Is Guest Blogging Now a Black Hat SEO Technique?

Posted by Charles on June 6th, 2010

Guest blogging has long been seen an excellent way to promote your blog. Amongst its benefits are that it puts you in front of a brand new audience, is good for developing relationships and networking, and is also an excellent source of links.

However, it now looks like the last benefit – incoming links – could be in question. Google may now be waging war on guest bloggings, with a recent interview with John Mueller, the Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google Zurich, revealing the following:

Q: Is Google fine with guest blogging and do links ‘earned’ from writing guest blogs matter?

John Mueller: “Making and promoting a new site takes time and effort. In general I would recommend putting that work into your own site, instead of creating content for other people’s sites. It’s much better to create great content for your blog and to let other sites refer visitors to your site on their own.”

Now he doesn’t say that links via guest posts are completely discounted but it does appear that Google, at a minimum, doesn’t value them as highly as other links.

Instead we’re told that we should build a site and people will come… the mantra that Google constantly puts out there, and one that simply doesn’t work. Build an ecommerce store with excellent customer service and competitive prices and no one will come without active promotion. It’s not remarkable and will get no links or visibility, despite the fact that it may be the best site in its sector.

Where are Link Sources Going?

Link Sources

One by one Google is killing off sources of links. Nofollow and myths around PageRank flows mean that people are linking out far less than before. Twitter’s also be another reason.

Lower value sources of links – forums, blog comments, social media sites – have all been discounted or switched to nofollow, and several times I’ve had to turn down potential cross-linking opportunities with sites because of the worry that a Google quality engineer may incorrectly see the links as paid links.

These days you can’t link out without the worry that it could be seen as a paid link, so many people either don’t bother or just add nofollow as standard.

Guest blogging was one of the few high quality clean sources of links. If these are now discounted, what link sources are we going to be left with in a couple of years?

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One Response to “Is Guest Blogging Now a Black Hat SEO Technique?”

  1. George Serradinho Says:

    Yes, the follow/nofollow debate. This is hard as many are for it and others not. My blog has many links and I’m not to worried about what Google says, maybe sometimes ;)

    Guest posting is definitely used for getting backlinks and traffic and one must always think if thats what you are aiming for.

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