|Guest blogging has slowly changed from a respectable way of gaining followers and increasing traffic to your site into something darker and spammy. Back in the day, being a guest blogger was something reserved for industry gurus or people who had something to say that people wanted to listen to. On occasion, a guest blogger would also include their link to their site so that people who were interested in reading more of their content could quickly jump to their sites and get their fill. There was, however, a problem hidden in all this.
|Having a large number of backlinks is known to increase a page’s rank on search engines. Although the standards have been tightened in recent times, having a high number of backlinks is still one of the criteria used in ranking search results, as well as the lesser known leverage that seo domains offer. Thanks to this well-known fact, many people started to guest posts with the express reason of creating more backlinks to their sites. On its own, this wouldn’t have been a bad thing but most of the posts that came with these types of posts were of low quality and didn’t add much value to the readers or the blogs in which they were posted. For search engines such as Google, having low-quality sites ranking high on search results due to these backlinks was a serious problem.
|Unfortunately, this was only the beginning. As owners and blog owners realised that the spammy guest posts weren’t adding much value to their sites and could, in fact, tarnish their reputations, the people who brought such posts started to come with other ‘incentives’ in exchange for a chance to guest post on these sites. Even today, the problem of people paying in order to post is still rife in the SEO industry.
|Unfortunately for some of the blog owners, some would fall victim to these low-quality backlinks without even realising it. A well-meaning blogger would allow a contributor the opportunity to write a guest post only to find the post was full of low-quality links. It wouldn’t take long before Google did something about this.
|Thanks to recent changes in the algorithm that Google uses to rank sites, sites that contained these low-quality blog posts started to be penalised and having even a single such post could result in harsh penalties for your site. The algorithm change forced people to reconsider their approach towards guest posting, knowing that the penalties involved could be fatal to their sites. However, this still hasn’t deterred certain entities and there are still many sites that rely exclusively on such practices for link building. As a blogger, you may still come across people asking to pay you in exchange for posting on your site; a violation of Google’s guidelines.
|There are many good reasons to guest blog such as gaining more exposure, building your brand and reaching more people. However, it’s important that the quality of the posts be high not just to avoid penalties but to give readers something of real value.