Are We Seeing the Dawn of Black Hat Guest Blogs?

black-hat-seoWhat could go wrong with guest-blogging?

You find a blog whose topic complements your own, write a killer blog entry with a back-link to your own blog, and both sites benefit. Used carefully, guest blogging is an excellent way to grow your back links and increase traffic.

Of course, whenever an online activity proves successful, someone tries to abuse the system to trick search engine results.

The abusive tactic enjoys a brief period of success, and then Google comes along and announces the strategy is black hat, ending the SEO feeding frenzy.

Over at AFF Helper, Pawel Reszka suggests guest blogging abuse could lead to Google cracking down, a move which would hurt legitimate guest bloggers as much as the abusers. How you find, submit and follow up on guest blogs could determine which hat you’re wearing (or at least which color hat Google thinks you’re wearing).

Avoid Spamming Potential Blogs

I know, there are thousands of blogs out there, and it’s tempting to save time by using a boilerplate email to contact as many as possible. But as Reszka points out, most bloggers dismiss such queries as spam. Those who don’t, well, if they’re needy enough to jump at any guest blogger, are they really going to provide a quality back link?

Run manual searches for guest blogging positions. Yes, this takes more time, but you need to evaluate the quality of each blog and determine it’s the right fit for your own topic. Sure, a blog with two entries on coding might jump at a chance for a guest blogger, but if you write on last night’s sports game, neither of you profit from the relationship.

Make a short list of blogs and contact each with a customized email. Explain who you are, why you’re an expert in your field, and what you can offer to the host blog. Reszka suggests including the completed guest article in your email. If you don’t want to go that far, either link back to your own blog in the email or provide a portion of the article so they can evaluate your writing style.

Don’t ask for back links. You know you want one, the host blogger knows you want one — heck, Google knows you want one (which, really, is the danger). Everyone knows a back link is expected. Asking for one makes you look less interested in blogging and more interested in building links.

Guest Blogging and Comments

A clear warning sign you’ve contracted with a guest blogger with more interest in links than blogging can be found in the comments section. An invested guest blogger returns, as it were, to the scene of the crime. He or she reads what people have to say about their article, and responds to questions and suggestions.

In the future, this may become extremely important. Search engines may check to see if the blogger frequents the comments, and if she uses the comments to engage with readers or just post URLs to her own blog or business.

With Google Authorship poised to become the Next Big Thing, it should be easy enough to trace a blogger’s comment activity. Search bots will almost certainly take a lack of comment activity into account.

About Katie Elizabeth

Katie Elizabeth is a freelance blogger & content coordinator. She's worked with many different companies like accredited online schools, alcohol rehab centers in Florida, real estate agencies, musicians and even plumbers! When she's not writing, she's probably at a concert or on a road trip! Circle her on Google+


  1. As many things in the SEO world, it depends how you do guest blogging. If you chase numbers, you will eventually fall in a trap. If you chase quality, I believe you are going to be on the safe side.

  2. Katie, you have chosen an interesting topic. Though I totally agree with you on the fact that abuse of guest posting is affecting genuine people too. But don’t you think it’s a far-fetched assumption when we say that search engines will trace the commenter’s activity? Won’t it be some large resource drain on their servers? That too without much tangible returns. And if Google is so smart, how come thousands of people trick it everyday.. :)

  3. commenting the quality is better than commenting the quantity….
    if you post 100 comments are all of them are pointless then no one’s gonna read them…. bt if you do a single comment and its perfect then everyone likes it….

  4. Awesome article about the Guest blogging, Now there is no doubt that blogging is totally depend on content and content is king if your content will be quality the n definitely then you will get the +ve results. same thing is in the guest blogging, so we need to focus on quality . Thanks dude For sharing with us.

  5. Hi,

    It is very new and surprising that Google Authorship will trace the comments. Guest blogging and commenting is very important in SEO but we have to use wisely not only for back link building . You have done a great job with awareness . Thanks Katie

  6. Hii…well its always well known to every body whether its SEO or whatever field you want to consider.. quality always be more impact full rather than quantity…same is with the case of SEO so if you are delivering quality comments and quality guest posts then you dont even know yourself what you are achieving through your efforts..that is not even getting your blog popular but will also improve your qualities of blogging and consistency too..and its my personal experience…so guys its QUALITY which matters not quantity….

