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Will Guest Posting Ever Die?

by Mark Pitt | 08.02.2013
We’ve seen a lot of effective link-building techniques die out over the years. Many techniques that worked in the past no longer work today.

For example, article directories were once all the rage, but hold very little value these days. These directories allowed people to build hundreds of links with little effort, and see benefits in the SERPS. Google has since radically lowered the value of link-submission sources like these and they all but redundant.

Private Blog networks were the next big thing. These networks consisted of multiple privately owned blogs that were built solely to provide links to those who were willing to pay for it.  Despite the low quality nature of these blogs, they worked very well for some sites. However, once Google caught on to this, their detectives came out in force, and many of these networks were de-indexed.

Guest posting has now become a necessity for SEOs, and has proven very effective for many people. It is white-hat, and is applauded by Google themselves. Google’s head of Web-spam Matt Cutts has called guest posting a “good win” for both the author and the blogger.

The extra effort to go and build relationships with real webmasters allows you to secure in-content links from a variety of relevant blogs, all of which will not accept spun or duplicate content.

But with so many SEOs focussing on guest posting since the Google Panda and Penguin updates, is there a possibility that guest posting could fall by the wayside just like article directories and private link networks?

Well, that’s unlikely. But what is likely is that Google will figure out how to decipher the good blogs from the bad blogs. Not all guest posts are equal, and as we know, Google are constantly getting better at detecting sites that are low quality. So, in order to get the strongest, juiciest links from guest posting, there’s a few things we should pay attention to:

  • Does the blog have lots of active subscribers/followers? A quality blog will have active (and not fake) users on Facebook, Twitter and Google +.
  • Is every post a guest post? A site built entirely for guest posts is unlikely to build a genuine following.
  • Do they have strong ranking metrics? Page rank and domain authority are a good indicator of a blogs authority and strength. If individual guest posts have a strong page authority, this is a great indication of the value they provide for blogger outreach.
  • How strict are the publishing guidelines? Authoritative bloggers tend to be very particular about the kind of content they accept.

It all comes down to quality. Guest posting as a method does not look like it will ever die, but doing things the wrong way will very much reduce its effectiveness.