We’ve all heard the news that Google has declared guest blogging dead, but is it really? Former head of web spam at Google Matt Cutts’s announcement was met with skepticism, and further changes like the new sponsored and UGC link attributes have only added fuel to the fires of confusion.
The reality of the matter is that guest blogging is alive and well as an SEO strategy. We wanted to understand just how prevalent this link-building strategy is in the SEO industry today, so we asked the experts and more than 100 responded!
As it turns out, the vast majority of SEOs agree that guest blogging is a highly-effective SEO strategy, despite what Google might have you believe. The biggest things to keep in mind are that quality will always outweigh quantity and relevance is key.
Here’s what SEO experts and business owners from around the globe had to say about guest blogging as a link-building strategy:
Yes, Guest Blogging IS an Effective SEO Strategy
“Guest blogging can be an incredibly effective SEO strategy; especially when first starting out. Relevant do-follow links leading back to your website increase your website’s domain rating; which in turn is one of the elements that give you a higher rating within google.
That being said, guest posting is not as easy as it once was. Websites with higher domain ratings are becoming overwhelmed with requests, and often simply no longer respond to requests. This can be frustrating. Early courses often teach pupils to search for people looking for guest posts. We have found more success reaching out to relevant websites within our niche that possibly are not getting the requests when compared to the bigger or popular websites. These websites are quite happy to receive a well written, unique article that will add to their current content.”
– Jannah Haas, Co-Founder and CMO, Angry BBQ
“Guest blogging remains a viable SEO strategy; however, it requires proper strategic planning, as cheap/spammy link building can actually harm SEO.
In 2014, Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Webspam, wrote on his blog that guest blogging for the sole purpose of generating mass backlinks will result in Google’s algorithm penalizing your site. This remains the case today. In this context, successful guest blogging means providing readers with value.
So, there are three key questions to ask when embarking on a guest blogging journey:
- Does the site I want to guest post on attract my type of audience? If yes, then you can provide value through great content.
- Does the site have a decent-strong level of authority, or is it spammy? Combining an authentic site with helpful content is an effective tool for increasing your own authority.
- Would I be happy with this article on my site? If no, then re-look your strategy.
The ultimate goal of relevant, strategic, and effective guest posting is increased domain authority for your site, which then results in an increase in traffic as Google recognizes your site as an authoritative source of information.”
– Charbel Coorey, Digital Marketing Specialist, cricblog.net
“Guest posting is still a viable option for 2020, but only if sites have the stomach to continue guest posting without seeing any visible results immediately.
Frequency and consistency are both critical, but marketers should keep in mind that guest posting doesn’t guarantee short-term success. Money, time, and effort are essential investments to achieve the 50 referring domain mark. The effects of guest posting are cumulative, and the fruits often appear several months, sometimes years, for businesses to see the benefit.”
– Max Harland, CEO, Dentaly
“The best way to make SEO guest blogging effective is to not be trollish with it. As long so you generate great quality and original work for reputable websites, then you won’t have any challenges and your SEO approach will succeed.”
– Matt Scott, Owner, Termite Survey
“Guest blogging as an SEO strategy is still very effective provided that you do it properly. Mass guest blogging on sites that have big Write for Us tabs in their menu bar is not recommended; contributing relevant content to other sites that pertain to your niche is a very effective strategy.
Some things to pay attention to:
- Bring Value: A common mistake that guest bloggers will sometimes make is to provide an article just for a link. You need to have a very well-written guest blog that would be worthy of being placed on your own site.
- Include More Resources: Your guest blog should contain links pointing to other sources, not just your own article or blog.
- Be the Expert: Your guest blog should be an expert piece. This is why it makes sense to partner with another website in your niche, or a similar niche. This allows you to be the expert who will provide relevant content.”
– Amberly Mekaelian, Account Executive, 201 Creative, LLC
“Despite Google coming out to say that backlinks no longer have the sway they once did, guest blogging remains a crucial aspect of SEO in general. Guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to build backlinks that can help boost your domain authority. Writing guest posts on other websites will always prove beneficial if you want to improve your SERP rankings especially for new websites.”
– Ejike Umesi, Editor, 9javillage!
“Back in 2014, someone said guest blogging was done and over with as an SEO tactic. Fast forward to 2020, guest blogging is still very much alive. In fact, even more people are now using it to draw links and increase website traffic. An SEO industry survey done last March 2020 placed guest posting as the third most popular SEO tactic.”
– Malte Scholz, Co-Founder, Airfocus
“Guest blogging is an excellent strategy to utilize for SEO as long as is being done correctly. Guest posting on other websites can be super helpful, but you want to do a little research beforehand and look at the metrics of that site before. Ensure that they have a healthy trust score and DA (domain authority) so that your company name is tied to a website that is well-respected.”
– Casey Adams, Client Success Manager, All My Web Needs
“Guest blogging can be a very effective strategy if you have specific goals you want to reach and a strategy in place to achieve them. For example, get a certain number of backlinks with a certain anchor on a monthly basis. As for our own results, we get 5-10 links per month from guest posting, and we don’t even do it that diligently as we could. It can be time intensive and you can lose a lot of time going back and forth with editors; however, it’s still a valid strategy to build links in 2020.”
– Petra Odak, CMO, Better Proposals
“Guest posting can help your SEO if you follow these three rules:
- Focus on quality rather than quantity (i.e. it is better to contribute 1 awesome guest post per month than 4 mediocre contributions)
- Focus on contributing to high authoritative websites as measured by Moz Domain Authority and other industry metrics
- Verify that the website is relevant to your website (e.g. contributing a marketing article to a sports website would probably not be relevant).”