    Nice Post

    Thanks for sharing

    Keep Posting


  7. hello Katie great article doing guest blogging in any reputed blog is very useful for our blog …

  8. I am often to blogging and i really admire your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your website and keep checking for new information.

  9. I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be exactly what I’m looking for.
    I learned a lot, I hope you will continue to work hard, I would often visit here.

  10. Hi katie, it is so true that any successful idea on the web is abused soon (usually) or later. Guest posting is certainly one of those and I have had some stupid requests myself on my reasonably young blog. Crazy. But I have also started using guest posting, and you certainly do need to approach it uniquely, professionally and sanely. It has worked well for me so far and I will continue!

  11. Hi Katie,
    Nice write up. Choosing a relevant and authoritative blog are the things that matter alot. Quality matters not the quantity.
    Thanks for sharing.

  12. hii Katie,
    your article is very important for all bloggers including me. It provides us the very important and beneficial knowledge about guest posting. I think everybody should read this. and you should spread it more to provide this information to all.
    by the way thanks for sharing among us.

  13. Hi Katie !!!
    No matter how much comments you are doing in a single day, if none are reading them, then its not worth. It better to leave some Quality comments on some top blog.

    However the Commenting and Guest Posting both are the great ways to build the back links to your blogs.
    You article has aware me the the cons of the guest posting too.

    By the way thanks for this worthy stuff here

  14. Hi Katie,
    This is article is help me to spread awareness about the legal guest posting and it clear my minds about how to get organic backlinks from both guest posting and blog commenting. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. Guest blogging proved to be the best way of link building as well as audience building but now I can see link builders everywhere who just want a link back to their site and after the post goes live they never come back to reply to comments and all.

    This is the reason I had to stop Guest blogging on my blog TTW.

  16. Nice write up Katie, this one is the toughest task for any host blogger that whom to permit or whom to deny the permission of guest posting into your blog. Though the truth is that everyone does guest blogging for extending reach of its business or attracting a significant number of backlinks into his/her blog for attracting more traffic into his/her blog. Host blogger gets one quality article fir his/her blog, so it will be very difficult for a host blogger to deny permission for a high quality article even if he/she knows it already that guest post is only being published for attracting backlinks. So make some guidelines to deal with such guest bloggers.

  17. Hi Katie,

    Unfortunately, every successful idea is abused at some time. This is what your title seems to imply. And we seem that we are at the beginning of the abuse era.

    However, a great idea does not disappear, even when it is abused. It reaches a kind of equilibrium and if it is useful for people, it stays with us.

    I don’t think blogs will disappear (this was a very successful idea) and I don’t think gust posting will disappear (another successful idea). I also don’t believe in a kind of search engine police that will monitor any move that you make on the net.

    I think blogging is entering a new phase. The infancy period is slowly ending and a teenage troubled period is ahead. A lot of abuses will be made and a lot of black hat. However, blogs are a necessity and people won’t eliminate them. Social media cannot replace blogs. By the way, social media is in the same situation as blogs: it is more and more abused each day.

    I also think the future will be more diverse and more harmonious and integrative. All those great ideas: sites, blogs, social media, mobiles will be here, on the market and available for use. Each of this channels will have its own piece of the pie. This is the future.

    Have a wonderful day

  18. Great article. My husband told me to a good way to get your name out there is to find websites that are of the same interest as mine and either guest post or sign up and make comments. He also said to read and become familiar with the blogs that I choose before asking to guest post and commenting. I’ve done this and I think I’ve chosen blogs that I can benefit from. I’m kind of new to blogging and writing online and I don’t have any type of following but I’m learning and enjoy reading blogs such as this one to learn what to do and how to do it the right way.

  19. No doubts, things are rapidly changing in blogging industry. People are now more up to the competition, and start exploiting other blogs just because for the purpose of backlinks. I have been seeing little kids coming out with lots of revised tips, and advices on their blogs just because they want to rank for the same term as other professional and skilled blogger is ranking.

  20. It should be quality quality quality. It’s also up to the webmaster to be responsible enough to choose which guest blog should be approve or not. Unless it’s a sponsored post then that’s another story.
    Why not force guest bloggers to contribute regularly. And if they failed to do, their link will be removed the article becomes part of your blog?

  21. Guest blogging is good way to build back links but people started to use in wrong way as many link builder out there to work for an respective company they just submit an comment once its been published they never turn back meanwhile same content can be seen some other blogs

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