Guest Posts: Good or Bad?

What is Guest Posting

Blogs invite writers or receive requests from content creators to contribute with their original content. Any means of content sourcing via an external source can be considered a guest posting. The invites or requests for content can be 100% legitimate. The web wouldn’t be the one we know today had each blogger produced content independently, and not all content creators have enough readers on their blogs to appreciate the posts. Good quality content that engages the readers is not an easy task. Content creators may distribute their work into many blogs freely or under some form of payment.

Guest Posting Spam

Guest posting becomes spam when it is used to manipulate search rankings. Google cracked down on guest posts, but if you pay attention, you will see that none of the big guys (networks of blogs) have had any problems. Matt Cutts, the head of the Google Spam team, announced the mass hit on guest posting back in 2014. It is true that low-quality mass guest posting (link farms) became a shady industry and contributed to search spam. The problem lies with intermediaries doing arbitrage with a margin, people who are not content creators or publishers. The middlemen get all the money; the other two parties get all the grief. Google strikes websites that receive paid links and publishers who accept guest posts.

How Guest Posting Works

Typically, a blogger outreach manager or an intermediary/middleman will approach a blogger and kindly, or most of the time, stupidly, ask if guest posts are allowed. They will say that they have visited the blog and appreciated the content (they never read what you post), then go on with their inquiry. They will offer to contribute to the blog by publishing an article (some will even say straightforward a guest post or sponsored content). They might even ask for relevant link placements in existing articles and the costs. They will also say that they have already prepared a piece, especially for the particular blog, and if the publisher would like to take a look at it.

guest posts

Unique Content

The person who initiated the inquiry will say that the content is original and high-quality (it rarely is), written specifically for the blog (most of the time published in the same wording on 50+ other properties). That’s always not the case, but does it have to be bad for the publisher? Content creation today is far from originality, creators research a topic and copy chunks they find online redacting an article. They then change the wording, and here’s a unique piece of content. Worse, some people will produce spun articles using online tools that result in unnatural tone and phrasing (machine-like). There is also the issue of duplicate content. You don’t want to publish content that’s found in other places as your blog will be flagged as a content scrapper (spammer). That said, of course, a unique post written in natural language, free of grammatical errors, is a good thing. My advice is: to take a paragraph of the article and search it online; if you find it repeating elsewhere, then it’s not original. If not, it’s good to go.

Clean Guest Post Links

You will want to do business with bloggers that allow clean links (followed), with no mention that the post is sponsored or paid. Google recommends adding the rel=”sponsored” tag to paid links, and it does not penalize the advertiser or receiver if it’s designated as sponsored (paid). The thing is that this type of backlink does not value as a followed link, but it has a value close to rel=”nofollow”. Also, you will want to get links with no redirection (clean). Frankly, a site with a few paid links is in no danger of getting hit with a penalty; the danger lies with websites that make paid links a pattern.

How Many Outgoing Links

I recommend a maximum of 3 links (targeting different pages) to external (commercial) websites. Don’t overdo it by inserting a lot of backlinks and don’t put more than one link per receiving page (each page should get one backlink). There’s no point pointing to a page with more than one link and with different keywords. Search engines will figure out the article topic and what message the link conveys. There’s no need to add confusion to the soup.

Domain Authority vs. Page Authority

While Domain Authority plays a role in getting strong backlinks, it’s the Page Authority that matters most. That said, those metrics are just nominal, and Google plays a different game with those metrics sitting on the bench. Take the metrics as an indication that the blog has some good qualities, and if the blog topic is in your niche, it will play a significant role. With that in mind, Page Authority is the number one factor, but it grows over time. You can’t have high Page Authority with a guest post that you have just published. That’s why Domain Authority counts in assessing the power of a backlink from that domain.

Niche Relevancy

Absolutely. Better avoid link farms and content farms, where they accept posts on every topic. It works the same way as with every backlink type. You will want a relevant backlink from a blog that publishes niche content. If the blog is not niche-specific, the value of the backlink is lowered, or it doesn’t have the same power as one backlink from a niche blog. It makes sense to assume that niche backlinks in guest posting cost more than links originating in content farms.

What to Avoid

You will want to check if the website has good qualities. Run a Google search with the search parameter:

to check how many pages are indexed. Check if the other guest posts rank well in the site search results and, in general, in search results. Look at the backlinks they have, page authority, social shares, and traffic stats. Any sign that looks healthy for the website will make your guest post worth its money. And inversely, any negative sign should alert you to keep away. Guest posting that looks cheap will not be of much help to you. When the price drops, quality tanks. When providers promise to post on three or 4-letter well-known websites, something’s fishy there. I bet they won’t be able to secure you a guest post on these strong websites.

Guest Post Exchanges

You may run a search (see search parameters below) and find places where you can exchange or distribute your post. From what I’ve seen around, I’ve created a list of online services:,,, The Content Facilitator,,,,,,,,, Tork Network,,,,,,,,,,,, Postrunner (defunct), GuestBlogIt (defunct), Blogsynergy (defunct), Copyforbylines (now defunct).

Find Blogs that Accept Guest Posts

Some websites have dedicated pages i.e. /write-for-us and they may disclose their guest post guidelines. To find blogs that accept guest posts use the following search parameters in Google:

Keyword + guest post

Keyword + write for us

Keyword + guest article

Keyword + this is a guest post by

Keyword + contributing writer

Keyword + want to write for

Keyword + submit blog post

Keyword + contribute to our site

Keyword + guest column

Keyword + submit content

Keyword + submit your content

Keyword + submit post

Keyword + This post was written by

Keyword + guest post courtesy of

Keyword + guest posting guidelines

Skip to the contents

Keyword + suggest a post

Keyword + submit an article

Keyword + contributor guidelines

Keyword + contributing writer

Keyword + submit news

Keyword + become a guest blogger

Keyword + guest blogger

Keyword + guest posts wanted

Keyword + looking for guest posts

Keyword + guest posts wanted

Keyword + guest poster wanted

Keyword + accepting guest posts

Keyword + writers wanted

Keyword + articles wanted

Keyword + become an author

Keyword + become guest writer

Keyword + become a contributor

Keyword + submit guest post

Keyword + submit an article

Keyword + submit article

Keyword + guest author

Keyword + send a tip

Keyword + inurl:guest blogger

Keyword + inurl:guest post

allintitle:Keyword + guest post

Keyword + Guest contributor

Keyword + Guest authoring guidelines

Keyword + Guest blog guidelines

Keyword + Submit a guest post

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