More of Eric’s thoughts on guest blogging:
Mark: Eric I have another question for you today. There’s been a lot of concern out there about guest posting, guest blogging. Google’s been saying some things that sound like guest blogging is dead or you shouldn’t be doing it. So, why should I be guest blogging these days?
Eric: Well, the very short answer to your question is that guest blogging can be good for your brand and reputation, if you do it the right way. But you’ve got to place a lot of emphasis on this notion of “doing it the right way.”
So for example, I write for Forbes, Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land, and Copyblogger, and all of those have clearly been good for my personal brand and reputation, and for that of Stone Temple Consulting. So I certainly plan to continue those activities, as they are fundamental as to how we do marketing.
I think that’s sort of the big key. You have to have the right mindset for how you go about doing it. So if you start from the frame of mind that you want to build your brand and reputation, and you’re going to go after the top sites in your space, and try to get published on those, I think that’s a very solid strategy for any business to use.
Mark: Well then, Eric, ,what’s the downside? What kind of blogging would not be good? Why has Google raised some warning flags about guest blogging?
Eric: There’s a lot of bad actors out there. But to get to what they’re doing that’s not good, the first sign that you’re doing something you shouldn’t be doing, is if there’s an agency that’s putting content placements out there, and you don’t know what they’re doing, and you’re not actually treating that as part of your brand and reputation strategy.
Or even if you have an employee sitting in a dark room somewhere (OK, it doesn’t have to be a dark room!), working on their own, they’re not actually being closely supervised in terms of what they’re doing, what they’re doing is putting content out there on the web, and people are seeing that as the representation of your brand. And Google likewise sees that as bad too, because they see that as a sign of “guest blogging for SEO,” as Matt Cutts called it.
But there are some other things you can trigger on. If you are using lots and lots of different domains instead of focusing on a smaller number of high-authority ones, that’s another big clue. If you’re putting rich anchor text links, either in the attribution or the body of the article–and by “rich anchor text” I mean your key “money” keyword–that’s what you’re stuffing in all these articles, then that’s usually a bad thing to do.
The other is if its just kind of poor quality content, and you’re not really thinking about it as trying to solve a problem for someone, all of those are the things that people have been doing when they’ve been doing it the wrong way.