Guest posts on different blogs are a very strange animal. On the one hand, it can be seen as a benefit and allowing your site to grow by being linked from a different, but similar, site. On the other hand, it can be incredibly frowned upon, and it runs the risk of decreasing traffic to your site.
Still, many sites accept guest posts, for better or worse.
What Is a Guest Post?
As the name suggests, a guest post is writing an article or a blog post on another’s website. Usually, it’s to get more brand awareness and/or referral traffic to their own site, especially if the guest post is on a site that is considered more popular than their own.
This can be seen as a mutually beneficial partnership as it can increase traffic to the site the article has been posted to as well as drive more traffic to the site of the guest contributor. However, just because someone has agreed to a guest post doesn’t mean that the focus of the article should be to link back to the contributor’s site, especially since Google tends to frown on such a thing.
Do Guest Post Links Work?
Well, yes and no.
It mainly is determined by how it’s done. Just like with keyword stuffing, too many links in the guest post can end up negatively impacting a site’s SEO. That’s not to say that a guest post shouldn’t have backlinks to their personal site, but if there is going to be a link, at least make it make sense in the context of the post.
There isn’t really any for sure way to know if the outbound backlinks in guest posts are the primary reason why these types of posts don’t perform well most of the time. After all, most pieces of content have more than 1 type of link, both inbound and outbound. This makes any kind of measurement difficult, if not close to impossible since it’s hard to know if a site’s SEO ranking was negatively or positively affected due to the potential “spamminess” of a particular contributor’s site.
How to Measure the Effect of a Guest Post?
One of the best ways to measure the effect a guest post may have on the host site is keyword ranking. While this isn’t without its flaws, the thought is that the more keywords a particular site ranks for, the more likely they are to be liked by search engines. And the more likely they are to be liked by search engines, the better it would be for the host, and even the guest’s, site.
Is Guest Posting Worth It?
This would depend on how much of an authority the guest post wants to present itself as. The truth is more and more websites are turning away guest contributors due to the higher risk of having their SEO negatively affected.
As of right now, most of the sites that accept guest posts are either sites that had expired domains that hadn’t been renewed, or domains that had been bought out and used mostly for guest posts. And the issue of external links has led to those sites having their SEO negatively affected.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t reputable sites that no longer accept guest posts. However, these sites tend to be a bit more judicial when determining to who they should give a guest spot. These are sites that tend to favor guest posts with more inbound links than outbound.
If someone wants to be a guest contributor, the primary goal should never be to just link back to their site. Otherwise, it’s immediately considered spam by search engines.
What Links Work in a Guest Post?
Since the goal of having a website is to rank on the first page of Google, having a post on a site built for spam obviously isn’t the way to go.
The best thing to do would be to do a backlink analysis and see where the backlinks for a particular site tend to go.
Do they have more outbound links? Then a guest contributor might want to consider another site.
Do they have more inbound links? This would be a good option to consider reaching out for an opportunity to submit a guest post.
Keep in mind that keywords play a significant role as well. And a lot may have to do with the industries those keywords are specific to. Still, with the right links and keywords, a guest post is more likely to help SEO than hurt.
Also read: Why is getting indexed by Google so hard?
In the end, it really comes down to the quality of the link in the guest post. With the changes in Google’s algorithm, particularly when it comes to user experience and intent, a guest post that does practically nothing but spams the user won’t help at all.
A guest post should do what other content does: build authority by answering the user’s question of “What’s in it for me?”
If you want to find sites that will be willing to offer you a guest post or have other needs for your site and business to grow and increase your brand’s awareness, contact us at the Marketing Agency in Utah for a consultation.