– Bruce Harpham, SaaS Marketing Consultant, BruceHarpham.com
“Many marketers focus on on-page SEO, which is incredibly important, but off-page SEO needs some love too to create a well-rounded strategy. Guest posting is a vital part of any strong off-page SEO strategy and is one of the best ways to increase the domain authority (DA) of your site and ultimately your ranking power in the eyes of Google. If done right, it can boost your site’s health and drive traffic.
When guest posting to other sites, it’s key to vet possible sites and only choose sites that are a good fit. For example, if you’re a marketing agency, you’ll want to have your guest posts placed on sites focused on business best practices and marketing.
Additionally, you’ll want to make sure the sites you choose aren’t “spammy”. Take a look at the site in question and see if the content they have looks error-free and well-written, as many spam sites will have poor content with tons of links throughout. In addition, using tools like SEMRush and Moz can help you see a site’s spam score and take a deeper dive into whether that site could be a good fit for you.”
– Amanda Lanier, SEO Copywriter, Cape & Bay
“There’s no doubt that things have changed when it comes to guest blogging. Whilst it may be true that the benefits of guest blogging are negligible for B2C sites, there is still some benefit when it comes to B2B. If, however, you’re looking for fast results, you may be disappointed.
Personally, I have enjoyed huge success with B2B guest blogging but I have to warn you that it’s a cumulative effect and that newbies shouldn’t expect to see rank-busting results for at least two years. Having said that, it will be worth the wait. When done right, B2B guest blogging can help you to build on your authority and reputation as well as building your network and, when put in place properly as a central part of your strategy, it can help you to gain leads and place you as a thought leader in your industry. In fact, brands who prioritise their business blogging efforts are thirteen times more likely to enjoy positive ROI.
Guest blogging for SEO in 2020 is absolutely worth it, as long as you’re prepared to put in the time and leg work.”
– Milosz Krasinski, Speaker & Blogger, Chillifruit.com
“In terms of link quality, guest blogging is still the best link-building strategy. Guest Blogging allows you to target high-quality websites and improve your chances of successfully securing backlinks. What’s even better is that once you guest post on one website, you can create lasting relationships and contribute regularly to get more backlinks.”
– Kazi Hassan, Account Manager, COdesign Limited
“I believe guest blogging still has its value in 2020 if you post to a related industry site that’s also local.
As a roofer, I can guest blog for a home interior renovation or patio deck installation company that also serves my city. This way, I get both SEO value and attract readers within my local key demographic.”
– Zach Reece, Owner, Colony Roofers, LLC
“Guest blogging can be a very effective strategy for SEO, if you do it correctly. In other words, only guest post on high-authority sites that are super relevant to your niche. Place a natural link or two back to your own content within a guest post to send authority signals to the search engines. It works: entrepreneurs like Adam Enfroy have managed to scale their blogs in very short periods of time by focusing the majority of their time and energy on guest blogging.”
– Kelly O’Hara, Founder, Copy Goals,
“Guest blogging as an SEO strategy is extremely effective.
Not only does creating guest content on other sites help your SEO, it also exposes your content/brand to a new audience as well as providing backlinks to your website.”
– Richard Carthon, Founder and CEO, Crypto Current
“When it comes to the effectiveness of guest blogging for SEO purposes, it all depends on what you’re expecting.
For example, guest blogging can be a great way to get your name out there, share your thoughts, and get a relevant backlink (or two). You can use the posts you get published as your portfolio. That way, you can move on from pitching lower-quality websites to get published on outlets such as Forbes, Hubspot and other major blogs.
Guest blogging is not a good idea if you want quick SEO wins or immediate results such as improvements in organic traffic and keyword rankings. No SEO tactic can make this possible, but especially not guest blogging.
Overall, it’s a great supplementary tactic for SEO and content marketing, but I wouldn’t use it as my one and only SEO tactic.”
– Stefan Smulders, CEO, Expandi
“Guest blogging is a very effective SEO strategy. Backlinks are still the number one way to get your site to rank, and guest blogging is a great way to do that. Plus, it helps you or a staff member solidify their place as an expert on a particular topic.
Be careful, though. Guest blogging can be harmful to your SEO if you let money become a factor. Paying someone to get them to post your guest blog or asking for payment to be featured on your blog can run you afoul of Google. These posts have to be labeled as sponsored posts and all links tagged as sponsored. This doesn’t help SEO as much as a plain dofollow link, and if it’s not tagged correctly and Google even suspects foul play, it could result in a manual penalty being imposed.”
– Jason Boyd, Editor in Chief, Fictionphile
“Building links is much more difficult and different than the way it used to be before. While before, you could easily build links to your site by sending hundreds of outreach emails, now, needless to say, those strategies are fruitless.
This is where guest blogging shines.
With guest blogging, you can get high authority links to your blog that increase your site’s authority.”
– Khris Steven, Owner, Khrisdigital
“Guest blogging as an SEO strategy is effective only if it is done right.
To do it right, follow these rules:
- Come up with informative content that offers value
- Do not write a post whose only goal is to redirect readers to your site (the readers will see right through you)
- Post on sites with content that is similar or aligns with your service/product
- Post on authoritative sites.
Following these tenets allowed me to enjoy increased traffic.
Guest posting on other sites will either help or hinder your SEO. It depends on how you do it.”
– Mark Hayes, Head of Marketing, Kintell
“Guest blogging is still an effective SEO strategy, as it’s still one of the easiest (and cheapest) methods of getting high-quality links to your site; however, not all links are created equal. I recently received two guest blog links to my site that met my criteria (relevant niche and monthly organic traffic over 1000 visitors). One did nothing to my stats, the other increased my total impressions by around 80%.
