Guest Blogging is the New Link Exchange
Back in the olden days of SEO website owners would participate in link exchanges meaning that both parties would place links to each other’s sites somewhere on their site. Since the search engines placed emphasis on inbound links, this seemed like an easy way to get a quick boost. Now, that kind of tactic is considered to be black hat and can actually result in search engine penalties. It’s no longer that easy to get your link on another site, but there are still ways to do it. One such way is to write guest blog posts to be published on other websites. The thing about guest blogging is that there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.
Guest blogging is a great online marketing strategy for many reasons. It establishes trust and credibility in the industry, helps to build a brand, generates traffic and visitors to your site, and helps your link building. Notice the order of those benefits. Link building is last. The right way to guest blog is to form relationships with good website owners in your niche and continue to submit guest posts to them over time to help build your brand and build their blog content.
The wrong way to guest blog is to seek out any blog owner, regardless of the industry, and offer to swap guest blog posts. You submit one to them with links and they submit one to you with links. Since you each end up with a link from a new source, what’s the problem? First, placement is important when it comes to guest blogging. You don’t want to just submit one “anywhere”. In order to get the most out of a guest blog post, you need to submit it where your target audience may be reading. Second, the link might not even be worth anything. Links tell the search engine spiders what your site is about and it’s all about relevance. If you own a sporting goods store and submit a guest post to a home improvement blog, there is a disconnect.
The bottom line is, don’t guest blog just for link building purposes. Do it to form relationships with others in the industry, promote and build your brand, and generate traffic to your site. Submitting low quality guest posts to hundreds of sites is a spammy strategy, and it wouldn’t be surprising if Google began issuing penalties for it.