A few weeks ago the wired world was somewhat shocked when Google announced that it was going to punish a guest blog network. Google didn’t name the offender (many believe it was MyBlogGuest), but it did set social media ablaze as everyone tried to figure out what this development meant. So what exactly does it mean for companies looking to get online exposure?
The first thing to note is that there are really two kinds of guest blogs – articles that are posted on specific sites to get in front of key audiences, and content-based web sites that aggregate content as part of the ongoing effort to game the major search engines. The first category is very helpful to tap into when hatching a social media plan as most people on the likes of Twitter and Facebook respond well to great blog content. By using the hosting website’s services and tapping into their social media connections, it can prove to be a valuable resource in getting your name out there as well.Google is starting to clamp down on the latter category because it affects the integrity of their search results – and other engines such as Yahoo, Alibaba and Bing are bound to follow suit.
The good news is that companies that write blog pieces for news web sites and other reputable outlets are probably going to be fine because they are seen as a legitimate content play. These especially could be a boon for attracting scores of followers to your various social media properties. Think of it as the digital age’s version of the op-ed section. But it’s less rosy for companies that are spending money on guest blogging placements as part of their SEO investment.
There has always been a cat-and-mouse game between SEO-focused marketers and the search engines, who constantly change their algorithms to stay ahead of the folks looking for cracks in the armor. This latest salvo from Google is just one in a long line of actions designed to protect the quality of its search results. But if you’re writing a few blog pieces for a legitimate news site or partner page, there shouldn’t be any reason to worry. The key is using the blog to drive followers to your social media properties and then using those to drive people back to your blog and website. And remember, content is king!