The monthly organic traffic for site two was huge (several million visitors per month), with the results showing that guest blogging can still be worth it!”
– Mark Hemming, Founder, Libra Translation
“How effective is guest blogging as an SEO strategy? It depends.
If you have a team member who will guest post on behalf of your brand, than it’s effective at getting new links, new brand recognition, and trickles of referral traffic along the way; however, if you’re a one-man team and you can’t outsource content creation, then guest posting is not a viable way to boost your SEO.
It takes too much time to first look for prospects and then create content tailored to their sites and audiences. That time is better spent publishing content on your site and going for links that don’t require new content from you, for example niche edits, broken link building, link roundups, resource page link building.”
– Nikola Roza, Owner and CEO, Nikola Roza- SEO for the Poor and Determined
“Guest blogging, when done properly, has its place in SEO. When blogging for another website, make sure it’s relevant to your niche and that the content your providing would be useful to their readers. There’s no benefit in trying to land as many guest posts as possible especially if those websites have nothing in common with your products or services. The big takeaway here is quality over quantity!”
– Todd Hooper, Founder, Prerender.io
“From the perspective of generating traffic and backlinks to your site, I think manual, high-quality guest posting is worthwhile.
In the past month I have managed to build (for free) over thirty links from niche relevant blogs to my site. These links are sending a steady trickle of traffic to my site and my Google rankings are also increasing.
If you can spend the time finding good quality sites, to reach out in a win-win manner and to create high quality content, I think it is a great strategy for website and business promotion.”
– Scott Jones, Owner, Pupster Passion
“Guest blogging probably makes up 60% of our SEO. We follow 3 major rules we operate by when it comes to this practice:
- No backlink swaps: In any given month my team and I author between 10-15 articles that get published on different websites and link back to our homepage or sometimes an infographic or uniquely suited blog post. Our #1 rule for guest blogging is that we never link back as a favor to the websites we publish on. The way we see it, we’re giving them a piece of high quality, thoroughly researched content for free. That’s enough of a favor!
- Minimum DA of 30: Domain authority is a big deal in SEO. We use Moz for at-a-glance evaluation of websites we partner with. We almost never write guest posts for websites with sub-30 DA, because at that point we’re not getting enough of a payoff from the time/labor it takes to write that article. I say almost never because sometimes we’ll make an exception for a newer website if they have healthy SEO practices in place and appear to be growing.
- Avoid content factories 99% of the time: For any niche you can think of, there are probably a dozen or so websites that churn out tons and tons of articles that have minimal readership and very little or zero engagement. But they usually have a DA of at least 30 and for a low price (I’ve been quoted as little as $25) you can buy an article with a do-follow backlink. It’s ok, every once in a while, to use content factories if you’d like to, say, do a favor for an editor at a website you’ve partnered with and link to their blog, but making a regular habit of publishing in content factories is the sort of activity that will get you flagged by Google’s algorithms. It’s just not worth it.”
– Jake Rheude, VP of Marketing, Red Stag Fulfillment
“We have found guest posting to undoubtedly be one of the best practices to improve our SEO and it forms a large part of our SEO strategy for 2020. A Moz survey found link building to be the number one local ranking factor that influenced higher search rankings.
The best way to build links? Guest posting.
Many search optimizers argue that SEO has become increasingly difficult over the years and we certainly agree with that statement. Google’s frequent changes such as Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird make it more difficult with each update. Guest posting has consistently been a good ‘white-hat’ approach to improving SEO and we see it as continually being a good tactic well beyond 2020.”
– Chris Sheward, Founder and CEO, Repuzen
“When it is done correctly, guest blogging is a very effective way to positively impact your SEO. It has changed drastically over the last number of years, but it can still be done in a way that will help your website’s SEO.
I would recommend looking for opportunities to exchange guest posts with other like-minded people, and you will find a ton of great opportunities that could lead to other collaborations. Do it organically and find real opportunities and guest posting can be a huge positive for your website’s SEO.”
– Donny Gamble, Founder, Retirement Investments
“Guest blogging is absolutely worth it for your business if you do it right. Do it first for the exposure and credibility you’ll build by showing up on the blogs of other authority figures in your niche. SEO and backlinking are great bonuses. Choose the place you guest blog wisely as who you associate with in this way could, of course, negatively affect your business.”
– Eric Sachs, CEO, Sachs Marketing Group
“Guest blogging can be very effective as part of an SEO strategy. While we wouldn’t say it’s the only strategy to take when improving your SEO, we think it does help. There are a number of mixed thoughts about guest blogging, how to do it, why you should do it, and how effective it is. Of course with anything SEO, you should know that it’s a long-term game that pays more and more dividends over time (if you do it right). Our advice is to get a long term plan in place that allows you to consistently work on your SEO over time and this can certainly include guest blogging.”
– Andrew Cunliffe, Co-Founder, Second Fiddle
“In my SEO efforts, I have found guest blogging invaluable. The truth is that while link earning is always better than link building, small sites lack the publicity and the traffic to be properly rewarded for their great content. That’s where guest blogging comes in: it helps you get an SEO boost at the beginning while no one can find you.
For Smartcare I’ve developed a strategy of using Ahrefs to find parenting blogs and send out article pitches to these websites with useful articles all about choosing a good daycare. They get helpful articles that their reader like and helps with their SEO strategy, and I get links back to my website that helps with our own SEO.”
– Ryan Cook, SEO Specialist, Smartcare
“Guest blogging is still an important aspect of SEO allowing you to solidify your site’s expertise in your sector. By contributing to relevant websites, this provides clear signals on the context of your site and how it fits with the search engine’s knowledge of that topic.”
