In this video we chat about doing a guest blog post as a search engine optimization strategy. For those who aren't familiar, we will begin by introducing this concept of writing guest blog posts, how you go about getting guest blog opportunities, and what the benefits are. Finally, we will discuss Google's position on guest blogging and some of the controversy surrounding it. There's just always controversy when we're talking SEO!


Hello, welcome to our video on the guest blogging. I'm Chad Hill, and I have Adam Stetzer with me.

Good afternoon, Chad. We're talking about doing a guest blog post as a search engine optimization strategy. For those who aren't familiar, let's just introduce this concept of writing guest blog posts, and how you go about doing that, and what are the benefits. Why would you do it? And then maybe let's get a little into what Google's been saying, and some of the controversy around it.

So first off, what is seo guest blogging? How do you do it? Why would you do it? How is it related to SEO?

Right, well, for guest blog posting the idea is that you're looking for places that are related to your topic, that have an audience, and that you can write a guest blog post or something that's interesting to the audience, that would then allow you to expand the audience you are able to talk to. And then, by getting that blog post seo published on another blog site, it then reaches an audience. Of course, also if you can earn a link back to your website, that helps build a domain authority on your website, which improves your chances of ranking on keyword terms.

Right, so these guest bloggers who have sites that have real audience have worked very hard to be in that position. And they're always struggling to look for interesting content to present to their audience. So, from the blog owner's standpoint, they welcome the guest content because they don't have to sit down and spend an hour, or two hours researching and writing something of high value that their audience will like. So you take on that work when you're the guest blogger because you're doing all that work. Some tips on that. You need to make sure it's in line with their general philosophy. You need to check what they've covered recently and make sure it's not redundant. You need to make sure it's not going to violently disagree with their positions or their tone. If you do all those things right, and you've agreed to do this guest blog post, most folks think that it's a fairly equitable trade to say in recognition for all the work you did-- to make this great thing that my audience's going to love-- we're going to give you an attribution link saying, so and so from this website contributed this content. And that's fairly common. So you can see where there's a link building component that comes in here, which is a huge benefit to you because this is going to be a well established site, usually with good domain authority, obviously very related to your topics. It's in your niche. And everyone seems to win out of the guest blogging process. So what's the controversy? Why has Google been recently talking about this? And what have they been saying?

Well, I think it's always one of those very subtle things. But there were some videos recently by members of the Matt Cutts' team, and also one that Matt Cutts put out, that talked about if the intent of you guest blogging is only to get a link back to your website, then that's not good. But if by the information that you've created and posted on that website is so good that it earns a link back, then that's OK. And, as usual, you're left a little bit in the middle trying to figure out, what does that really mean?

Yeah, so, that's a little baffling. So, I can see where a lot of people would be confused. I, personally, am, actually, a little confused by the message there. What seems like a fairly equitable trade-- I do all this work, and I make something of value, you post it, in return I get a link. No money has changed hands, which is usually Matt Cutt's standard for when he doesn't like link building. It's editorially appropriate because it's in the same niche. Seems like it would pass all of the tests for legitimately earned backlinks, but I have heard him cautioning that, as well, Chad. So, I guess from our standpoint, what's our position on the guest blog post? We think they're good, right? We do them here at Semify all the time. I guest post on a Search Engine Watch. You guest post on Search Engine Journal and Youmoz, and we do get guest blog seo attribution links, often, from those things, right?

Absolutely, I mean it's a great way, as you said, there's two benefits there. We're able to reach an audience. It's an equitable trade because these other publications are, in fact, making money off of us, right? We're putting out good content for free that we're posting on their website. They sell advertising and other services on their website. They get the rankings in many cases. And we watch this. We'll write a blog post mindful about an interesting topic, that's newsworthy. And we'll watch those websites show up almost overnight on page one for the keyword that we wrote the blog post about. So they're very happy with us. And then the return for that, they're saying, thanks very much Adam Stetzer, Chad Hill, reputable sources in this area here is their website for more information. That's kind of how we approach it. And we think it's very reasonable to do.

Right. So it's a little baffling for me to think that Google would look at that and say, that's not OK. But, I guess, part of the issue is we're producing very high quality output, we think, and these are very reputable syndication points. So I guess where it gets murkier is when you don't spend quite as much time on the post, and you're posting it to a blog post site that is not widely recognized as industry leading. I guess Google's concern is that this is just link building in masquerade. So I think our position is you should do it because it's a fair thing to do. It's a good way to gain more audience. You should keep your eye on quality, always. If you find yourself slipping into the notion that I'm writing this, no one will ever read it, so I'll just do it to get a link, you're probably in the danger zone. That's probably where you should stop. And not because we necessarily agree with the ethical argument that Google's made, but just because we're very practical. You don't want to get swept up in some filter, or get slapped down when you went out with actually good intentions. Maybe that's the best way to approach seo guest blogging and earn backlinks.