Accepting Guest Posts and Third-Party Links
Guest blogging is a powerful content marketing strategy. Accepting guest posts is a great way to make connections and increase visibility.
But, when I get a query that asks if I accept guest posts, I automatically know the blogger didn’t do her research.
I have a page specifically titled, “Guest Posts” in my menu bar. If the blogger was on my site, he’d know this.
But, I politely email them the link to the page where they can find out everything they need to know about guest blogging on my site.
Then, there are the bloggers who actually read the guidelines, but don’t agree with them, specifically the one that states I don’t allow 3rd party links.
Why I don’t Accept 3rd Party Links in Guest Posts
I haven’t accepted 3rd party links in a while now, but since Google’s latest Penguin algorithm update to 3.0, I’m even more diligent about the outgoing links on my site.
I’m sure by now, everyone in the online marketing world has heard about the update. Google is seriously cracking down on outgoing and internal links that are broken.
There is also a problem with links that go to spammy or low ranking sites. If this is done intentionally, just to increase backlinks, it’s considered an unethical practice (black hat SEO). Those intentionally using it use automated tools or outsourcing services to increase backlinks. This practice has penalties if you’re caught (and most likely you’ll be caught).
I’ve allowed 3rd party links in the past. And, a number of the companies that are linked to have emailed me and requested I remove the links. It seems these companies were penalized by Google for unethical backlinking practices.
This is why I shy away from allowing 3rd party links in guest posts.
Very recently, had a guest post query and within the links in the content was one to an opt-in page. It was being used as a reference link for information provided within the post.
To me, it’s unethical to make someone opt-in to a list in order to verify the information being provided. In fact, it's highly unethical.
So, What About You? Should You Accept Any 3rd Party Links?
There are a number of writers who are paid to provide original guest posts on ‘good’ or ‘high’ ranking websites to increase visibility for the company they’re being paid from.
I don’t see anything wrong with this.
But . . .
How do you know if a site your blog is linking to through a guest post is using black hat SEO strategies? And, if they are, it will most likely come back to kick you in the shins. Actually worse than that, it will affect your search ranking.
I’ll be honest, I don’t have the answer.
I avoid 3rd party links just in case. I check all links, but even those with a ‘good’ Alexa ranking, I’m leery of using.
The problem though, because of my uncertainly, is I may be limiting my own ‘ethical’ backlinking opportunities.
What about you? How do you handle guest posts and 3rd part links? Would love to hear from you?
Backlinks – incoming links from a webpage to another website or webpage.
Black hat SEO – Strategies used to get higher search ranking by using unethical techniques.
SEO – Search engine optimization: rules, strategies, and techniques to use to get higher search ranking. Doing it by the rules, the ethical way, is considered ‘white hat SEO.’
Third-party links – In the case of this post, 3rd party links are those links the guest blogger uses to link to from within his post. The links usually go to companies they’re being paid by.
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