– Megan Meade, Marketing Specialist, Software Path
“Guest blogging is one of the most hyped content marketing strategies, so it’s sensible to ask if it’s actually worth the effort. The answer is yes: guest blogging expands your backlinks, builds credibility, and helps establish your virtual network.
The problem is that too many marketers think of guest posts as advertisements. In fact, 79% of editors say the most common problem with guest posts is that they’re too promotional.
When you pitch a guest post, make sure it’s primarily providing useful content to the publication’s readers. The best guest posts establish you as a thought leader in the industry, rather than a salesperson sneaking in an ad.”
– Shayne Sherman, CEO, TechLoris
“As a business, guest posting is absolutely an effective way to boost your organic search rankings and traffic, especially compared to other link building tactics. Guest blogging is incredibly focused and allows you to boost the visibility of certain pages when done correctly.
The downside is that it is incredibly time intensive: you can no longer send mass emails and expect results, each message needs to be tailored to the receiving site and you need to offer something of value. If you’re doing your due diligence on the sites you’re reaching out to, guest posting should only help your SEO.
A few things to look out for are:
- Sites that charge for posts
- Sites that let unrelated industries submit posts
- Sites that have wildly fluctuating traffic
- Sites that exist for the sole purpose of allowing guest posts.”
– Quincy Smith, Co-Founder, Test Prep Nerds
“Guest blogging is effective if done correctly. Make sure to check the domain authority of the site prior to posting, as lower DA sites will not result in quality backlinking. Additionally. make sure the backlinks a website provides to its guest posts are follow rather than no follow. Doing the research prior ensures your efforts impact your SEO.”
– Ben Aston, Founder, The Digital Project Manager
“Guest blogging was and to some extent is still a viable marketing strategy. The problem is that it’s been abused so much as a tactic that it’s less effective than it used to be. “
– Samuel Hurley, Co-founder, NOVOS
“Guest blogging can certainly still add value to your blog/website. Allowing guest posts on your site can be beneficial as long as it adheres to the 3 pillars of SEO (relevancy, authority, and trust):
- It should come from a credible (trustworthy) source
- The content should be relevant to your site (relevancy)
- The article should include links from trustworthy sites (think Forbes, government sites, etc.)
Writing guest posts for other sites can both harm or help your site. You only want to write for sites that meet the criteria of the 3 pillars of SEO. Is the site relevant to your site and its content? Does the site have authority (I.e. does the site rank high in the SERP for its industry?)? And does the site link to other relevant authoritative sites? If the site meets these criteria then guest blogging and getting a link from this site can improve your sites’ ranking. If the site is low quality, links to many non-relevant sites, and has low authority it can harm your sites’ ranking/SEO.”
– Katie Fellenz, Head of Marketing, Trust & Will
“Guest posts still work for SEO but it’s become a lot harder to land them over the last 12 months. I put a lot of this down to misconceptions and fear generated by Google’s adapted nofollow rules (sponsored/UGC and so on). I’ve found this confusion has increased webmaster wariness about providing dofollow links in general. Google itself remains characteristically opaque when it comes to the SEO value of each of these new links types.
To make guest posting work in 2020, it simply takes more effort to identify worthy outreach targets. Once you’ve built your outreach list, it pays to then spend extra time checking recent submissions to see how the link is typically credited. If the site has insignificant organic traffic, and they consistently use nofollow attribution, I’m more prone to chop them from the list. Response rates will vary depending on your niche, but I’ve noticed that speculative introductions to start a conversation about guest posting are performing poorly. I’m having to submit a great deal more detail about specific pitches to get meaningful engagement. That’s time-consuming, but worth it.
To provide an example, I recently identified 60 potential targets for a sub-niche of my business. After filtering I’ve found myself with around 20 worthwhile outreach targets. I am so far finding a much better response rate by taking the extra time to deliver detailed pitches to those people. In other words, focus your time and resources on the best candidates.”
– John Bedford, Founder & Editor, Viva Flavor
“We have found guest-blogging to be a great strategy not only for improving our domain authority but also increasing new website visitors and making professional contacts.
Since we began guest-posting towards the end of last year, our DA has risen from 8 to 20, which as a relatively new website, we’re pretty pleased about. Of course, we’re careful to only collaborate with relevant individuals and businesses (and of course no unhelpful spammy or hidden links)!”
– Gude Hudson-Gool, Brand Manager, Watermark Homes
“Guest blogging for SEO is definitely worth it if the website you are submitting your guest blog to meets certain criteria. For example, make sure the website you are publishing your guest blog to offers a dofollow backlink to your website somewhere within the guest blog or the bio of the post. If a dofollow link isn’t offered, do not waste your time submitting a guest blog because you are not being compensated appropriately for the value you’re proving their blog.
Also, be sure to look at the website’s SEO analytics in a tool like AHREFS where you can identify the linking websites Domain Authority. If your website benefits from receiving a backlink from the publishing website, go for it. On the other hand, if the publishing website has a low Domain Rating on AHREFS (lower than 30), do not waste your time because your website will not benefit from receiving a backlink.”
– Keeon Yazdani, CMO, WE R CBD
“Guest blogging is still effective for SEO; however, instead of guest blogging on generic websites or low-quality sites, you should aim to get links from high-quality websites through guest blogging. After all, one high-quality backlink is worth far more than hundreds of low-quality links.
Try to guest blog on websites that allow editorial or in-content links back to the relevant page(s) on your website. Many websites allow guest authors a single backlink to their homepage in the author’s bio section.”
