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Is Guest Blogging a Viable SEO Topic in 2015?

Wait, isn’t guest blogging dead? Didn’t Google’s Matt Cutts officially say it had “gotten too spammy” way back in January 2014?

The answer is a bit complex. Guest blogging was subject to a downward spiral even before Cutt’s famous announcement in 2014. Spammy types were needlessly focused on things like page rank and optimizing around anchor text. As Cutt highlighted in his now-infamous post, Google was focused on putting a stop to low-quality content exchange. Expert Elisa Gabbert writes that Google’s algorithm can’t actually identify guest blogs. It can, however, detect thin content, awkwardly written content, and stuff that just really shouldn’t be published on your site.

In order to understand just how and why guest blogging can still be a valuable strategy for sharp brands in 2015, it’s important to first understand how this methodology is still being abused today.

Signs of Guest Blogging Abuse

Back links are still an important part of positive SEO, but they’re not the only component Google’s algorithm considers when determining a site’s relevance and authority. If your intent when writing a guest post is to earn a link, take a moment to consider whether you’re guilty of guest blogging abuse. Here are a few signs that your guest blogging strategy is likely misguided:

  • Links to a site that’s unrelated to the content or blog
  • Authorship by a non-subject-matter expert
  • Highly generic topics or poorly researched articles
  • A lack of links or citations aside from links to the author’s site
  • Blind submission of pitches to blogs the author clearly hasn’t read

These are just a few signs that you’re approaching guest blogging the wrong way. Links from high-authority sites are more likely to raise the algorithmic equivalent of eyebrows than build your authority or increase your ranking in searches.

Guest Blogging Can Contribute to Positive Content Marketing

Content marketing has a host of benefits to offer businesses, including increased exposure and thought leadership. If you approach guest blogging with the mindset of a content marketer or public relations professional, you’re far more likely to win than if you’re simply trying for back links.

Take the approach of guest authorship, not guest blogging. There’s an important distinction. Only pitch to sites where you can offer significant value to the audience, which falls under the umbrella of quality content. If you approach guest blogging with the right mindset, you can appreciate the following benefits:

  • New exposure to qualified prospects
  • Increased subject matter expertise recognition
  • Opportunities for brand partnerships

Eager for more insights into SEO best practices in 2015? Check out LeapGo’s recent blog post How to Keep Your Site Safe from Negative SEO Attacks.