How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?

How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?


Today’s question comes from
Phoenix, Arizona. Ben asks, “How can I guest blog
without it looking like I pay for links?” OK, that’s
a fun question. So let’s talk about– for example, whenever we get a
spam report, and we dig into it in the manual webspam team,
usually, there’s a pretty clear distinction between an
occasional guest blog versus someone who is doing large-scale
pay-for-links kinds of stuff. So what are the different
criteria on that spectrum? So if you’re paying for links,
it’s more likely that it’s an off-topic or an irrelevant blog
post that doesn’t really match the subject of
the blog itself. It’s more likely you’ll see the
keyword-rich anchor text, that sort of thing, whereas a
guest blog, it’s more likely to be, hopefully, someone
that’s expert. There will usually be a
paragraph there that talks about who this person is,
why you invited them to be on your blog. Hopefully, the guest blogger
isn’t dropping keywords in their anchors nearly as much
as these other sorts of methods of generating links. So it is interesting, because in
all of these cases, you can see a spectrum of quality. You can have paid links
with buy cheap Viagra, all that stuff. You can have article marketing,
where somebody doesn’t even have a relationship
with the blog, and they just write an article
of 500 words, or whatever. And they embed their
keyword-rich anchor text in their bio, or something
like that. And then you’ve got
guest blogging, which can be low quality. And frankly, I think there’s
been a growth of low-quality guest blogging recently. Or it can be higher quality
stuff, where someone really is an expert, and you really
do want their opinion on something that’s especially
interesting or relevant to your blog’s audience. And so there is this spectrum. And we look at those kinds of
criteria when we try to distinguish whether something
is organic or not, whether something really deserves to be
considered high quality, or whether it’s more likely
to be spam. So one note of caution I would
advise is it feels like a lot of people– guest blogging seems like it’s
the fad of the month a little bit, because we do hear a lot of
people who are complaining about tons of people just
spraying and praying, sending out invitations. I’m going to guest blog on all
these different things. And sometimes they’re spinning
their guest blogs. They’re not even writing unique
content for each blog. And I don’t think that that’s
the best way to build links to your site. And so I wouldn’t recommend
that as a tactic. Guest blogging is probably the
sort of thing that you should be thinking about doing
in moderation. It shouldn’t be your
full-time job going around find people that– can I borrow your soapbox, and
climb up on it, and talk for a few little bits, and then
also embed some links back to my blog? If that’s all you’re doing, then
that’s probably not the best way to build reputation
to your website. But that’s a little bit
of the criteria. I was talking with someone right
before we taped this video, and usually it’s pretty
clear cut, the sorts of things that are paid links versus
guest blogs. Whereas if you’re doing a guest
blog and it gets pretty close to what looks like paid
links, then that might be the sort of thing where we decide
we don’t want to count those links, regardless. Hope that helps.

65 thoughts on “How can I guest blog without it appearing as if I paid for links?

  1. Makes sense, thanks Matt…the general rule seems to be: add value, don't spam or spin content, and be reasonable with your linking.

  2. Does this mean I should stop writing guest blogs about buying Viagra? Damn… Really wish I hadn't had bought those 16 pallets of blue pills now…

  3. Question , so how does a blogger or webmaster know where to connect to? Also have you discounted mass links from major fortune 1000 companies as well , so the blogger has a opportunity? Also and thank you for your time, another statement. So how do you reach many experts, with many not wanting to trade, as here is no page rank anymore or a way the webmaster can know what your side measures on their site. Thx

  4. Question, so best is to reach to other experts and how does a webmaster know, based on writing who to reach out to? Do you have a method you suggest? We used to search blogs ranked on your engine in the top 50-100 and we would engage participation. What's the best method now to know a site is safe to work with? This is why we always used to connect with sites ranked at top, as there was no other guidance. Thank you

  5. So why speak at conferences???????? The whole is to build reputation and get attention more than likely to your website. Is that wrong too? So ridiculous.

  6. Use as much diversity in your link profile as possible. As long as they are niche related and contextual you have nothing to worry bout.

  7. Move over techies and make way for the creatives… really looking forward to a day when all content is produced by impassioned individuals that possess a burning desire to share their knowledge with people that will finally be able to find them! Oh joy!

    (Is it okay if I link this comment to my website? ;0) )

  8. It might work well for the marketing agencies and their clients… but do you know how much these production line creatives get paid…? Usually peanuts! If anything at all… enter stage left the utterly exploited intern! It's appalling!

  9. I think he keeps referring to Viagra – because it paid off … in general – it's like "paid video post" (not a natural brand promotion "Viagra") … it should for it to impose sanctions on himself?

  10. at the time of release of each new video from Matt – Google dramatically increased in the number of requests for "Viagra" (kids watch these videos and they are interested in – what is this "taboo", Viagra?). 😀

  11. Since Google doesn't accept sex drugs keywords as advertising, this is an indirect marketing at has a contract with Viagra factory 🙂 Hope it pays well.

  12. like the BW firefox t-shirt… no chrome shirts today…. android t shirts…. always the best and most understandable info videos on the web #mattcutts

  13. Holy crap………that emblem on his shirt looks like the mini-arc reactor, that Tony Stark needs to keep him alive. I wonder where he plugs himself in at night?

    I KNEW CUTTS WASN'T HUMAN!

  14. You are totally wrong. Google is playing the police, judge etc. in one single company. They censor articles etc. I can show you many, many examples.

  15. Instead of making the world guess what to do, why not tell others what is ethical, instead of telling everyone what isn't and penalizing them. I am not saying to tell everyone the full algorithm. I am just saying, why not come up with an ethical list of tactics your allowed to use and give them a brief on what not to do. I just feel this would help so many companies world wide from going bankrupt. It's not an owners fault there are bad SEO's or people who just don't know what they are doing.

  16. So basically write relevant good quality content – like with everything? I thin Google need to look at their 'unique content' as they're answers are all the same!

  17. I think essentially what they are saying is that if you pay for advertising anywhere but Google you'll be penalised.

  18. Hello Matts,
    One question from you : We got partial manual penalty for Link spam. Do other important SEO factors also stop to help us in ranking. If yes then, when penalty removed will we get ranking again with the help of those other factors.
    Thanks
    Shreesh
    New Delhi

  19. I don't think guest blogging ever really looks like you paid for the link. If you want to pay for links it's just easier to pay for a link in an existing page or blog post.

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  21. People who guest blog legitimately never think to ask this question.  Only people who are guilty (or feel guilty) of doing something wrong would think to even ask such a question.

  22. Dispelling the myth of guest blogging. It is still valid and there are ways to do it right and many ways to do it wrong. How do you avoid getting penalized as if you paid for links when you guest post.

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