Google's latest algorithmic update, Penguin 2.0, took effect on May 22, 2013. And like a lot of the changes the search giant rolls out, it's affected how SEO (online) writers create content. In this article, we'll discuss exactly what this update is all about, then give some specifics on how it affects writing guests posts.
As an aside, do you think that guest posting is effective anymore? Does Google like guest posts, or do they penalize them? Read on to find out.
What Is the Penguin 2.0 Update All About?
This update focuses mainly on changes around anchor text, backlinkling patterns and bad / blackhat link building practices (eg, paid links). As explained in the Huffington Post article, Penguin 2.0: What Likely Changed and How to Recover:
According to Matt Cutts, the new version of Penguin is primarily designed to penalize websites that utilize black hat SEO techniques and reward websites that offer genuine value. . . . The ultimate goal is to cut back on link spamming and hacking, while providing webmasters with the tools to fix hacked sites.
FAQs about Guest Posting Post-Penguin
(i) Is guest posting is a practice that's worthwhile to engage in post-Penguin
In my opinion, yes. But in order to be effective, you must follow some rules -- five of which we'll detail here.
(ii) Does Google like guest posts, or do they penalize them?
Google does not penalize guest posts as a matter of course. Like any other piece of content, they look for certain things like relevancy, how well a piece is written, the anchor text used in the post, etc. to determine if it's a crappy piece of content written just to get a backlink, or if it's helpful, well-researched, in-depth content that's helpful to the end user (web surfer).
If your guest post is the latter and published on a reputable, on-topic (to your niche) blog or website, you have nothing to worry about.
Now, following are five rules to keep in mind when creating guest posts in a post-Penguin 2.0 web world.
The Do's and Dont's of Submitting a Guest Post in the Post-Penguin 2.0 Era
Now, let's get to some guest posting rules you need to know about to stay on the right side of Google after this latest update.
(i) Is It Published on a Relevant Blog: If your blog is about SEO Writing, but you submit a post to a fashion design site just because it has a high PR rank, then Google will frown on that. So, submit your guest posts to websites and blogs that are relevant to what you've written about.
(ii) Keywords: Using keyword phrases - especially exact match keywords -- is becoming less of a concern to Google. Following is what you should focus on instead.
(iii) Anchor Text: Instead of a heavy focus on keywords, you should focus on using brand-based anchor text more in your guest posts.
What is Brand-based Anchor Text
This is any text that references the brands name or URL. Following are some examples:
CompanyName (followed by an extension like dot com, dot info, dot biz, etc).
Company Name (just the plain company name and nothing else.
Company Website or blog.
(iv) Authorship: Have you created your Google author profile yet? If not, you could be hurting all of the effort you're putting into guest posting. Why/how?
One way Google is "cleaning up the web," so to speak, is by having content creators claim their work. They do this by creating a Google profile. This way, SERPs can recognize you across the web.
This is actually a good thing because spammers often don't do this. But if you're a legitimate online retailer, you WANT web surfers to know who you are and for your content to be easily trackable.
Think of your Google author profile as creating a lasting web footprint. If you create great content regularly in your niche that gets shared a lot, Google wants to give credit to you. And via your author profile, they can.
(v) Quality Content: This is a foundational building block across all of Google's algorithmic changes that hasn't changed. The company continuously stresses that it wants - and will reward - great content.
What Does "Great Content" Mean Post-Penguin 2.0?
Here are some SEO writing guidelines to follow. They came about as a result of Google's Panda update in 2011. If you follow the rules outlined here, you will have no problem creating amazing content that the search leader will be happy to reward.
I hope these SEO content writing tips help you to create better guest posts - posts that turn into tons of traffic for your website/blog.
About the Author: Yuwanda Black heads New Media Words, an SEO writing company she founded in 2008. She’s also the author of over 50 ebooks, which she wrote and self-published. They cover topics such as freelance writing, writing for SEO, self-publishing and online / affiliate marketing. They can all be found on her freelance writing website, Inkwell Editorial.
Learn more about Yuwanda via her Google+ Profile.
Keywords relevant to this article: penguin 2.0, SEO Tips, guest posting, submit guest post, writing seo content