ShoutMeLoud is a multi author blog where we allow guest posting and it’s been 2 years that we have been allowing young and pro bloggers to showcase their writing skills, gain exposure, generate backlinks and get free traffic. Following the trend, in last one year I have seen many bloggers started allowing guest posting on their blog. This is a good step, because as a blogger it would help you to get free post and guest author will get free links, traffic and exposure.
More over, it’s not a hidden secret anymore that guest posting is better than article directory submissions as you get high quality backlinks and more over traffic too. Specially all backlink builders, SEO specialist and other bloggers understood the importance and power of guest blogging and they keep submitting new posts to different blog. There is nothing wrong with this approach but if we see from the search engine point of view, it’s a bad deal for admin/webmasters who is running the blog. In this post, I will be talking about one mistake which you have been doing from long time after allowing guest posting on your blog and something which you should not be doing. Lets understand how you are making your guest author enable blog into article directory.
What is article directory?
Article directory is a place where you can find free content on different topic and many of them allow you to republish the content on your blog with proper credit to the author. You can also submit a post to article directory with your Keyword and link back to your site and single post. This used to be one of the most effective way of getting backlink and higher ranking prior to panda went into effect. Moreover, article directory was quite easy as you can easily spin the original content and submit it on different article directories. So one post and you can spin it many times and get backlinks from different article directories. In real sense, you just worked on one article and used software’s to rewrite the content and generated free backlinks for yourself. Similarly, there are many article directories which approves article instantly. So, with little bit of work, you will end up generating some good number of backlinks. Though if you have been following webmasters forum, you would realize post panda, Google started degrading the value of article directory and it’s not as effective as it used to be.
What is Guest blogging?
Guest blogging is when you submit a post on a blog where you also get most of the benefits related to article directory but since your submission is on a niche blog, such backlinks are more useful and so is the traffic. Now, since it’s clear that article directory is no more effective, all internet marketer moved to guest blogging approach. There are many blogs which allow SEO optimized keyword backlink and 2-3 backlink/post.
When guest blogging started becoming famous in Blogsphere, it was mainly meant for couple of things: More exposure, more traffic and high quality relevant backlinks. Infact, you would have noticed only popular blogs used to publish guest posts and such posts were submitted by known or upcoming bloggers. Is int it?
But if you have been following other blogs in recent time, you might have realized the increase in a trend of guest blogging and also all new blogs have opened their doors for guest bloggers. This is indeed a nice approach as you collaborate more with other bloggers and mutual guest posting is beneficial for everyone. But at the same time, this system is poorly gamed by affiliate marketer, backlink builders and SEO companies.
What is the problem with this approach?
When ShoutMeLoud was opened for guest blogging, I made some guidelines based on it and one of them was backlink is allowed to homepage of the author, non Keyword based and most important the niche/site should be similar to what we write on. For example, you might not like to see the backlink to mortgage sale in a post related to WordPress SEO tips. The very first problem that you would be facing is Google penalty. Since the links mentioned on your blog is not relevant and many such links will trigger the alarm, more over your regular readers will see this as an attempt to get one free article and non relevant link to author site will again not be very reader friendly approach.
Is it as equal to selling paid links?
Here is a question which might give you a quick answer: How do you think Google differentiate between Paid links and natural links. Most of internet marketer, who are fetching backlinks from your blog using guest post, they must be using the same anchor text for backlink on other blog. Now, from search engine bots will see it as paid links since many different domain is using the same anchor text for the backlink. Make sense? Similarly, the most important factor is relevancy, what’s the point of finance and health related backlink into a tech blog or Webmaster blog. I keep getting request for publishing guest posts by freelancers and backlink builders, many times I have been offered money in order to publish the article with desired keyword backlink. For obvious reasons, I deny all such offers and I realize it’s just not me but many other bloggers are getting the similar offer. Sad but true, many of them are publishing articles without keeping in mind that Keyword they linking to, doesn’t stay relevant to your blog niche and instead of doing any good, such article will harm your blog in long run.
If you will see the trend on Internet, many blogs which are penalized after panda effect or getting Google penalty, this is one of the few reasons, why you might be penalized.
How to fix this problem?
Very first thing which you need to do is create a guideline for guest posting. You have to specify, what kind of backlinks do you offer and do you offer SEO keyword rich backlinks. SEO Keyword rich backlink is not an issue, if the domain is related to your niche. But if you are simply linking to any site with any anchor text keyword, or long tail Keyword, you might see the difference in your overall ranking in long term.
It’s always a good idea to publish one quality post instead of publishing 10 guest post in a day and treat your blog as an article directory. Do remember, Panda algo doesn’t penalize individual article but put domain level penalty, and once you are penalized because of any such reasons, you might find it hard to recover from Google panda.
Another way to look into this is, you publishes 10 posts in a week and out of them 9 are guest post. Obviously, everyone will have a backlink to the author site and could you think of any difference between Article directory and a normal blog in such case?