When done effectively, link building is one of the most powerful components of search engine optimization. Earning quality backlinks puts your brand in front of an even larger segment of your target audience, and it establishes your authority to search engines. Sounds great, right? The only snag in the plan is that quality link building is also one of the most challenging aspects of SEO. Is guest blogging still a valid approach?

You can approach link building from multiple directions, some of them working beautifully while others are looked down upon scornfully from search engines. For years, guest blogging has been viewed as one of the most effective ways of gaining exposure and building links.

Illustration symbolizing guest blogging process.

That was until Google put its foot down.

Now, guest blogging for link building is often considered uncertain territory, with some businesses going forth with gusto and others avoiding it like the plague. Here is what you need to know about guest blogging for link building and how to successfully integrate it into your search engine marketing.

What Google Has to Say

Google doesn’t actually discourage using high-quality guests posts to build links. It isn’t the practice itself they’ve developed an issue with as much as how some businesses were choosing to use it. A while back, Google issued a warning about not adhering to SEO best practices when publishing content on other sites as a link building strategy.  

The warning came after the search engine noticed a surge in spammy links and poor quality guest posts. The very same things you want to avoid as a whole within your SEM are the same things you want to avoid to in your guest posts. For instance, staying away for keyword stuffing, producing unique content or sharing posts on too many websites all at once.

illustration of person writing a blog and using exterior resources.

Best Practices for Using Guest Blogs for Link Building

Guest blogging can still be part of an effective link building strategy, as long as you keep a few best practices in mind.

Be Mindful of the Sites You’re Posting On

Creating guest posts for link building isn’t a numbers game – it’s about quality. The value you get from contributing to one or two high-quality sites that are relevant to your audience far outweigh the benefit you’d get from guest posting on several dozen lower quality sites.

Remember It’s About the Audience

When creating a guest post, remember that you’re writing for the audience and not for search engines. The goal is to educate, add value or entertain the audience. They don’t care about your link building strategy and are going to be turned off by content that feels like it was created with any intent other than appealing to their needs. Avoid keyword stuffing and naturally work in the links back to your site, as opposed to making them glaringly obvious.

Avoid the Mass Production Trap

Did you have a guest post that worked beautifully for generating traffic to your website? That’s great, but don’t ruin it by trying to continuously recreate the magic with the same piece. Avoid spinning your own work into something that’s new but obviously similar to other articles you’ve published

Guest blogging is still effective for link building, but it also shouldn’t be the only component of your strategy. We’re happy to talk to you about successful link building. Contact Double Up Digital to learn more about our comprehensive approach to link building and SEO services today.

About The Author

Colt Steingraber

With a background ranging from finance to Rock and Roll, Colt brings a creative and productive approach to overall content strategy and implementation. As a writer of sorts, Colt provides a unique perspective to content generation while working directly with clients and partners to ensure that all of our content efforts are relevant, accurate and present a unique appeal to users.

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