The guest blogging is an effective method to improve the natural referencing of one’s blog and gain notoriety in the blogosphere. This net-linking technique has nevertheless evolved over the years with the updates of the algorithm of Google. What is the interest of the blogging guest today and what precautions are needed to succeed in a campaign by avoiding penalizing the ranking of its site in the search results?
What is the guest blogging?
- The guest blogging is a net-linking method for a blogger:
To host the contents of a third-party author on its site,
To produce free content for a “host” blog.
This natural referencing technique relies on reciprocity:
The blog “host” is fed with articles that enrich its content and thus improve its authority on a domain and / or its natural referencing.
The guest author and / or his blog benefit from visibility on a third-party site: through links posted to his own blog, a biography appearing at the bottom of the article, etc.
What is the guest blogging interest?
For the guest blogger:
Develop relationships with authoritative bloggers in their field. Some bloggers are also very influential on social networks (Twitter, Facebook): an asset to build personal brand and connect with other influential bloggers.
Develop relationships with the community of readers of the “host” blog, and get them to discover his own blog and then retain them.
Improve the natural referencing of his blog: by inserting back links properly anchored to his web-pages (see precautions below), which allows to increase the organic traffic to his blog.
For the host blog:
Enrich its blog with unique content that bring new and relevant light to the theme of the blog,
Improve the natural referencing of its blog (more regular updates of the contents),
Free time to work on other aspects of the development of his blog (eg affiliation)
Extend its network of relationships with new bloggers,
Benefit from the guest’s network, which will share the ticket via its channels (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc.)
Google’s position on guest blogging
Matt Cutts, head of the Google anti-spam team distinguishes:
The guest blogging qualitative: The host blog welcomes the editorial contribution of a person who is authoritative in his field and / or who has real qualities of writing. A collaboration of this type is beneficial to both blogs because the product content is unique and meets certain length requirements (see below).
The guest blogging assimilated to spam: like “content spinning”. The hosted article is a slightly modified version of an article that has already been the subject of several publications on other sites. This practice, similar to plagiarism, is to be avoided both for invited authors (assimilated to spammers) and for hosts, insofar as it exposes to referencing penalties (back links not taken into account on one side, Content assimilated to the duplicate content of the other)
See here the position of Matt Cutts on this subject
“Extensive marketing campaigns via blog articles: as a guest, with anchor text links rich in keywords can have a negative effect on the ranking of a site in the results Google, in its official instructions.
Google also indicated, outside official guidelines, that it was better to pass the links inserted in the guest content in “nofollow”
Find a host blog:
Make a list of influential bloggers in themes close to those of his blog: take into account the age of the blog, its PageRank, and certain social signals (number of subscribers to blogs, as well as Twitter and Facebook Author, quality of comments)
Possibly check the appearance of blog posts in Google News,
Make a first sort by identifying blogs open to guest blogging,
Study the contents of the blog: categories, angles of approach of the subjects, general tone.
Study the biography of the blog editor (ex: LinkedIn profiles, Viadeo) to personalize as much as possible the exchanges with him.
Identify a potential need in terms of content, which echoes the content offered on its own site (which is crucial for positioning wisely link back to an article). A proposal for a topic already addressed on the site will not be accepted.
When making contact: Customize the query to the maximum (no copying and pasting of messages sent to other bloggers), taking into account that the host blogger frequently receives this type of request. If he is interested, he will take the time to “google” you: check the consistency of the message with the information about you on the web.
Guest blogger: good practices
- Provide unique content.
- Ban the subjects with advertising connotation in connection with his blog.
- Propose subjects with angles and formats impacting: the articles of type “10 tips for”, “how …? “Are much appreciated by the blogosphere.
- The length of the guest article must be more than 300 words (see Matt Cutts’ position on this subject), ideally between 600 and 900 words. Propose relevant headings (H2, H3) for cutting out the reading.
- Facilitate reading by decorating it with bulleted lists.
- Be careful not to over-optimize the article for the SEO (choice of titles, subtitles, keywords).
- Do not hyperlink link anchors with keywords exactly matching a frequent query on Google (“exact match”).
- Privilege links in nofollow.
- React to the comments of the article to maintain the discussion.