For several months now debate has continued about the merits of guest posting, the relationship between content and links, backlinks, publishers and signature links, guest posting, and comments.
It's sad to read articles about the decline in the importance in guest blogging. It's pure drivel and the irony is not lost on many a marketer. All this does is confuse people and tie in two separate discussions that should remain independent in many ways but are, however, intrinsically tied with a black hat ribbon.
It's time to shed a little clarity on the subject in a simple format.
In the run up to Penguin 2.0 people have talked about two aspects of guest blogging:
- Spam, backlinks, comments, and irrelevant content and outreach.
- Content marketing strategies and guest blogging and outreach.
We all know that Penguin 1.0 was aimed to stop people "gaming the SEO" system. As I have mentioned in several past posts we subsequently witnessed a huge shift toward content marketing. Guess what? Guest blogging became an even more important part of many a content marketing strategy.
The dark side of SEO began to cast a wider shadow over the content marketing world with an even steeper rise in blog comment spam, links, and dubious and irrelevant requests to webmasters and blog owners to consider crap guest posts.
When people talk about Penguin's evolution and discuss guest blogging and Google publisher paranoia, it's important to remember that we're talking about Point 1 above. The conversation should focus on spam and dodgy backlinks, irrelevant content marketing, and spam networks.
We aren't talking quality, consistent and relevant content on quality publications.
A World Without Links
Let's imagine for one moment that we had a world without links. Publishers went back to print material. Do you think people wouldn't write for these magazines and publications and offer thought leadership, best practice advice, and opinions? I don't think so.
- Google likes good content, relevancy, and uniqueness.
- Google doesn't like spam, irrelevant content, spam, and dubious backlinks.
A very simplistic way to look at this, I know, but this is aimed to be a very simple post with a very simple point.
Google set up Author Rank to encourage content creators and bloggers to publish insightful, relevant, and regular content. Point 2 above.
People who write and talk about issues with guest blogging need to focus on the separate issue of low quality drivel, over linking, and spam comments and links. Point 1 above.
The Good Guest Blogger
- Established authors continue to write for quality publications.
- They write quality, insightful, opinionated, and timely content and do this to share experience, thoughts, and knowledge.
- In my opinion, an earned quality, relevant link is fine in these circumstances.
The Bad Guest Blogger
Writes sporadic and irrelevant content with too many links and little substance of "off topic" themes
The Plain Ugly "Blogger"
- Networks and "bloggers" who aim to "game" the backlink, comment spam, and content marketing ecosystem.
- Their guest blogging strategy is a pure dark art linking strategy in disguise.
- Their outreach strategies are aggressive aimed to push irrelevant content to an audience that isn't topic targeted.
If you're going to write a post on guest blogging and speculate about Penguin 2.0 and the challenges that publishers face, then focus on the ugly and try not to draw in the good side of guest blogging just for an over sensational headline or a spike in traffic. Don't confuse the two points above. Take links out the equation and guest posting becomes a different kind of discussion.
I decided to place no links in this post but you can share it on Google+ and share with your friends on social media channels. Feel free to comment. Oh the irony.