– Trishan Mehta, Co-Founder, WPBizBlog
“Guest blogging can be a good fundamental practice for SEO, especially for creating keyword-appropriate content, but you need to blog based on certain parameters such as:
- Make sure the website you’re posting on is credible and has a higher domain authority than your own
- Understand it’s a long-term game: the post may not go live for some time and then requires more time to pass for it to impact your site’s ranking
- Ensure the site you’re blogging on is relevant to your business and/or audience.”
– Holly Rollins, President, 10xdigital
“Guest posting remains as useful as ever before, even increasing in popularity and continuously showcasing new ways to harness its power.
Establishing yourself as an expert through guest posting on high-traffic sites is an innovative way to develop trust with customers, one thing that is not always so easily attained. And with the backlink that you receive from the post, you will also see your site ranking higher and higher on the search engines. It really is that simple.”
– Chris Gadek, Head of Growth & Marketing, AdQuick
“I would say that there can be value in guest blogging so long as you do it in the right way and for the right reasons. If you are simply throwing out low-quality content to as many sites as will accept it then you probably won’t see too much from it and you may even cause yourself some backlink problems in the future; however, if you are genuinely providing high-value content to sites that have an audience that genuinely benefits from your content than I think that will work in your favor in the long run.”
– Adam Jackson, Digital Marketing Manager, Big Leap
“Guest blogging is absolutely a strategy that you should be pursuing. Just this year, a guest blogging campaign we did, helped 6 of our keywords jump to the first page. We also have multiple clients that we link build for and guest blogging is at the top of that list. One of them has seen a 300% increase in search traffic over the course of 9 months with nothing done outside of onsite and offsite content creation efforts. “
– Sean Dudayev, Founder, Brawl Bros. Co.
“Posting guest blogs on other sites can help or hurt your SEO strategy. Make sure the inbound backlinks you are creating are on credible sites that relate to your business or industry. If not, Google may see these as spam because they are unrelated and it can actually hurt your link juice and search engine results. Overall, guest posting can still be an effective SEO strategy.”
– Nathan Claire, Owner, Buying Jax Homes
“I think guest blogging can be an effective SEO strategy, but it should not be your only strategy for improving your SEO and building backlinks to your website.
When thinking about whether or not you want to guest post, think about the intent of the post itself. If your only purpose is to improve your SEO rankings with guest posting, you might consider adopting a different strategy. Google’s John Mueller recently stated that Google not only frowns on guest posting for links, but that they have been devaluing them for the past several years. I think if your intention is to raise brand awareness to your website and to drive potential customers to your site, guest posting will never lose its value and when done right can be extremely useful to accomplishing the main goal of SEO which is to earn more customers and make more money.
Instead of focusing on made for guest posting sites that are strictly used to try and manipulate your SEO rankings, focus on guest posting on sites that will put your brand in front of potential customers. If you belong to a local chamber of commerce, try reaching out to them and see if you can on their blog. This can be a great way to do guest posting that’s both beneficial and not intended to manipulate your rankings in Google.”
– Matt Zajechowski, Outreach Team Lead, Digital Third Coast
“I still use guest posting as my primary way to gain backlinks. While it can be very time consuming, it is one of the most authentic ways of gaining links back to your website, which is critical for SEO performance.
Additionally, the audience of the blog(s) you are posting on will also be more likely to interact with your content in the future. I have seen a large boost in SEO performance to a few of my posts that I have included a link to in several guest posts.
Guest posts on relevant sites are strongly correlated with strong SEO performance. You need to ensure that the sites you plan to guest post on are reputable and have a strong backlink profile to get the most for your efforts.”
– Forrest McCall, Owner, dontworkanotherday.com
“Securing guest opportunities on other sites that are authoritative and relevant to your business is a great opportunity not only to increase your Domain Authority (DA) but also to increase your brand authority through thought leadership. When I’m looking at guest blogging opportunities, I follow three general rules of thumb:
- Earned posts will always provide more DA value than paid ones: Google’s algorithm is good at picking up trends that indicate if a link is paid or organic.
- Most outlets and websites that allow contributed content will let you link back to your site with a dofollow link at least once: dofollow and nofollow links are backlinks that tell Google to either positively associate or not connect the two articles respectively. With that in mind, you should always aim for dofollow, but accept a nofollow over no link at all. Nofollow links still provide value, as readers can click through
- It’s important that the site you contribute to actually makes sense for your brand: if a lawyer, for instance, writes a contributed post on a food website about how to make a salad, there’s no reason for readers to trust the authority of the lawyer’s recipe. It would make more sense coming from a chef. Since the food site’s readers are not there looking for lawyers, the click-through rate to the lawyer’s site and referral traffic would probably be incredibly low. Not really helping the lawyer’s SEO and even hurting them if Google deems their links as spam.”
– Carly Frederick, SEO Content Manager, Effective Spend
“Guest blogging can be a cost-effective, stellar strategy for any marketing or content campaign. Plus, it can also strengthen your brand awareness and showcase your knowledge on various subjects that pertain to your industry. Money can’t buy this type of promotional efforts.
Additionally, writing and publishing guest post won’t hamper your SEO efforts. In truth, it’s quite the opposite. When you publish a guest post, always include a link in your bio back to your website. The more backlinks you acquire, the better you will rank with Google and other search engines.”
– Blake Sutton, Senior Content Writer, Electrical Knowledge
“Guest blogging and SEO work well together within Google’s guidelines. Publishing useful content on high quality and relevant websites is likely to benefit your search engine ranking position and ultimately bring more traffic to your website. In turn, this will hopefully result in more sales and customers for your business. Guest blogging should be used as part of a wider strategy for your SEO because it can’t do everything you need, although it will help get you closer to where you want to be.”
