If you fancy yourself as a bit of an authority in your field, there could be some great opportunities for you to author articles for existing blogs or news sites. Guest blogging is the modern equivalent of a column in a newspaper or trade magazine. It’s your chance to demonstrate your expertise and offer your opinions on your industry’s hot topics.
For a business, having employees write guest posts can have a positive halo effect. If you employ thought leaders, it makes your business look good. Guest posts can also help the company website in search, as they usually include quality inbound links.
Less is more
When a business looks at guest blogging, acquiring those valuable links is usually the primary objective. If you’re getting editorial and by-line links from credible, well-regarded sites that will definitely help you do better in search.
But links from any old blogs will do you no good at all and could actually harm your site in the long-run. As with any organic search tactic, if it’s too easy or too quick, it should set the alarm bells off.
Panda and Penguin
Google’s two major update campaigns since 2011 have both had a big impact on the practice of building links. Before the Panda update, which targeted sites with duplicate or thin content, you could boost your search performance by creating an article with links back to your site and then posting it on multiple third party sites.
Article directories popped up all over the place offering to host this content and you could usually get articles published without any real approval process. This encouraged anyone with a website to churn out high volumes of low quality articles and then post them all over the internet purely for the links.
Panda killed that tactic, with article directories among the biggest losers when the update was first rolled out. When Google started implementing its Penguin update the following year, it had turned its attention to sites that only really existed to give out links. Penguin zapped the credit links from these bad neighbourhoods had previously offered, which saw some dramatic changes to the rankings of sites that had been over-engineering their link profiles.
If your CTO guest blogs for a well-established tech news site once a month, you’re golden. But if a big chunk of your inbound links are from thin, low quality articles on bad domains, all linking your favourite keyword, it’s time to bust out Google’s disavow tool.
By Kate Davidson