This time it might just work out for everyone. Link building has had a long and volatile past. Link buying got smacked down by Google. Link farms and content farms...smacked down. And for those of you with grey hair (or no hair at all), you'll also remember FFA pages, link wheels, blog and ping, and about a dozen other now-dead methods.
Why do I think guest posting is going to be different? Why does it have legs as a proper, white-hat, effective traffic generator?
- Because it takes work.
- Because bloggers know they can't accept crap guest posts on their own sites - we are a built-in, free quality control for Google.
- Because people have FINALLY figured out that quality matters. Not just grammar, but real quality. Like content that makes real readers weak in the legs and leaves them wanting more.
Hey, it's only 2012. It only took us this long to figure out that the reaction that readers have to content is the actual king. Building for a great reaction on social media and in comments is the key to web popularity.
Guest bloggers know to build posts that get reaction. Guest blogs know only to accept that kind of quality on their sites. And all along, while everyone is being rewarded with traffic, Google's best recommendations for SEO are being followed.
It is highly unlikely that any Google algorithm update is going to include a filter to exclude quality content. It's kind of their lifeblood as well as ours. We are in this together.
So, as you consider guest blogging or even ramping up your guest blogging efforts, remember who all the players are when you are creating content:
1. The blogger who owns the site you are writing for. What's going to turn them on?
2. Their audience. Likely whatever you think will turn them on will take care of #1 in most cases.
3. Google. We know what motivates them. Quality search results. Give it to them by developing content designed for social reaction and links.
No such thing as "picturing your ideal reader and writing just for them" in the real-world of guest blogging. You are writing for the same audience and slightly different audiences at the same time. On each level you must provide what each is looking for in order to dominate with this method.
Bonus for Reading!
Here is a killer list of guest blogging sites I just found:
I don't know. I've been wrong before. But this guest blogging thing isn't new and it's still growing in popularity with tons of quality places to guest post popping up every day.
What more guest bloggers for your own blog?
Here's a great guide to getting great talent writing for your own site.
What do you think? Is there any down side to guest blogging that you can see?