– Nicola Jane, Owner, Espresso Translations
“Guest blogging is not dead, though guest bloggers need to diversify their content. What I mean by this is that it’s not enough to just write a typical blog post, no matter how well written it is. You need to incorporate other media types into the post. You can, for example, make a video and upload it on the owner’s YouTube channel. Embed that video in the blog. This way, you’re both a guest blogger and guest vlogger. This is what it means by varying the media to create different forms of engagement.”
– Vinay Amin, CEO, Eu Natural
“Guest posts can be hugely effective for improving reputation and driving traffic, but only if done right. Failure to adhere to proper targeting measures and SEO best practices can be a recipe for disaster. You may not only fail to get the ranking boost and backlinks you were hoping for, you could even find yourself penalized by ranking algorithms!
For one thing, paid guest posting is a target for penalization, because of the potential for spamminess. To put a point on things, whether accepting guest posts or posting for someone else, we must always be vigilant and selective in who we choose to work with.
We only want to engage in organic guest post exchanges with relevant, high authority sites for content that is keyword rich, and of a sufficient word count. Failure to do so can penalize your site for black hat SEO practices.”
– Tricia Lewis, Executive VP, HackEDU
“I would say that guest blogging is one of the most effective ways to do off-page SEO for a website. It not only helps you secure a link from an authority site in your niche (which improves rankings of your website) but also helps you build a relationship with the owner of the hosting website, get more exposure by tapping into their audience, and establish your authority among an audience.”
– Burt Valentine, Streaming Editor, Howtowatch
“Despite being declared over years ago, guest blogging is still alive and kicking and it’s a valuable SEO strategy. Building your backlink profile is still a huge part of SEO, and guest blogging can achieve that for you. Every time you write a guest post for another blog and include your link, that is not only going to increase your backlink profile, but it’s also going to give you exposure, and your website and content will become known to a whole new set of readers. The more backlinks you get, the more your site authority grows, and your site will be ranked higher.”
– Sean Nguyen, Director, Internet Advisor
“Guest blogging in 2020 is still very effective for SEO if you do your due diligence to ensure the websites that you appear on are highly relevant to your niche. Apart from relevancy, it’s important to determine if the website gets traffic and that people actually read their articles. Some website blogs will show you the views that their posts have received, and that is usually a great indicator to see if your contributions will actually get eyeballs. I feel that people who say guest blogging is dead just haven’t done their prospecting correctly, as guest blogging is still highly relevant, especially to improve your EAT by showcasing to Google that your name appears on highly authoritative publications that are relevant to your industry. If you approach guest blogging correctly, your SEO efforts are unlikely to be hindered.”
– Itamar Blauer, SEO Consultant, itamarblauer.com
“Guest blogging allows to you present yourself/company/website as an authoritative figure within your niche and also reach a new audience. The more blogs you contribute to, the more authority and traction you gain and this also leads to increased visitors as well as providing quality back links. Ideally your guest blog posts should be informative, valuable and shareable, this is also true for all articles published on your own website. Keep in mind quality and relevancy. Only guest blog for quality sites and contribute high quality content relevant to your brand.”
– Kenny Trinh, CEO, Netbooknews
“My humble opinion is that yes, guest blogging is still a very lucrative endeavour. The constant battle for ranking on Google needs to be played with a skilled hand and you do need to have your fingers in many pies. Being able to have good links back to your own website from guest blogging is just one of the ways that you can satisfy Google’s expectations. The fact that you can get much better reach through others website is just another benefit. If you have the time, guest blogging is a great way to ensure that you are doing all you can to reach further afield and do what you can to get yourself onto that ever-elusive (unless you’re willing to pay for it), google page one.”
– Andrew Taylor, Director, Net Lawman
“Guest blogging is still relevant because it helps lesser-known websites receive recognition from more reputable and authoritative sites. When this happens, search engines like Google see this as a form of approval and increase your rankings on SERPs subsequently. However, there is one caveat to this strategy: it requires the compounding effects of many backlinks for businesses to notice the impact. That said, this strategy requires a serious investment in time, effort, and human resources to succeed.”
– Yaniv Masjedi, CMO, Nextiva
“Guest blogging is still quite effective as it is among the most popular strategies for authority building. Getting links from high quality sites will greatly boost your position with search engines.
Guest posting on other sites will help your SEO, but it depends on where you are guest posting. Look for relevant sites. Personally, I use guest blogging and I have seen positive results.”
– David De Haan, Owner, Stand Up Paddle Boards Review
“Guest blogging as an SEO strategy can be highly effective if you know how to do it. In short, you need to focus your attention on acquiring links from high domain authority (DA) blogs to ensure that your efforts will have a significant impact on your rankings. As an example, one of our clients used guest blogging alone to find some DA 80+ links and was able of go from virtually zero organic traffic to around 200 visitors per day in a niche where 200 visitors per week is considered a huge success. On a similar note, the entire SEO strategy for my digital marketing agency was based around guest blogging and we know acquire virtually all of our customers through SEO.”
– Zack Gallinger, President, Talent Hero Media
“Guest Blogging is probably the best SEO practice one can do. It is definitely not easy to publish your content on another blog and it takes a lot of effort in researching and outreaching to the webmaster of the potential blog but it is totally worth the effort. Before planning a guest post, just make sure the website is related to your niche.”
– Jayant Gosain, Founder, The Tech Toys
“Guest posting is still a solid SEO strategy that can be hugely effective if done right. Guest posting is a way to establish authority in a relevant space, but the quality has to be on point or it can not only fail, it can cause Google to assess penalties than can do real and even permanent damage to a business.
Guest posting should consist of high quality, high word count, relevant and useful information on a site that is also high quality, authoritative, and highly relevant. Make sure to tag any links with a nofollow attribute to ensure that Google doesn’t consider the link as part of the website’s profile and never, ever, ever pay for links. There are over 3 million guest posts submitted every day, and it is the wise marketer who takes the time to make sure they join that group.”
