them more often.
It can be a win-win situation when employed with tact and reason, but there was a period where bloggers saw guest-blogging with tunnel vision, focusing only on the rise in their search engine stats. This is to be expected, but the quality turned sour and everything became polluted with noise. Now, guest blogging often gets treated as spam by prominent search engines if employed too frequently – essentially discouraging the practice altogether. This exploitative practise reached its breaking point and people began to seek out other ways of SEO.
One of the foremost figures in this subject area is Matt Cutts, the man in charge of the spam department at Google. His opinions are not difficult to come by and he is known for looking down on those who try and exploit or fool SEO algorithms like the old-days of guest blogging. While he believes that using guest blogging for the reasons of old are dated and futile, he does agree that guest blogging has a purpose. It’s excellent communication and professional courtesy in the blogging world, but as with anything, it needs to be employed with tact and reason. Cutts has no issue with guest blogging in and of itself, but rather any practice of establishing blogs, writers, or websites by means of spam or unoriginality.
Which is to say that Google’s interpretation of guest blogging as inherently spam-related might be a bit wrong-headed. Cutts himself admits that it can be used effectively, but Google still sees guest blogging as something that should be blocked or flagged. It fails to see the quality guest blogging material that exists and unfairly lumps it in with the noise. This is a casualty of the necessary need to block guest blogging spam en masse. By flagging everything, it eliminates the noise, but also robs the quality material of the attention and notice it deserves. Perhaps it’s wrong to blame Google or other major search engines for this practice and look more to the disreputable blogs and spammers who exploited the system and ruined it for everyone.
As with anything, the best way to combat an issue is with tact and reason. Guest blogging became a practice to avoid but it doesn’t have to remain passé or bad taste. Blog runners and writers with their minds in the right place can utilize this tool as effectively as it is intended. Instead of focusing on the numbers and search engine statistics, the focus should be on writing quality material that will register as legitimate and something that human eyes would want to read. Simply having your name out there more doesn’t increase the quality of content, caring does. Guest blogging can be employed in a way that entices one blog’s audience to pay attention to a neighbouring blog and also provides a forum for collaboration and sharing amongst fellow writers and bloggers. The search engines may see the article as potential spam, but if the content is quality and enough legitimate clicks get registered, the content will take on a life of its own. This is the essential purpose of guest blogging that was lost long ago when numbers became more important than quality content.
When it comes to using guest blogging or seeking out guest bloggers, it’s always best to do your homework and take a look at the resources at your disposal. Searching the authors name and checking sources ensures that you’re interacting with someone concerned with producing quality content and not just click bait. There is also the ability to check authority statistics via a few different resources.
When it comes to seeking out venues to post your own guest articles, the same amount of homework and care must be done. Ensure that the site you’re potentially posting to is reputable and legitimate – not just a breeding ground of spam and empty content. It may all seem like common sense but there are too many people that try and take the easy way out or work around the system that’s in place to get stats quick.
The best way to go about this is care about your work, stand behind it, and go about your work in a professional manner. When you put the effort in, network, and build an online presence, there will be an audience that will receive you. Don’t tailor your work for the algorithms or search engines, tailor it for human eyes. If you keep your audience in mind and write content that appeals to you or a living, breathing person on the other end of the screen, you will do more good for yourself than dropping in awkward phrases to get an extra click.