In a recent article I wrote – the focus was on backlinks – and how user engagement on your website is becoming more important for SEO than backlinks. Coincidentally, shortly after I published that blog Google announced a warning for webmasters about building backlinks through guest blogs. You can view the entire Google message here.

If you’re not familiar with guest blogging, it’s a tactic many website owners have implemented over the past decade. The idea is to find a blog on the Internet where you can “guest write” an article for them. If you own a website with a blog, you’ve likely seen many people reach out attempting to write a guest post for you. Most of this is spam.

Is guest blogging all about spamming? No. In many cases, a guest blogger can add a ton of value to a website. What Google has noticed, however, is an increase in spammy links from these “guests posts,” with violations consisting of:

  • Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles
  • Having the articles published across many different sites; alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites
  • Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on
  • Using the same or similar content across these articles; alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical”, in addition to rel=”nofollow”, is advised)

To be fair, none of this is really new. We’ve known for years that keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and poorly-written content is bad. I think what’s “new” with this warning is Google’s ability to identify link spamming that in the past may have not been as obvious.

I think guest blogging still has its place, despite the warning. However, as a website (and business) owner you should be thinking about strategic partnerships. Who shares the same target market as I do? If you’re an aesthetic practice, high-end salons, med spas, boutique stores, and spas are a good start.

If you focus on developing a partnership then the conversation is more about helping each other gain exposure by driving visitors to a website procedure page, specials page, or an event sign up page, to name a few. The backlink is simply an ancillary benefit, but the main goal is to tap into a new segment of your target market interested in your services, much like Google AdWords or Real Self spotlights.

Start thinking about how you can produce top-notch, interesting content that you can share on websites, blogs, and social networks where your patients are. If you generate backlinks, great! But isn’t highly-targeted traffic better? The answer is, undoubtedly, yes!

If you run an aesthetic practice and you have any questions about guest blogging, blogging, or SEO in general, drop us a line here. You can also reach us directly at 877-673-7096 x2.