Don’t believe the hype – guest posting for backlinks is dead

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Guest posting has been one of the most effective ways to build backlinks and drive targeted traffic to your website since 2013. But it seems that people are starting to believe the hype surrounding this topic and losing sight of what actually works in 2019. The truth is that guest posting is still very much alive and kicking! It just isn’t as easy as it used to be.

The Death of Guest Posting
In a recent survey of several hundred internet marketers, 40% said that guest blogging for links was still an effective way to build links. But after analyzing and following nearly 200 link-building campaigns over the past few years, I’ve come to an entirely different conclusion: Guest posts are worthless . If you’re in charge of content marketing at your company and plan on building links through guest posts, please stop reading here and go find something else productive to do with your time. I hate seeing people waste their time doing things that don’t work just because they heard it works. There’s absolutely no reason why you should consider writing a guest post – or publishing one – if your goal is to create valuable link opportunities.

Backlink Quantity Doesn’t Mean Anything
Let’s face it – Google doesn’t care about your backlinks. Your link profile isn’t important anymore. Google focuses on relevance and quality over quantity now, so if you have 100 great links and another site has 10 really poor quality links, chances are that Google will rank your site above theirs. While it used to be possible to manipulate PageRank with link building schemes like reciprocal linking and guest blogging, it no longer is. Nowadays, webmasters can either spend their time creating genuinely relevant content or they can spend their time trying to increase their rankings via manipulative techniques that aren’t likely to work in today’s algorithm.

How Quality Links Gained Through Guest Posts Can Actually Hurt You
There’s a myth in Internet marketing that you need as many high-quality links as possible to succeed. This simply isn’t true. Sure, every little bit helps, but search engines are smart enough to know when someone is linking out to other sites just for SEO purposes and they penalize those sites accordingly. The goal of your online presence should be to make it easy for others to link to you organically and willingly, not tricking them into doing so with spammy or manipulative tactics. One of the most popular ways people do that is through guest blogging.

I’d Rather Build My Own Link
You’ve probably heard from many sources that building high-quality links from reputable sites is an important part of SEO. It’s true, links help direct traffic to your site—and higher quality links tend to perform better than low-quality ones. But what if you could skip all that guest posting fuss and build a high-value link right on your own website? Wouldn’t it be a lot easier to start driving targeted traffic right away? It would. Here’s how you can begin building a powerful link with just a few lines of code.

Building links takes time
No one wants to hear it, but there are no shortcuts when it comes to link building. The days of submitting a few articles and receiving an avalanche of backlinks are over. You can still improve your search engine rankings through quality content, relevant links and social media optimization — but there are hard days ahead. If you’re willing to put in some serious work, you’ll see results eventually; otherwise, stick with trusted content marketing strategies that generate long-term results.

What’s Next?
Back in 2012, you could pretty much guarantee that if you posted on a popular topic with some useful information, Google would rank your post highly in search results. At least, that’s what SEO experts kept telling us. People started using SEO to mean earning links and then link-building became a big focus of SEO in 2014. Links became currency for writers looking to build up their reputation or maybe get a promotion at work (hey, it happens!). Over time, quality content stopped mattering so much—because everyone was getting high rankings from writing about topics people were searching for…and didn’t care about those topics. Google cracked down on low-quality sites earlier in 2016 and now we’re seeing lots of sites penalized.

Final Thoughts
The backlink to me myth, so called by Search Engine Land’s (SEL) Danny Sullivan, has been perpetuated throughout a number of articles and small-business owners. The general consensus was that if you wrote an awesome post on your website and then asked someone else to link to it on their website, Google would notice. Although in some cases there are a few links that Google treats as endorsements, such as from .edu domains or news sites (which have strict editorial guidelines), it turns out that most other linking domains do not pass any particular weight. Not only does search engine optimization depend on your content marketing efforts in order to get noticed, but even linking out won’t give your site an advantage anymore!

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