– Garrett Greller, Co-Founder, Uncle Bud’s Hemp
“Guest blogging can still be effective. As an example, I wrote a single guest post with some rather specific anchor text and saw rankings for my page for that keyword, jump from well outside of the top 100 in Google, to the 5th page. The ROI of guest blogging, given that you can often control some anchor text, is quite high.”
– Mark Aselstine, Founder, Uncorked Ventures
“Guest posting is still an effective strategy, with a few caveats.
First, the website you’re guest posting on has to be at least somewhat reputable. Writing guests posts for spammy websites that aren’t relevant to your niche is a complete waste of time. Not all links are made equal, and Google has said as much.
Second, the content has to be relevant and valuable. A backlink from a website that’s not relevant to your niche — especially if it’s a low-quality website — won’t give your website much of an SEO boost. When we look for guest post opportunities, we look for reputable websites that would actually benefit from the content we’d provide.
I should add that it has become increasingly difficult to get high-quality backlinks from quest posts, so make sure to diversify your backlink building strategy.”
– David Lynch, Content Lead, UpPhone
“I believe guest blogging is always effective as long as you do it with the purpose of building connections and not just getting (or buying) backlinks to your site. We’ve guest posted on various sites and those posts have brought great traffic to our site.
It’s not just a link building strategy. Rather, it’s a traffic building strategy as well; however, guest blogging can only help with your SEO if you are published on reputable websites. Over time, generating these backlinks will help boost you in the search engine rankings.
Bottom Line: guest blogging can bring traffic.”
– William Taylor, Senior Career Advisor, VelvetJobs
“In my experience, guest blogging is effective and highly relevant even today. Guest posting on other high authority websites can help boost domain authority and URL authority for your own website. This will positively impact your rankings. Guest blogging is one successful way to get backlinks to your website. Having a strong backlink profile definitely helps boost the rankings. I am doing guest posting for my blog and have managed to push its domain authority up by 5 points. Not just this, guest blogging has helped me establish a strong backlink profile as well.”
– Samiksha Rawool, Founder, Yummy Tummy Recipes
“Guest blogging is 100% worth the effort. Getting quality guest post opportunities will increase backlinks to your site, grow trust with Google, and push your posts up in Google rankings. This builds your traffic, grows your audience, and can ultimately increase your business’s revenue. As a new site, I have spent much of my free time in 2020 building backlinks through guest posting. This has proven to be very helpful for my new blog; I have increased my domain rating from 6 to 19 in just 6 months and my traffic has exploded. When I first started to guest post for other sites, my organic traffic sat at a measly 2,000 sessions per month. After 6 months of periodic guest posting, I have watched my organic traffic grow to over 45,000 monthly sessions and beyond. In addition to increasing traffic and domain rating, guest posting is important for your business because it shows Google that you are trustworthy. Google has started to trust my website, which means readers are also trusting my website.”
– Laura Peters, Founder, Mike & Laura Travel
“Guest blogging, when done well, can deliver great results. Posting useful content on other high-quality websites of relevance (or accepting guest posts from reputed sources) definitely gets valuable backlinks for your site/page. This helps in terms of SEO through improved search engine ranking and increased traffic on your website. Guest blogging is also a clever way of communicating directly with your target audience in places other than your own website. A number of varied links against your name also help to position yourself as a thought leader in the industry. Talking and writing regularly about industry trends, news, issues, and opportunities will gradually make you a recognized expert in your domain. Since my business brings together landlords and letting agents, my blog needs to generate value for wide audiences in all different ways. Here’s one that I allowed on my site about decorating apartments so that landlords can be pleased. It brings significant traffic on my blog from different sources.”
– Raj Dosanjh, Founder, RentRound.com
“Guest blogging always strengthens your SEO strategy if you can conceive high standard original content in authoritative blog sites. Guest blogging in renowned websites distinctly increases the credibility of your brand which in turn helps to sharpen your SEO campaign. The best part of guest blogging is you’re getting quality backlinks which bring plenty of referral organic traffic to your website. The contents of each guest post should be relevant, informative, engaging, and essentially unique in their categories. Moreover, if the publication allows you to include the backlink in the body of your blog content, you get editorially relevant backlinks. So, guest posting is very much effective for your SEO strategy if properly done with a well-devised plan.”
– Andrei Vasilescu, CEO, DontPayFull
“These days with the trillions of websites that exist across the internet, who you associate yourself with makes a big difference! Guest blogging can be highly effective if you create a strategy around the specific sites you plan to guest post onto. Make sure that the websites that you submit guest blogs are related to the subject matter of your website and are authoritative. You can look into a website’s authority level by visiting www.ahrefs.com or www.alexa.com. If the website is ranked 50 or more on Ahefs or 2,000,000 or less on Alexa they are worth considering otherwise it can hinder your web authority.”
– Geraldine Convento, SEO Expert, MeetGeraldine
“Producing quality content that is relevant and original can be expensive, especially for businesses with limited resources; however, guest posts eliminate the need to invest in writers and editors to produce content for your site. As long as your website has enough authority to give to smaller blogs, you are eligible to use guest posting to receive free content for your site. Make sure to elaborate the terms and conditions to interested prospects so that nobody gets disappointed with the partnership.”
