Content Marketing, Search Marketing

Beware of Guest Posts

As you’re looking to develop content for your site, it’s always a challenge to keep up the desire for great content. You may be tempted to accept guest bloggers from time to time for your blog.

Each and every day we get offers to pay for sponsored posts as well as requests for guest posts. We tested paid posts many moons ago and immediately stopped – I’d be surprised if we have any left that are public. The quality was always terrible, the content was never focused for our audience, and the goal was almost always to sell and never to provide value to our readers. Guest posts are still allowed but I’d have to estimate that only a percent or two actually get published.

At the beginning of this year, Matt Cutts of Google provided the following warning:

Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company. Back in the day, guest blogging used to be a respectable thing, much like getting a coveted, respected author to write the introduction of your book. It’s not that way any more.

So… guest blogging isn’t just hurting the quality of your content, it may actually be impacting the ranking of your site on search engines!

Tonight, I received a Word Document that had a fairly unique article written for consideration for our blog. I was intrigued because I typically don’t receive the post until some discussion with the public relations professional or the company we’re writing about. I read the post and it was actually quite good – providing examples of unique email campaigns. As a check, I copied the opening paragraph and pasted it into Google to see if was content that had been posted elsewhere.

This resulted in something a bit scary. The article was unique, but basically a clone of an article written a few years ago that got a lot of attention. I had some identical phrasing with updated samples. It was not an identical copy and might have even passed a tool like Copyscape… but it wasn’t unique. Whomever the author was, he had done a very good job in updating examples and rewording the article enough to avoid being found out.

We won’t be publishing the article, of course. Aside from infographics, every post we share is unique on the MarTech Blog. And even infographics get published with a unique introduction and my 2 cents on them. Folks… don’t be tempted to accept guest blog posts. They’re most likely schemes to simply get some links placed on your site. This puts all the hard work you’ve accomplished at great risk. Don’t be tempted!

I’d rather skip a day of posting than put a site with a decade of effort into it at risk!

2 Comments

  1. 1

    Myths is what you are saying I hope. Its not that guest posts are dead rather a irrelevant and bad links gains are dead I believe!!

  2. 2

    Great post Douglas! I agree with everything you said and must say it’s good you still allow guest post (the great ones, of course). I found many sites that decided not to accept guest posting which is okay, but maybe they will miss some great opportunity.

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