This article is contributed by Thomas McMahon.
It’s no trade secret that guest posting is a favorite technique of link builders and SEOs around the globe. This has made the inboxes of webmasters and editors who accept these outside contributions flood to the point of bursting, and has created thousands of sites that feature poorly written guest posts that are stuffed with links.
This has led many people to believe that Google will soon penalize links coming from, and going to, sites that implement guest posting since it has been abused. Needless to say, this has caused many webmasters to jump ship and stop accepting guest posts entirely, but I think this is premature and the fears are unfounded.
Stoking the Fire
While some webmasters shut down their guest posting policy, or made it much more difficult, in order to combat spam, many more have started shutting down their guest posting policy ever since Matt Cutts answered two questions in his video series.
The first video from Matt was released in early October of 2012 and it addressed the question, “What is Google’s view on guest blogging for links?” Like any Matt Cutts video, there were few hard facts but the consensus seems to be that if the quality of all parties involved is high, then Google doesn’t have a problem with it.
A month later, Matt released another video that addressed a question that has helped to spread the fear that blog owners will find their sites penalized because they allow guest posts. In the second video, Matt addresses the question, “Is Google going to hammer websites for links acquired by guest blogging?” Matt explains that Google is prepared to move against sites that feature guest posts with poor content and links, but not that they are doing so now.
What Does this Mean?
There have been plenty of articles that have gone live since these videos aired that are no better than propaganda and yellow journalism. The claim that guest posting will be targeted by Google is unfounded and unmerited. Google will keep on doing what it has been doing all along, that is combatting spam. If you accept poorly written or spun guest posts that link to irrelevant and spammy sites then yes, you will be penalized. But if your guest posts are well written and you control what is being posted with a critical eye then you’ll be fine.
To Sum Up
You should only rethink your guest posting stance if you’re playing fast and loose and letting anyone and their dogs post content on your site. This draws spun, duplicate, and spammy content faster than mosquitos after a wet spring. Stay on top of your guest posting policies and only run content that you want your readers to interact with. You, and your site, are judged by the company you keep and if you are posting poor guest posts then that will reflect in poor rankings in the long run. Don’t be quick to act and stop your guest posting entirely if you have a good policy like Barry does. Accepting well written articles is a great way to feature different views and authors, as well as helping to stay on top of your publishing schedule.