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The editor-in-chief of Huffington Post UK caused a mini Twitter storm last week when he told Radio 4 that unpaid journalism is more authentic, more real than a paid column.
This ignited pretty much the same debate that raged when HuffPo was sold to AOL in 2011. Many unpaid bloggers suddenly felt aggrieved that their work had lined Arianna's pockets.
But in 2016, this gaffe is more a lesson in PR than it is a chance to re-examine the economics of publishing.
Ever since Matt Cutts declared it dead (for SEO purposes), there seems to have been less interest in guest blogging.
I've seen it here, with fewer approaches from writers, while smart SEOs will never suggest this to clients as a link building tactic.
This reduced volume of requests is a good thing, but I still think there's a lot of value in it for publishers and writers alike.
Here, I'll look at what makes a good guest contributor and how they should approach sites.
Earlier this year, Matt Cutts announced the 'death' of guest blogging for SEO, declaring it finished as a link building tactic.
Now, following a tweet by Cutts announcing that action has been taken on a 'large guest blog network', it seems that, though Google hasn't confirmed it, MyBlogGuest is the 'victim'.
It no longer ranks for its own brand name, a classic sign of a Google penalty, while I can't see it anywhere for terms like 'guest blogging'.
Seemingly Google wants to send another message about guest blogging, so what does this mean?
Matt Cutts made his strongest statement yet on guest blogging, declaring it dead as a linkbuilding tactic.
This does seem to be a broad statement and, as Editor of a blog which accepts (and values) guest posts, Google's policing of the internet can be irritating.
Still, there's no doubt that guest blogging has been hammered as a link building tactic, to the extent that we've become tired of guest blogging approaches.
So how will this affect sites looking to accept guest posts?
Google is seemingly involved in a never-ending battle to fight spam and underhand SEO tactics affecting its search results.
In 2013 we've had several updates and warnings, Hummingbird being the most obvious, but what will Google target next?
I have a few ideas on this, and I've also asked SEOs for their views on the areas where Google is likely to focus...
After Penguin hit a lot of sites hard last year, it seems many SEOs have turned to guest blogging for alternative methods of link-building.
I see this in the volume of requests I get for guest posts on this blog, and Google presumably sees this in the volume of new links it is seeing from guest blogging.
It seems that Google is now taking a serious interest in guest blogging, so what are the risks for the bloggers and the sites hosting guest articles?
I've been asking some SEO experts for their views on the potential risks and how to avoid them...
Post Panda and Penguin, guest blogging has become a more popular tactic for link-building, and I see the evidence of this in my inbox every day.
We value the contribution of guest bloggers on this blog as they have been responsible for some of our best content, but it's important to manage guest writers well for the benefit of both parties.
Here are 15 tips to help you to make the most of guest posts...
It sometimes sucks, being a publisher in a post-Penguin, post-Panda world. It’s great that Google is cleaning up webspam, but it’s not so great to be on the receiving end of stupid demands from people who give the SEO industry a bad name.
What am I talking about? Dubious links, that’s what. Or should I say dubious links on a supposedly authority website (ours), that have been flagged up by dubious SEO tools. Emails with ‘please remove this link’ make our hearts sink.
What else? Dubious expectations. Why is it that publishers like Econsultancy are expected to clean up the mess? This is the last thing I want us to be doing. “It will be good for both of us,” they say, with various degrees of menace. No it won’t. It’s a cost to our business, and to the publishing industry more broadly.
We have always been hugely supportive of the SEO industry, and as a web business we’ve always tried to stay on top of SEO best practice. As such it is deeply frustrating to be on the receiving end of requests to remove ‘suspicious’ links, or to add no_follow to links that I think are perfectly acceptable.
I’m not planning on revealing any names here, but let me explain what I’m talking about. There are three areas for concern. The first two are linked to stupid, short-term thinking, and needless panic. The last one might indicate that Google is changing the goalposts around guest blogging.
Is this the tip of the iceberg, or a few isolated incidents that we’re experiencing?
More and more publishers are rushing to embrace native advertising, and for good reason: advertisers are eager to spend money on it.
While there's debate and discussion around the exact definition of 'native advertising', publishers and advertisers are quickly learning that ads integrated into the user experience, often to the point that they're not immediately distinguishable as ads, come with challenges.
Google's updates mean that guest blogging is now a key SEO tactic, but it should be about more than that.
A couple of months ago, I read an interesting article on the 3 Door Digital blog, in which experts discussed guest blogging as an SEO and engagement strategy.
Here, I'll give you the view from the other side, and provide some useful tips for people looking for guest blogging opportunities...
The aftermath of Google’s Penguin update has seen a lot of speculation as to which factors might have caused sites to be hit.
The overwhelming message is that Google is becoming more proactive and stricter when dealing with link spam.
There are plenty of great blog posts out there looking at what type of unnatural links might have influenced drops, so instead I decided to look at how the Penguin update might change guest blogging.