Guest Blogging is Great, but Don't Overdo It - Cutts
Matt Cutts, chief of search spam at Google, has been especially prolific with his question-and-answer videos as of late, and he's back again with a new one covering the benefits (and potential drawbacks) of guest blogging.
Guest blogging is a simple link building technique in which a vendor generates a blog post for another website and includes a link back to their own website within the blog post. Cutts says that while guest blogging in general is fine, there's certainly a right way and a wrong way to do it.
How to Do Guest Blogging Right
The question Cutts fields in his most recent video comes from Ben Holland in Phoenix, AZ, who asks:
"How can I guest blog without it looking like I pay for links?"
Cutts starts by saying there's usually a clear distinction for Google between organic, occasional guest blogging and large-scale paid link schemes. He says that Google looks at certain criteria to determine this.
For example, paid links are usually reflected by off-topic and irrelevant blog posts that don't actually match the content of the blog on which it's posted, have keyword-rich anchor text that often seems forced into the content, and just seem out of place.
On the other hand, Cutts says that a quality guest blog is usually written by an actual expert, with a paragraph explaining who the guest poster is and why they were invited to post. Ideally, Google doesn't want to see an excess of keyword-rich anchor text in "good" guest blog posts either, though a judicious amount of it is fine.
Cutts goes on to say that as with everything on the internet, there's a "spectrum of quality" for guest blog posts, with "buy-cheap-viagra"-type guest posts on one end, genuine guest blogging done by experts on the other, and article marketing in which keyword-rich anchor text is placed in the author's bio at the end of the post somewhere in between.
In any case, Cutts says that you shouldn't use guest blogging as your sole source of links - rather, it should be done in moderation and in a targeted manner. In other words, if your site's niche centers around exercise and nutrition, it might not be worthwhile to write a guest post for a blog about HTML5 coding.
Finally, Cutts mentions that guest blogging seems to be a hot trend right now, and that it's resulting in a glut of low-value blog posts that Google is starting to receive complaints over.
You can watch the full video for even greater detail below: