Paid Guest Posting for SEO: Is it Still a Good Idea?
Getting more people to your website is a noble cause and one that can result in more sales, exposure, or notability for your business. While there are many marketing tactics available for this purpose today, guest posting is one such option that is falling into a bit of disrepute. While it was once seen as a respectable practice, much like getting an endorsement from a noted author on a printed book, today it is seen as an increasingly spammy and problematic practice. In fact, Google is cracking down more and more on it through the company’s recent policies.
Google has been warning certain sites about building inbound links through posting on other sites for several years. While they have not made a practice of warning against guest posts in the past, they have recently discovered a host of spam links inside certain guest posts. To that end, they have published information about their guidelines to show website owners what goes against their policies. This includes the following practices:
- Keyword stuffing of links
- Publishing the same article across numerous websites
- Duplicating web articles
- Publishing stories created by individuals unknowledgeable in the field
What Happens to Sites that get Penalized?
Those who are caught going against these guidelines can be slapped on the wrist by Google, and this can be truly harmful to your site if you were trying to build up a following. For example, Google has penalized some website owners for certain unnatural outbound links, telling individuals to add “nofollow” to these problematic links. Once that has been done, the owner can then submit a reconsideration request to Google to regain its authority for appropriate outbound links.
The biggest problems come with paid guest posts rather than guest posts in general. Paid guest posts are often not written by people whom you know and may occasionally have nothing to do with your website. In fact, some SEO companies advertise their ability to get you more web traffic through paid guest blogging, which they say can increase traffic and save you time because you will not have to find an article writer yourself.
However, paid links within these guest posts are seen by Google as an attempt to manipulate page rankings and search results, a practice that is increasingly frowned upon by the major search engines like Google and Bing. Using unnatural links is not only dangerous to your overall ranking should Google catch you, but also this practice could end up linking your website to a shadier site somewhere on the bad side of the Internet.
Guest Posting Might Not be the Best Strategy for Your Website
While natural SEO methods are helpful, paid guest post services are usually not great if you are going about this through artificial methods. You may initially see more traffic, but you could lose much of your respectability if Google cracks down on your site.
Of course, some natural, unpaid guest blogging might still be good for your site if you are looking to develop a relationship with someone in a similar field and if you believe that your readers will truly find value in the guest post. However, if you are only doing this in a misguided effort to reach more readers, to work around the protocols put in place by Google, or to get more monthly hits through a paid SEO campaign, your efforts may not work, but also may actually be stopped by the search engine behemoth used by over 90 percent of people worldwide.