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5 Ways to Identify a Bad Guest Blogging Site

It wasn’t that long ago (January 20, 2014 to be exact) when Matt Cutts told us all to stop using guest posting as a way to build links. His exact words were “Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”

You can read the post in its entirety here:

Since then Cutts has slightly backed off his statement, but the caution aimed at those who were using spammy guest blogging techniques was clear and needed. Any form of link building is now under intense scrutiny and extreme caution should be used prior to building any links.

Guest blogging is still an effective way to build relationships with others in your industry, but how do you identify a bad guest blogging site? Today’s post is about just that. Here are 5 ways to detect a bad guest blogging site:

1.    Ads are everywhere. If a site appears to be more concerned about making money with advertisements than providing useful information to its viewers, then it’s best to save your content for somewhere else. Naturally a site’s reputation should be weighed because The Huffington Post and The New York Times both display ads above the fold, but these are still great sites to share your content with.

2.    How focused is the site’s subject matter? If a site has articles about a variety of topics and the majority of their posts appear to be guest posts, then the site may be an article directory. This is a site you want to stay far away from because this is exactly what Matt Cutts was referring to when he said “spammy practice.” However if the site has a clear direction and discusses topics that are relevant to your industry, then it’s a site worth posting to.

3.    Does the site have guest blogging guidelines or an editor to review submissions? High quality sites that aren’t willing to accept any post from any blogger will have submission guidelines and these are the kind of sites you want to be a contributor for.

4.    Any site that requires you to pay to post is a site you don’t want a relationship with. Whether it’s an exchange of money, goods or services doesn’t make any difference. You should never have to pay to share your content.

5.    Check the site’s backlinks to ensure they’ve established other trustworthy relationships. If you post content on a site that practices shady link building tactics, the relationship you build with that site may be devalued or may even hurt you in the long run.

Contrary to Cutts’ post in January guest blogging is alive and well. There is a lot to gain through quality guest blogging but where and what you decide to post must be chosen carefully.