Guest posting has become a staple of online marketing. It allows you to get those coveted links that will help you rank higher on search engines AND spread your message to a wider audience. Plus, it makes you look like a bigger authority in your field.
Unfortunately, when there is something that good, people will always try to take advantage of it. There has been a rise recently in the sites using guest posts to spread spammy links or cheat their way to higher rankings. It has become such a problem, Google had to issue a staunch warning to anyone trying to misuse guest posts.
As Google explains:
Google does not discourage these types of articles in the cases when they inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company. However, what does violate Google’s guidelines on link schemes is when the main intent is to build links in a large-scale way back to the author’s site.
The search giant does specify a few factors you should be wary of when guest posting:
- Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles.
- Having the articles published across many different sites; alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites.
- Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on.
- Using the same or similar content across these articles; alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical”, in addition to rel=”nofollow”, is advised).
Basically, if you are doing guest posting in good faith, you probably aren’t in danger. You have to go out of the way to start using spammy practices or pumping out low-quality content. However, if you are breaking any of these rules you put yourself at risk of being punished and losing your high rankings.
Conversely, if you are being harassed by a spammy content creator to publish bad content, Google says you can submit a complaint via the spam report form.