Is guest blogging a bad idea?

by on November 13, 2014

Is guest blogging a bad idea?“Guest blogging is dead!”

“Guest blogging is bad for SEO!”

These sorts of attention grabbing headlines have been circulating since the beginning of 2014, a year with a lot of debate regarding guest blogging. This started due to some of most recent changes with Google becoming much more strict in the parameters for guest blogging.

A small business owner practicing guest blogging as a marketing strategy may have started to panic and ask the questions: Should I stop guest blogging? Is guest blogging a bad idea?

Like with all attention grabbing headlines, there are always many more layers to be understood than what the headline boldly proclaims. Things have changed regarding guest blogging, but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s gone to pot! The keyword here (no pun intended) is INTEGRITY.

Guest blogging the right way

First and foremost, guest blogging should be about building community, expanding your reach and nurturing relationships.

Guest blogging as a way ONLY to boost your search marketing visibility is no longer a good tactic to use. This is what was meant by the big headline statements. Perhaps it might have been more accurate to state: “Spammy guest blogging is dead!” or “Guest blogging with the sole intention of keyword stuffing is bad for search rankings!”

Here are some tips to assure you’re going about your guest blogging the right way:

CREDIBILITY. It’s all about posting on credible sites. Choose the right sites and blogs to complement your business – those that also serve the same target market. Posting to a site that really has nothing to do with your small business or just half-assing an article to throw in a random blog is now being punished by Google.

Gone are the days where posting an article on a non-related or low quality website would help SEO!

CLEANLINESS. Google is sniffing out low quality writing obviously pumped with keyword stuffing and optimized anchors for SEO.  What is an optimized anchor? It’s anchor text (ie. text with a link) for keywords for which you want to rank. (Eg. You own a dog walking company. You write a guest blog where every single time you have written the words “dog walking” you have linked it back to your site.) It’s still ok to have branded links when you’re referring to a company/site or to link out on a longer phrase like an article title.

Gone are the days were any type of link back to your site would help SEO!

VALUE. Your guest blog post must be useful and valuable to the audience you are writing for. That should be the main point of any guest blogging endeavour. Reaching new people and demonstrating your awesomeness with an awesome post. Any quality site worth its weight won’t accept a crappy, low quality, irrelevant post, but it’s worth a mention here anyways.

Value is also something to keep in mind with linking – when including a link, ask yourself, is this a link that a reader would want to follow? So if you’re referencing a specific tool, say, of course it would be helpful to link out from its name, right? Or if you’re referring to another blog post or article, the reader would want to be given the chance to check it out, right? Thinking of value is another good way of ensuring that your linking strategy is legit and Google friendly.

Gone are the days when writing for search engines was the main focus on your SEM efforts! It’s all about humans!

CLASSINESS. Keep your author bio super classy. No over-optimizing! Similar to the cleanliness point above, you don’t want your biography included at the end of the post to be riddled with non-stop links to back to you. Keep it down to one link if possible. Perhaps your website, blog or maybe a social media handle. Keep it varied too. If you do alot of guest blogging, consider changing up your by-line and including a different link.

Gone are the days where a over-optimized bio would help SEO!

Have you been thinking about guest blogging but haven’t dipped your foot in the water yet? If your hope in guest blogging has been re-inspired, you can refer to one of my previous posts to get started:  Successfully pitch a guest blog post idea and it’ll be a home run! 

Guest blogging no-nos

Google is now frowning upon these SEO tactics being used in guest blogs and knocking down search rankings for those that don’t comply. Remember these absolute no-no’s for guest blogging:

  • Keyword stuffing & optimized anchors (as per cleanliness point above)
  • Over optimized author bios (as per classiness point above)
  • Dodgy looking sites. Think blog networks or link farms.
  • Posting irrelevant or low-quality content (as per value point above).
  • Duplicating content. You can’t write one article and post it on a bunch of different sites. This not only poorly affects you, but it does the same for the site you’re guest posting on. Definitely lose-lose.

So, really, in my opinion, guest blogging is not dead at all. It’s very much alive with INTEGRITY! What’s your take on the situation? Are you still guest blogging? Meet you in the comments.

Image source: Stuart Miles/ 

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Colette Nichol November 19, 2014 at 10:16 am

Great post Martina! I’ve been thinking a lot about guest blogging, so this title caught my attention. The thing I’ve been struggling with is figuring out which blogs my potential clients actually frequent.


Martina Iring November 20, 2014 at 8:55 am

One of my favourite ways to find blogs to guest post on is using social media to see which sites other bloggers and publications that I like or are a great fit for my target market are sharing on their channels or interacting with. Since you are a local biz, you can also look into Vancouver based opportunities, such as Small Business BC for example. And sometimes a good, old fashioned Google search can bring up some gems. Thanks for checking out the post Colette and for your comment!


Siddaiah November 25, 2014 at 7:17 am

Hi Martina,
I am new to the blogging, i was in a assumption that only guest blogging will improve my blog’s pagerank, now i have to think about guest blogging, anyway thanks for sharing the information about guest blogging.


Martina Iring November 26, 2014 at 9:31 am

Glad the post gave you some food for thought Siddaiah!


Ryan Biddulph November 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Hi Martina!

Bad guest blogging is dead. Awesome guest blogging is alive and well….for the very reasons you’ve mentioned in this wonderful post!

Being as tasteful as possible, bad guest blogging is a form of prostituting a blog, from the guest blogger’s side, and if the blog owner accepts the poor guest post, they are pimping out their blog. Seriously. It’s a “I’ll use you if you allow it” then the blog owner agrees.


I closed guest posting on my blog since nobody can write about blogging from paradise just like I can. Yes yes, a bit drunk off of ego I know ;)…..but I’m clear on it.

On a side note, I’ve placed many, many, many guest posts since the “end all be all end of the world guest blogging is dead done and over and will never come back” breakdown earlier this year.

Creating value makes you and your guest post attractive to readers. Point blank. And they’ll post relevant value if they align with you, your content, and with your brand.

Martina, these are excellent points!

Thanks for the guest blogging share and have a fun week 🙂

Ryan Biddulph recently posted..21 Simple Blogging Tips


Martina Iring November 26, 2014 at 9:30 am

You made me laugh out loud with this comment Ryan 🙂 So bang on with that analogy. I have also really scrutinized my own acceptance of guest blog posts after a few bad experiences. I need to have a relationship with the author first and foremost. And while I’m not posting on other sites as often as I once did (mostly for time/work load reasons more than anything else) I still feel that guest blogging is a solid and valuable strategy. As you say, when there is alignment, it works out, to the benefit of everyone. Thanks so much for checking out the post Ryan! Take care.


Reginald Chan November 26, 2014 at 4:02 am

Hey Martina,

Thanks for writing this! I personally believe that guest blogging isn’t dead. However, it just gets harder and you got to make sure you are doing it the right way.

Don’t just share guest postings but make sure you are writing some serious, great stuffs!
Reginald Chan recently posted..How To Develop A Winning Business Plan For Restaurant Owners?


Martina Iring November 26, 2014 at 9:25 am

Yes, it’s all about quality! Thanks for your comment Reginald.


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