Those who've been around the SEO block for some time know that there's one thing common about all those link building methods. And that is, they look good in the beginning, and they continue to pay off for some time before getting widespread and then every Tom, Dick, and Harry starts using (rather abusing) the technique with all sorts of spammy tactics.
It reaches to a point when the spam starts affecting the SERP to disproportionate levels. Eventually Google has to make an algorithm tweak and suddenly a lot of legitimate links that were once considered the assets turn into liabilities for the websites. Isn't it ironical that webmasters are looking to disavow links that they've spent years in acquiring, or people are asking for money to remove the link that they've once charged for putting up?
This is what happened to the good old tactics and the links obtained from methods like directory submission, link exchange, article marketing, forum posting, and the likes.
Guest Blogging is a fairly new entrant into the long list of link building techniques, and by far, the most meaningful one, because unlike directory submissions, or posting the same article to hundreds of content farms, you are actually contributing something of value to the World Wide Web. The blog owners get unique content, readers get some valuable tips, advice, or information, and the guest bloggers get the exposure and a link, such win-win propositions were quite rare in the good old days of link building.
However, as guest blogging gets more and more popular, there are some developments that might lead to the demise of this method in the coming years. If anything, I want this post to serve as a warning so that we can discourage the practices, better disclaim now than disavow later.
Don't "Buy" Guest Posts
Initially, when bloggers opened their doors for guest bloggers, they were looking for someone with the knowledge, good grasp on the topic, and reasonable writing skills to take the stage, and educate or entertain their readers. They were more than happy to get the unique content in return of a simply link to the authors website, but now bloggers are slowly getting aware of the demand. As a result, more and more blog owners have started to ask for money under different disguises.
Doesn't matter how they dub it, but once you are getting paid for something, you cannot really complain or worry about the quality of the content. You might try to promote it just as another post, but readers can easily tell when they see a sponsored post as compared to a genuine guest post. Once this practice gets commonplace (paying for a guest post and all), Google will surely be looking for a way to devalue these links.
What you can do is to avoid bloggers, who ask for a payment, because sooner or later that blog will be publishing all sorts of spam from left, right, and center.
Don't Shop For Cheap Guest Posting Packages
Just like any other type of SEO services, an increase in the demand will result in many people pretending to be the guest blogging experts and offering dirt cheap prices. It makes sense if a writer who is based in a low cost region is willing to work at relatively low prices, but there will be many imposters who, in a bid to offer the cheapest rates, will start to compromise on the quality. Even worse, they will be looking for the shortcuts, not bothering about the quality and long term repercussions. While guest posting, you need to be considerate about everybody, the blog owner, readers, and the World Wide Web in general. Taking anyone out of this equation will result in more spam and nothing else.
Therefore, when hiring a writer to carry out guest blogging on your behalf, you need to think about saving your reputation rather than saving some bucks.
Don't Try To Streamline
Guest blogging should be a process driven by the quality and not monthly targets. As soon as you start going for the targets or numbers, you will start missing on many benefits. In a bid to be efficient, businesses will try to come up with a systematic way of guest blogging, trying to cut corners, and saving every minute or penny that they can. While these approaches look good in the syllabus or presentations, sometimes they will do more harm to your business than good.
Therefore, when you are writing a guest post, don't go for the bare minimum requirements laid down by the blog owners, instead try to make it as detailed and as valuable as you can. Rest assured these guest posts will continue to serve you regardless of how many updates Google make.
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Saba Mushtaq has been a student of Internet Marketing even before Google came into being. She actually tried getting one of her website in Dmoz even before it became the most sought-after backlink for SEO professionals.