Although guest posting has always posed an unethical dilemma for most SEO and digital marketing professionals, the practice of guest posting continues to rule the roost in the SEO world. Many SEO experts claim quite unabashedly that guest posting will continue to remain the foundation of link building strategy, no matter the repeated warnings and red flags raised by Google.
Since guest posting is key to the success of SEO and even digital marketing industry, their obsession to keep this practice alive is quite understandable. However, at the same time, they can ill afford to take for granted Google’s policies about guest posting; more so because Google keeps updating these policies time and again.
And it seems Google, in recent weeks, has once again updated its guidelines with regards to guest posting. Popular digital marketing professional, Roger Montti, recently authored an article in searchenginejournal.com about Google’s latest manual penalties against sites that have published guest posts with unnatural links.
Montti has claimed in the article that quite a few guest posting websites have received warning from google while few sites have been directly penalized with manual penalty. Below I shared the screen shots that Montti shared with its readers.
The screenshot show details of the email wherein Google has warned the concerned guesting posting website of likely consequences if desired actions (converting anchor link from dofollow to nofollow) are not taken.
However, this is not the only website that has recently faced Google’s ire for violating their guest posting rules.
Reports doing around across the social media strongly suggest that other websites may have been already penalized for failing to comply with mandated rules.
Below I have shared the screenshot of Alan Bleiwiss’ tweet informing about one of his client reporting about the outbound penalty.
So is this the beginning of end of guest posting?
Any doomsday prediction about guest posting will prove to be a major exaggeration, no matter how hard Google goes after guest posting. As mentioned above, guest posting is simply too critical for the existence of SEO industry and therefore Seo professionals will continue to practice guest posting, albeit using white hat techniques.
In the above cited example, Google has penalized a guest post with unnatural link, which is obviously a black hat technique. In the mail, the Search engine giant has stated that it has discounted anchor link’s link juice and requested the website to convert the anchor link from dofollow to nofollow.
Since Google is immensely critical about unnatural links, it is important for bloggers and SEO professionals to understand what really constitutes unnatural links.
What is unnatural link?
Unnatural links are artificially inserted links that are mainly intended to stimulate the ranking of the target website. When we say artificially inserted, it means that they don’t really add any editorial value to the content and therefore doesn’t qualify as ‘contextual links.’
In my last two posts that dealt with brand mention and podcast, I had stated that today Google is leveraging cutting edge technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) to make its algorithm more sophisticated and powerful.
Therefore, today Google can probably detect and spot those unnatural links more accurately as well as easily than few years back.
If you are currently busy in writing guest post for fetching backlinks, here is a checklist of do’s and don’ts to ensure that your guest posts does not accidently become victim of unnatural links.
- Absolutely ensure that your anchor link is adding editorial value to the content; they should not be forcefully inserted for the sake of adding anchor link.
- Don’t over-optimize your anchor link by stuffing it with lot of keywords
- In case if you’re using branded anchor link then again ensure that it is adding editorial value to your guest post content.
- Please avoid pursuing low ranking guest posting websites, since guest posts published in such sites are vulnerable to penalties.
This is not the first time that Google has gone after guest posts with unnatural links and this won’t be last time either. In future if you want your guest post not to fall prey to Google’s manual penalties then maintain your ethical SEO standards pretty high. Apart from sheer incompetency and ignorance, low ethical SEO standards are often deemed as a major factor responsible for high usage of unnatural links across guest posts.