Google Warns Against SEMRush’s Paid Guest Blogging

by | Published on Jun 11, 2020 | News

SEMRush, a very popular SEO toolset, came under Google’s watchful eyes recently for their paid guest blogging service. Before going on to that, let us briefly look at what guest blogging is and its relevance in search engine optimization and reputation building. Guest posts are one of the best ways to improve brand visibility and it also helps you build quality links and deliver your message directly to your target audience. Publishing valuable content on high quality and relevant websites will improve your search engine ranking, bring more traffic to your website and thereby increase sales and ROI. Therefore, guest blogging should be a part of your SEO strategy. A professional SEO outsourcing company provides guest posting solutions that are customized for each business.

Guest posting, also known as guest blogging, is the practice of writing content for another person’s or company’s blog to build exposure, authority, links and relationship. It provides benefits for both the guest blogger and the website that publishes the content. Sharing your content-writing expertise with another company’s or person’s website can help establish yourself as an authority within your market, build relationship with other thought leaders in your field, and expose your brand to new target audiences.

How It Impacts SEO

Guest posting is a great tool for building your domain and improving your SEO ranking, if you are creating high-value guest blogs for legitimate websites. Strong SEO needs strong content and guest posting will boost your SEO by extending your content’s reach and thereby contributing to high-authority sites. It helps to expand your horizon, reach out to new audiences and engage with them on platforms they trust. However, it is not possible to push your content to each and every site because links from irrelevant sites wouldn’t help you achieve long-term SEO benefits.

Guest posts usually carry a link to your website that can bring quality traffic to your website. It is important to remember that building links should not be the primary goal of your guest blogging. Instead, focus on building authority by guest blogging for top websites. Then, quality links will be a natural outcome.

Guest blogging is used as a popular link-building tactic. Earlier, it was found that guest blogging was growing in terms of spam and being abused, and in 2014, Google announced “Guest blogging is done.” It also issued many warnings to site owners and search engine optimizers about using guest posts as a link-building strategy.

SEMRush, a popular SEO toolset, fell into trouble recently when their guest blogging services came under Google’s scrutiny. This is what they posted on their website: “The Guest Posting service from SEMrush Marketplace provides you with a cascade of high-quality, natural links to your site, boosting your rankings and helping you get more organic traffic. Without doing any research or routine work yourself, you can order unique content with an integrated backlink to your site, which is then placed on a relevant site within your niche.” According to SEMRush, they will do the outreach and find out a site that is willing to publish a guest post. In this scenario, SEMRush is not paying the publisher who is willing to publish the article, with the link. The SEMrush customer is also not paying the publisher for the link. But, the client is paying SEMRush for the service of locating a publisher who is willing to host the article along with the link.

However, SEMRush announced on 6 June 2020 that they were pausing their guest blogging service after Google’s John Mueller tweeted that this is “an unnatural link – the kind the webspam team might take action on.” They also mentioned that the service is about content development and editorial coordination, and that they do not pay publishers for placed articles, and are not selling links. John Mueller clarified that adding links is not against Google guidelines, and that you need to make sure the links use rel=nofollow/rel=sponsored which would allow sites to get visibility without having to worry about manual actions.

What Are Unnatural Links And Why Are They Harmful?

According to Google Webmaster Guidelines, any link that manipulates PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google’s search results is considered as link scheme which is a violation as per the guidelines. People often think that all paid links are bad and unnatural links are paid links. But all unnatural links aren’t necessarily paid. Unnatural links influence search engines and this is seen in the choice of anchor text used for the links as well as the placement location of the link within the article. Moreover, unnatural links lack the quality of being earned. Unnatural links cover a wide range of link-building tactics and it is best to keep an open mind on whether certain links might not be so good.

Businesses using a service similar to that of SEMRush must ensure that they login to Google Search Console and check for any manual actions. Typically, Google notifies you of any manual actions via email. However, it is best to check manually every week if possible. If a manual action is received, you have to submit a reconsideration request after adding nofollow attributes to the links or after removing the guest posts. Quality links that come from high quality websites help improve site ranking. With the help of a Long Island SEO marketing service businesses can develop an ethical SEO-boosting guest blogging strategy with relevant and useful content.

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