Link building

Why guest blogging is the worst link building strategy

Five years ago, I decided to link to my personal site, and my weapon of choice was guest blogging.

I was only looking for high quality links and only featured my posts to high profile blogs like Moz, CXL, Social Media Examiner, Entrepreneur, and other big stars.

Fortunately, my efforts were not in vain and I even had my own columns as a contributor.

But the more guest content I wrote, the more I realized that guest blogging had nothing to do with link building – even though that was why I started writing guest posts.

I learned my lesson. But I still see this misconception circulating around that guest content helps acquire more links.

Let me explain why you shouldn’t blindly trust guest blogging as a link building strategy.

When done right, guest blogging is expensive

Guest blogging, with the proper understanding of this concept, is an expensive business.

Just to give you a bit of context, a well-delivered column in the B2B niche costs around $ 400 to $ 500 on Upwork.

Here’s the problem: The best copy is supposed to introduce something unique, but not all guest posts live up to that expectation.

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I’ve noticed that only a true expert can share something truly valuable instead of rewriting what has already been shared and currently ranks remarkably well in the SERPs.

Ideally, a decent blog post is delivered by an expert in the field and then tweaked by an experienced copywriter.

This is exactly how I write my messages. I don’t have time to perfect every sentence, but I always make a detailed plan.

And, of course, the more time an expert spends writing a copy, the more it costs.

For example, I need four hours to a few days (depending on the topic) to write something solid.

The more time I spend on an item, the higher the final price.

In a Perfect World, guest blogging is done by contributors who really know their stuff and can write something truly unique. But as useful and insightful this copy is, it is incredibly expensive to produce.

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The best blogs in the industry don’t link to your strategic pages

I don’t want to completely remove guest blogs. But if you are considering using this strategy for bonding, be prepared for possible rejection.

Most high quality industry blogs will not allow you to link to your most important pages.

I’m talking about your commercial pages; those who present your services or products.

These pages are strategic for your business, but they provide almost no value to the readers of the blog that posted your article.

For them, these pages are less informative and do not provide in-depth information on a particular topic. They are transactional and not informative.

Now, you may disagree and think that you should be able to link to such pages as a reward for your contribution to the content.

However, I will side with a potential reader, even though I am a link maker by day (and a dressage champion by night).

Why is my stance on linking to business pages through guest blogging so strict?

Such links change the intent of the guest post.

When I work on a column, I do my best to deliver something meaningful.

But if I link to my agency’s service page in my post, it means I should start talking about our offers. As a result, my copy changes from educational copy to commercial copy.

Of course, there are blog posts that aim to sell a product, but guest blogging is rarely about that.

If I add a link to one of my strategy pages, it will hardly help my brand stand out and my post will prove to be a hard sell.

Large-scale guest blogs lead to poor quality links

Unfortunately, you can’t rely too much on guest blogging.

The point is, the more guest posts you write to build links, the lower quality they’ll be.

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Here’s why. There are many link building agencies that use guest blogging as their go-to link building strategy.

The cost per guest post can vary, but they’re generally quite affordable. For example, The Hoth offers guest blogging services for around $ 400, which is quite reasonable.

Why guest blogging is the worst link building strategy

All link building agencies use the same logic: the customer selects the metrics of a site they want to post a guest post on (domain authority, organic traffic, etc.). After that, you sit down and wait for the agency to do all the work for you.

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At first glance, there’s nothing wrong with linking through new content on a seemingly trustworthy website, but it doesn’t work like that.

Link building agencies look for quick ways to post content, and the sites they work with may not care about the quality of guest contributions.

Another problem is that most of the sites that partner with link building agencies that publish guests on a large scale are either content farms that are used only by link builders or are private blogging networks that mostly exist. to manipulate search engine rankings.

There is no way to know for sure that this is not a private blogging network, and if your link ends up on the content farm site, consider yourself lucky.

In short: garbage in, garbage out.

If your link ends up on a shady website, you may be hurting your SEO rather than helping.

This might be the price to pay if you decide to set up guest blogs on a large scale. In fact, posting content on a great website takes a lot of time and effort.

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Unfortunately, you also cannot overcome this problem by creating guest blogs in-house.

Even if you post guest posts yourself, you won’t be able to target blogs with high editorial standards right away. You’ll end up looking for some handy fruit just to get started and end up with the same shoddy links anyway.

So the lesson here is that producing mass guest posts can lead to a lot of unnecessary links.

If a website easily gives backlinks, Google devalues ​​their priority. As a result, all of your link building efforts and hard work on guest content will be wasted.

Google recommends adding “Nofollow” to all links in guest posts

Here’s another problem: Google doesn’t like link building.

The general recommendation is to add the “nofollow” attribute to all links in guest posts. And links with this tag offer no benefit or authority.

Google does not penalize a website for guest posts. However, Google’s algorithms are trained to identify and downgrade guest post links.

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Therefore, such links do not help to improve the position of the site in search results.

What is the point of writing guest posts?

I understand if you are confused right now, as everything I have told you so far suggests that guest blogging has no real value.

However, posting guest posts is an important part of building brand awareness.

Such content helps illustrate your authority in the niche.

Additionally, if your guest’s content displays quality and expertise, it has an impact on how Google rates your brand and whether it deserves to rank higher in the SERPs.

Don’t reject guest blogging altogether.

Keep in mind that your guest blogging activity shouldn’t cause Google to associate your brand with low-quality posts on shady websites.

Think of guest blogging as part of your PR strategy, and only post guest posts on resources that your audience trusts.

And don’t skimp on quality by posting guest blogs en masse!

Instead, be more picky and aim only to publish your content only to reputable resources.

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Guest blogs are more about social proof than link building

To recap, guest blogging can get expensive, whether you’re writing the content yourself or enlisting the help of a writer.

Getting a link to a strategic page in your guest post is almost impossible; no decent website will ever want to publish it.

On top of that, the more guest posts you write for the purpose of building links, the lower the quality of the links you will get.

And, Google isn’t a fan of guest blogging either.

So why even try to write guest posts?

For social proof and brand awareness.

Guest blogging works well as a public relations strategy and can help you rank higher in search results because it proves your brand’s authority.

But that’s not the perfect way to bond.

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All screenshots taken by author, February 2021


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