There have been so many misunderstandings and rumors around Google, its penalties and updates that one can hardly keep up with them while keeping sanity.

Today’s Twitter chat is about facts – that’s our desperate attempt to keep everyone sane.

(Reminder: Our Twitter chats are each Thursday 11 a.m. EDT / 3 p.m. GMT. To join, simply follow #myblogguest hashtag and include it in your tweets. Here are a few easy ways to participate described)

So what do we know for sure?

So: Only *facts* today: Google’s official take on guest blogging!

Fact #1

Google representatives seldom speak about guest blogging but when they do, it’s always something we already know:

  • @MattCutts back in 2008: “Yeah absolutely; because someone is choosing to put that article up… it is exactly that situation where they are getting their article placed in a magazine and in return they get credibility… whether it’s through networking or through writing articles that you are expert about, or even doing a guest post on a blog are all important to journalists who are trying to get their name out there and have people know more about them“. If you read further, you’ll clearly read that Matt didn’t even mind if those byline link were not completely relevant to your site. Those are *well-earned links*. Take a few minutes to go through that part of the interview: It’s an old one but it reflects that commonsense approach we’ve been preaching for years!
  • “Is Google fine with guest blogging and do links ‘earned’ from writing guest blogs matter?” @JohnMu back in 2010 – “In general I would recommend putting that work into your own site, instead of creating content for other people’s sites.” (Well, that’s one man’s opinion clearly stated. He never said it was frowned upon)
  • @MattCutts just recently: Vague answer to a quite straightforward question: “What is Google’s view on guest blogging for links?“. *Of course*, you don’t want to spin articles, use half-used content that brings nothing new or abuse in other way. That’s is as for no-nos.

For those who don’t know:

  • Matt Cutts is one of the few Googlers who speak a lot on the conferences, blogs and at interviews. He is the head of the Webspam team for Google
  • John Mueller is Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst. Older SEO generations know him by his frequent replies at Google’s Webmaster Help forums (everyone always gets so excited when representatives come to reply there).

Fact #2

Google frowns upon *paid* links: clearly because those fake your backlink profile.

*Therefore at MyBlogGuest we ban any member (free or paid) the moment he/she is caught at trying sell/buy articles for links*

Whether those link might be mistaken for paid (for example, algorithmically or not) is actually up to you. We don’t create your content: we do our best to maintain its quality but we don’t write it for you. It’s the author’s responsibility to create high-quality content and embed links the way they are never mistakenly considered paid-for. Likewise, it’s up to the blog owner who considered that guest post content to decide it the content and links in it look good enough to be placed on their blogs.

It’s the commonsense rule: If you don’t want to be suspected of breaking rules, DON’T BREAK them. It’s your content and your website, so just treat it accordingly.

=> Here are our policies about natural links and some examples of in-body links that look natural!

Fact #3

Google representatives have *never* officially stated they think guest blogging is a bad tactic. If you know any facts that state otherwise, please speak now or forever remain silent!

Conclusion

It will *never* be against Google’s rules to create high-quality content and place it elsewhere (either on your site or someone else’s). Guest blogging will *only* backfire if *you* do it wrong (or hire wrong contractors to do that for you).

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Ann Smarty

Founder at MyBlogGuest
Ann Smarty is the founder of MyBlogGuest. Feel free to contact her if you have any questions about the platform.

10 Responses to “Google and Guest Blogging: Let us Stop the Insane Rumor at #MyBlogGuest”

  1. Abhishek Raj

    But there’s one question that’s still unsolved (from a host blogger’s point of view) – Should i accept guest articles from those outside my niche? Is it safe to link to non-relevant guest links?

    Reply
  2. Dave Fowler

    I wish I’d been free for this twitterchat as this is a subject I care deeply about, and the misinformation out there is frustrating. Any effective SEO strategy will inevitably attract those who look for ways to game it, trying to get results with minimum effort, and so it is great that MBG has put efforts into promoting good practice and keeping the service true to the original vision. Banning payments, preventing plagiarism and demanding moderate and appropriate use of self-serving links are just a few of the controls that allow guest blogging via MBG to remain trustworthy. Google want the highest quality, authorative and relevant results in their search results, and it is guest blog posts that are well researched and written that are going to end up on high quality websites. You simply cannot spam links from trustworthy sites using guest blogging – it is because editorial standards are applied that those sites are trustworthy. Done well, with real passion, guest blogging bears no relation to grey hat SEO tactics like article spinning and the like. I think any professional guest blogger would happily defend the practice to Google.

    Reply
  3. Michael Evans

    By the way, the answer is quite straightforward, – if you are using guest blogging only for the purpose of building links, you are doomed. Try to use this technique to add more value and earn new visitors to your website.

    Reply
  4. Steve

    Regarding #3, they kind of actually have, which is where this rumour’s actually stemmed from:

    Google’s updated link schemes documentation states:

    The following are examples of link schemes which can negatively impact a site’s ranking in search results:

    - Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link. [Emphasis added]

    Where it gets more confusing is that in a recent Webmaster video, Cutts states that guest blogging’s ok, so long as it’s high quality. Even so, it’s confusing to SEOs – it caused quite the uproar over on SEOmoz…

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      - Buying or selling links that pass PageRank. This includes exchanging money for links, or posts that contain links; exchanging goods or services for links; or sending someone a “free” product in exchange for them writing about it and including a link. [Emphasis added]

      But this in no way describes guest blogging…

      Reply
  5. Bill

    Great outline Ann.

    I think the key when guest posting is about adding value to the website being posted on. This starts by having a good relationship with the blog owner to understand what their primary persona or audience will find valuable, and then creating content that speaks directly to that value.

    The troubling part is that many of the sites I see doing guest blogging are not focused on a topic and seem to accept everything from everyone (mini content farms). This IMO does not speak highly of those sites and makes them a generalist across many topics (content farm value) compared to a specialist about a primary topic.

    I think this is where the separation of guest blogging that Google will value, compared to guest blogging that will be or already has been devalued, and marked as spam.

    Bill
    @billross

    Reply
  6. Steve

    I agree, Ann. Although it doesn’t state “guest blogging” and that “posts that contain links” sounds like it’s more to do with paid guest blogs/articles (as it’s in the context of paid links), you can still see how it causes confusion…

    Reply
    • Ann Smarty

      I think people stop mentioning guest blogging in the context of “paid posts”. The articles stops being “guest” as soon as it becomes “paid” :)

      Reply

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