5 Reasons a Guest Contributor is a Bad Idea
Just recently, Google issued a warning related to link schemes and guest blogging. It provided insights into Google’s take on guest blogs and the dangers of publishing this type of content for the purpose of link building. The search engine shared its concerns regarding the surge in the spam links included by authors in their posts for other websites. According to Google’s Webmaster Guidelines on link schemes, it is strictly prohibited to build links with the intention of distributing content without providing any value to the end user.
Back in January, 2014, Matt Cutts, head of Webspam team at Google, said in his own blog post, The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO:
“…if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company…”
While this announcement has taken aback many guest bloggers, Google has not completely banned this practice. It allows those posts which are written with the intent to inform users, bring awareness, or educate another blog’s audience about a company or cause.
Why a Guest Contributor may be a Bad Idea for your Website
Considering the recent warnings regarding guest blogging, you need to be very careful about using this technique for link building, as it can end up with your website being penalized. Here are a few reasons guest contributor can prove to be fatal for your website:
- Guest Blogs may be Stuffed with Keyword-Rich Links
The entire purpose of issuing this warning is to discourage blogs that provide little information or value to readers and are aimed at link building. Guest bloggers have been seen to include keyword-rich links through their posts that drive traffic back to their website with only a small amount of quality content backing it. This is against Google’s guidelines, and if you are publishing such blogs on your website, you can be in a lot of trouble.
- Guest Contributors may be Using the Posts Elsewhere
Not all guest bloggers write with the intention to make genuine contributions to your blog. There is a chance that they may spin the wordings and publish the same article on another blog, or for that matter several other places across the internet. This is another link building practice that goes against Google, and can affect your ranking.
- Paid Guest Bloggers May Lack Knowledge
Small businesses at their budding stage may find it difficult to attract big names in the respective industry who are known for their authentic posts and high credibility. They may resort to hiring guest contributors that may have the knowledge to introduce useful insights through their posts. Lack of information, quality content, and uselessness for users can damage your website’s credibility and significantly affect its ranking.
- Using Guest Blogging as a Part of Link Building Strategy
If you are doing this, then like Matt Cutts said in his blog, you should probably stop. You need to revamp your link building strategy and use natural ways of gaining links. You can achieve this by syndicating your own content, through an affiliate strategy, and earning links instead of paying for them.
- Choosing Quantity Over Quality
The number of links doesn’t matter anymore – what does matter is the quality of links you are including in your blogs. If you are hiring or asking second rate guest bloggers to publish their content, they are likely to link to different sources that have low PageRank throughout the blogs. In contrast, a highly credible source can outweigh many low rank ones, which is why you should choose your guest bloggers carefully before allowing them to post their content on your blog.