– Erik Rivera, CEO, ThriveTalk
No, Guest Blogging IS NOT an Effective SEO Strategy
“Based on the latest news and speculation, guest blogging for SEO benefit may be dead. That doesn’t worry me, as I’ve always advised my clients to be wary of the tail wagging the dog when it comes to SEO. Any short-term gains from grey hat SEO tactics, which can include guest blogging, rarely justifies the effort. Instead, we recommend formalizing partnerships with industry websites, blogs, and publications to become a regular contributor with a byline. A longer-term partnership benefits everyone, and mitigates any potential downside from an SEO perspective, as the content is authentic, as is the relationship.”
– Kent Lewis, Founder and President, Anvil
“Guest blogging can be a good way to grow backlinks; however, personally I’m not a fan of guest blogging for several reasons.
First, if you’re doing reciprocal guest blogging, I suspect Google sees that all your backlinks are reciprocal and while you probably won’t get penalized, I have a suspicion Google doesn’t put as much weight behind these backlinks as they were essentially traded or bartered for. It almost looks like a BPN.
Outside of that, the process of getting guest blogging opportunities is incredibly tedious and aside from a reciprocal link many blogs and sites have very little reason to bring you on, what’s in it for them?
While I do think guest blogging can still be a beneficial way to get backlinks, it’s not something I personally do as I think there are better methods.”
– John Frigo, SEO Lead, BestPriceNutrition.Com
“If done sparingly and there’s a natural fit with the guest blog audience then it’s OK but as a main SEO backlink technique, I would advise to avoid guest blogging. The reason being, Google is well aware of it as a backlink technique and, according to reports in the likes of Search Engine Journal from February of this year, has been cracking down with manual penalties in place. It’s been overly abused by many SEOs to the point where its seen as an artificial link scheme.
Now with that being said, if you post the odd one or two every now and then, you shouldn’t be in trouble especially if there’s a natural relationship between yourself and the publisher where your expertize can clearly benefit the publisher’s audience. Just don’t overdo it.”
– Alistair Dodds, Co-Founder and Marketing Director, Ever Increasing Circles
“Guest blogging has limited effectiveness as an SEO strategy. In June 2020, Google’s John Mueller stated that Google has been devaluing guest post links for the past several years. Google believes that guest post links are unnatural since the article writer essentially places them on the site. Strategies like broken link building, HARO, and unlinked mentions are more cost- and time-effective, and more likely to result in SEO benefits than guest posting is.”
– Axel DeAngelis, Founder, NameBounce
“Guest blogging is not that effective as an SEO strategy because it’s slow and takes a lot of time and money. By the time you pay the outreach manager and the writer, the cost of a single guest post and a link goes anywhere from $100 and up. In the end, seeing the return on investment can be very difficult.
In terms of SEO, a single guest post won’t make much of an effect – you need 10-20 per month to see anything happening. And at that point, you may as well outsource the work to an agency and get more results cheaper. Perhaps we just don’t have that kind of experience, but guest blogging for SEO is slow and expensive.
Also, let’s not forget dealing with editors who can be very picky about what they accept and how many edits they want to be made.
All in all, far too much work with not such a great return.”
– Dennis Vu, Co-Founder and CEO, Ringblaze
“The worthiness of guest blogging really does depend on the niche you are operating in.
Travel, for example, is a niche that has become so competitive to rank, the expectations for guest blogging have become incredibly detailed. Some travel websites will expect at least 2000 words, original photography, and a healthy dose of SEO-optimization, knowing how competitive certain topics are to rank in. When you compile a guest post in such a way, it is a huge investment of time for a backlink(s) and potential accreditation. Then, you have to factor in the time spent doing outreach.
Last year, I compiled a spreadsheet of around 100 travel websites, DAs in the 40-60 range, and reached out to each individually to ask about the opportunity to guest post. After the first round of outreach, I received 16 replies, and only 4-6 I felt were reasonable requests for their guest posts. If you allot the time spent doing the outreach, along with the time needed to construct one guest post, you are looking at 2-3 days of solid graft and work, with very little return.
I feel in 2020 there are far more efficient ways to acquire backlinks and improve your SEO. Plus, the days of guest posting are limited. Google is already starting to crack down on posts with too many outbound links. If you’re one person or a small-time, the time investment will be substantial. Time is your most precious commodity, and it’s far better spent creating new content and exploring other avenues than relentless outreach for little return.”
– Dale Johnson, Co-founder, Nomad Paradise
“Guest blogging has historically been considered one of the winning SEO strategies that most bloggers used to build brand authority; however, now there are more effective ways to boost SEO and achieve online growth. Even a popular website with high domain authority may grant you the referral links but code them as no-follow, which is clickable but tells Google that your site isn’t worth considering in its search algorithm. The traffic you get from those sites is so small it does not generate enough revenue for your business considering the time investment needed. Guest blogging is not an overnight tactic anymore and in my opinion, it is not worth your money.”
– Nicholas Holmes, Founder, ProductReviewer.com.au
“As a favored link-building technique for SEOs for years, the effectiveness of guest blogging has diminished over time. Google now understandably looks at guest posting as a means for increasing rank with an extremely critical eye, now requesting that all guest posts include nofollow or sponsored tag attributes to the link. And while many have claimed guest posting is completely dead as a means of increasing rank, the truth is that guest blogging still works, but should be done with extreme care.
Here are a few important principles for effective guest posting:
- Avoid sites that offer guest posting, write for us, or contribute right on the site
- Avoid anchor text that is a 100% match to your desired money keywords
- Avoid sites whose themes and content are generic in nature
- Stick with niche sites whose content matches your niche
- Make sure not every single post on the guest site includes outbound links that look paid or promotional in nature
- Don’t pay for posts.
Even if you do follow these rules, the fact is that Google has begun ignoring sites whose content looks farmed. So, even if you guest post there is a high likelihood that many of your efforts will go unnoticed with rankings increases.”
– Nate Nead, Principal, SEO.co
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