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March 4, 2015
Paying for Blog Posts? Google Knows
 
When one performs a Google search for the phrase “guest blogging,” the first result is a blog post entitled “The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO.” Not very encouraging.

Guest blogging has been present for almost as long as search engines. It’s a tried-and-true method for marketers to gain exposure, build relationships, and create strong brand identities online. So when the head of Google’s spam team, Matt Cutts, declared guest blogging dead in a personal blog post (noted above) last January, it sent ripples across the blogosphere and marketing/SEO world. Shortly after Cutts’ post, and several warnings from Google, a popular website called MyBlogGuest was penalized, leaving bloggers fearing they would also be liable to the same penalties.

An important aspect of Cutts’ blog post is that guest blogging itself is fine — what’s bad is guest blogging solely for SEO purposes. How can marketers steer clear of Google’s guidelines while still utilizing blogs as a way to reach consumers? The answer is in the quality of the blogging, and while this may seem subjective, it becomes rather clear in the world of blogs.

To ensure your content follows Google’s SEO guidelines when spreading brand awareness via guest blogging, make sure your content:
  1. Offers information of actual value to readers (versus filler, “fluff” text)
  2. Does not include hyperlinks to spam
  3. Is not being outsourced to multiple websites for reuse
  4. Avoids “spammy” content
  5. Was not purchased solely to increase your Google PageRank
You may also consider asking the publisher to use a No Follow link. If you follow these guidelines, chances are you will not alert Google’s radar. If your site is struggling with SEO or meeting Google’s search requirements, consult a professional. Google penalty recovery involves close inspection, diagnoses, and weeding that is best left to digital marketing consultants.

Guest blogging is still an essential part of marketers’ toolkits. For content marketers, it will continue to be an important, effective way of marketing without traditional advertising campaigns or cold calls.

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Jack Ogilvie co-founded Techwood Consulting, where he currently manages technical services, business development, and special projects/strategic accounts from the company's Atlanta headquarters. Jack holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He
lives in Dunwoody, GA, with his wife Anne, and son David. His hobbies include climbing, reading, and keeping active.
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