Why I’m not stopping being a guest blogger

By Alice Elliott

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There has been a bit of a rumpus lately around the subject of guest blogging. This is because a certain Matt Cutts from Google got his knickers in a bit of a twist when he tried to explain that guest blogging used for creating lots of backlinks for SEO purposes could be seen as spammy.

What really is spammy is the saturation of useless, rubbish, irrelevant and annoying content throughout the web delivered by SEO agencies desperate to get their persistent and demanding clients’ websites higher in the search engine results. Since the beginning of last year (2013) Google has been mindful of rubbish content littering the internet world, and has been developing and renovating its algorithms to try and beat it.

Is it really that awful?

Now I must be careful not to get myself into hot water by suggesting that anything that is not well written, eg has bad spelling, grammar, syntax, sentence construction and confusing meaning, should be seen as spam. There are lots of would-be authors who may not be Shakespeares when it comes to writing, and certainly it’s not my place to hinder people from blogging and having a go at publishing content onto the web, but sometimes you do come across some interesting examples that either have you scratching your head or laughing outright.

Translation from another language, especially if it’s done through a web application, can result in very peculiar results. Should this be seen as spam? Not everybody is fluent in several languages, and English is a universally accepted throughout the web, so it stands to reason that uneducated people may want to try and communicate by using this kind of translation service to save time and money.

So what is classed as bad?

But what does determine spam is the irrelevance of content in relation to the place it is posted, or its multiple presence unceasingly unvaried in its delivery. There’s always a sense of desperation when spamming is detected in that email you get from an SEO agency you’ve never heard of before. It smacks of being a generic correspondence in part of a ‘spray and pray’ campaign, with the hope that if enough emails were sent out to various blogs, enough owners might fall for it or be lulled into the false sense of flattery to accept their guest posts.

There is a danger here that these posts can’t guarantee the quality of the writing, the subject may not be suitable or be in line with the blog’s niche or message, they may be littered with irrelevant or unsuitable backlinks that might be detrimental to the host blog, and the very presence of these posts, which may be repeated many times in other locations, could cause many problems such as penalisation for duplication of content and spreading spam or malware links elsewhere in the web.

What about ‘real’ guest bloggers?

This is just it – such unscrupulous activity above has given guest blogging a bad name.  Guest blogging is a perfectly legitimate way of gaining a larger audience reach for your writing. If you are a good writer with a thriving blog that contains quality posts, and have claimed Google Authorship to raise your credibility and to gain trust in the web writing world, you definitely should be guest blogging. This is something I fully intend to increase my activity in this over the coming months.

A blog owner should welcome a qualified and respectable guest blogger with open arms. They are perfect to boost your blog’s statistics, provide different content for regular readers to enjoy, and should be posting on a regular basis rather than a one off. To make this more legit, each guest blogger should have their own bio-box or an introductory paragraph to accompany their contribution, not only to provide useful links back to their other work, but to give a sense of security that this is worthwhile material coming from a reliable source. Also if guest bloggers are given a regular day of the week to submit their articles, readers can learn to expect a post in that specific style at that time.

And another thing to close with, guest bloggers are much more likely to be safer in host blogs than on article submission sites. Before 2013 it was a good thing to spread your content throughout the web, and there were many respectable places you could do this that would contribute towards increasing your reach for your writing. I approached one particular site that I used to regularly submit my work to, and asked them what they were doing about post duplication, but they were unable to provide a suitable answer to alleviate my fears. To me it was not worth the risk to jeopardise my author status and blog’s reputation for possible penalisation by duplicating my work there, even if I did change it a bit to fox the search engines. And anyway, it’s important to write for the blog’s readers and not post generic stuff, which might be classified as spam, particularly if it didn’t fit the niche or subject matter of its published location.

Alice Elliott

If you're a beginner blogger who is looking for someone to "explain things really simply", then go ask Alice Elliott. Her award winning blogs Fairy Blog Mother and Beginner Bloggers explain about blogging and WordPress using ordinary, everyday words. And if you want to attract more readers to your blog, check out these blogging e-courses!

Hey Alice
I was a little worried when I first read that Guest Blogging was dead, again. But then I sat down a read a little deeper and came to the same conclusion. It is on Matt’s list, but that does not mean that the good guys cannot continues using it.
So I am continuing on my merry way with guest posts this year! yay

    That’s good to know Ashley. If everybody sat down and properly read what Matt was trying to say (I watched all his videos in his post) then you would see through the briars and overgrown lawn at the beautiful garden behind. He really is on our side as good writers, as by eliminating all the dross that is cluttering everything up, readers then will be able to see the wood from the trees.

Hi Alice, you bring up some very good points. Sadly when I started blogging, I was trying to be nice by allowing people to guest post on my blog.

It ended up backfiring, although the articles themselves where pretty good, the credit link I would let them have usually went to a lead capture page of some sort which is what I believe lowered my google pr from 4 to 2.

I still feel guest posting is good, if like you said its from a credible writer. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Larry for your comment. It is a shame that we get duped by these SEO agencies by their flattery when all they were looking for was a quick backlink . But if you had looked a bit closer you may have realised they aren\’t very interested in your blog or its niche, they only wanted to have the opportunity to link back to whatever they were trying to promote. I\”m afraid I gave many of these agencies short shrift, particularly if their email was very bad. I probably wasted my time responding to them then, whereas now I just hit the delete button.

Hi Alice, I couldn’t agree more with your post. Real, quality guest blogging is very valuable, and benefits both the author and the host blog. I am glad to see that the focus is being brought back to what guest posting is meant to be instead of spammy posts just for links.

    Thanks Kostas for your comment. The opportunities that allow good writers to publish their content on different outlets and platforms should be welcomed with open arms, and not overshadowed by the spectre of spamming and bad SEO practices. Why can’t we relish in writing, publishing and reading good content throughout the web that could entertain and benefit so many different people?

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