Is Guest Blogging Dead?
For many years, SEO enthusiasts, bloggers and brand managers alike have sought out new and exciting ways to earn a bit of clout and authority within search results. Ultimately, one of the most popular methods for entry-level performance gains has centered around earning links from other sites that possess greater authority. While there are entirely organic methods through which backlinks can be earned, guest blogging has emerged as a popular alternative for individuals seeking to accomplish the same in a more expedient fashion.
However, there are increasingly questions regarding the effectiveness of guest blogging. With that in mind, we’ll answer the broader question of whether guest blogging is still worth your time or worth nothing at all.
The Cost Versus Quality Conundrum
Guest blogging is ubiquitous in the world of SEO – but how much of it is truly useful? There are really two main dynamics to consider when evaluating how effective guest blogging can be, according to leading experts.
The first – and most popular – dynamic relates to low-cost guest blogging options. In most cases, guest blogging may involve trading content for mentions or backlinks. While this can be affordable for both entities, it often involves mediocre to subpar content: not exactly what brands publishing the content are looking for and not exactly what brands creating the content desire. Simply pinging links isn’t enough: the content should be engaging, informative and of the highest quality for optimal results.
The second dynamic involves effectively but highly-priced content. For a brand seeking to obtain this level of content with a link or mention to be published elsewhere, it can easily cost several hundred dollars. In the grand scheme of SEO tactics, this is nowhere close to being the most cost-effective solution.
Skepticism Among Influencers
Another huge hurdle in guest blogging is the generally cold reception many brands will face when approaching top-tier influencers and authorities. Even when offered exceptional content, many have come to view guest blogging as an ineffective and potentially risky gambit – especially if it involves direct links back to your website.
As such, it may be difficult to find truly influential brands willing to engage in the practice. Many times, top brands open to the concept of guest blogging may forbid the inclusion of direct links when served in a promotional sense, leaving you with the options of simply mentioning your brand, including an obscure link that may not involve a call to action, or simply choosing another option.
Search Engines Have a Sore Spot for Guest Blogging
It might surprise you, but guest blogging for the use of link building has long been a frowned-upon tactic in the eyes of search engines. While the practice itself can be difficult to identify and ultimately punish, search engines like Google are now advising brands to use nofollow tags on guest blog posts – if brands are following this advice, then this means you’ll get zero SEO clout from any links included. The only potential benefits in these situations is traffic driven from the posts in question (which is often minuscule).
As such, pinging links to audiences via guest posts may not even provide the benefits you’re trying to achieve.
Ultimately, guest blogging still has its place, but it’s important to know its limitations. For effective outcomes, the process is generally expensive. Even then, brands may be hesitant to accommodate you or outright strip any SEO benefits away from the equation altogether. Because of this, do your research on each brand and evaluate your options carefully.