Guest Blogging – A Technique for SEO Past, Present or Future?

Let me start off by saying this: Guest blogging works.

Actually let me rephrase that.

Guest blogging works, if it is done in a natural manner with industries that are related to yours.

It seems every year in SEO there is a fad. Whether it is link building through link-farms, open directory submissions or guest blogging. And since Matt Cutts released this video (and blog post), where he suggests that if you are guest blogging simply to drive traffic and using keyword rich anchor text, then your site is probably going to get penalized.

So if all signs point to guest blogging being the equivalent of skydiving without a parachute, how should you approach it? I think the answer Google is going to give you (and the one that will become more clear through 2014) is, keep it natural and maintain a level of expertise. There has been rumblings that author rank will be a major factor in 2014, yet the verdict is not out on that either.

If you are a respected author and contribute to many communities on the regular (as an expert), then I would say you have nothing to fear. You might say, “But Matt Cutts just said differently!” and you’re completely right. What Matt Cutts didn’t say is, people read blog posts and become customers. So if you contribute to an online community, I would advise that you make sure that community has a good online reputation.

Moreover, if you have a strong writer on your team, think about guest blogging as a means of real exposure (this means don’t worry about anchor text within the post). Instead, just ask your bi-line include your personal twitter, or your company’s homepage. This will look a whole lot more appealing to search engines and it will also allow for your blog post not to suffer in quality due to random long-tail-keyword placements.

So is guest blogging something you should be doing? I would say, yes, but with businesses you know and are in your area/industry. I would also say, if you do actually produce high quality content. Post daily on your own site and see how the fruit of your labor can be rewarded. Sites that blog 20x monthly prove to have 66% more leads than competitors (hubspot.com).