We’ve all calmed down a little after last month’s Matt Cutts’The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO’ post. For a lot of us in the world of SEO we expected there to be a warning or an algorithm change, but we didn’t expect the genial Mr Cutts to come across nearly as furious as he did – it was as much of a shock as anything he said. However, his follow-up comment did return an air of calm to proceedings on both levels.
Matt Cutts has addressed the issue beforehand and in a more composed video told bloggers to no-follow guest post links so they don’t pass link juice. On first consideration a lot of us simply thought, ’What’s the point?’ Guest posting is a very successful way to get powerful links from other people’s sites and no-following would be of little or no use as nothing passes back to our sites.
It’s a fair enough assumption on the face of it, but one that really doesn’t do justice to the full range of benefits good quality guest posting brings – link juice excluded.
For example, say we post a quality guest post on a top quality website with tens of thousands of views a day and a solid blog readership of thousands. Fine, it’s a nofollow link, but think of the number of people that will see the contributed piece if it’s a well-positioned nofollow link?
If you’re happy enough to pay hundreds of pounds for a advertorial in a print magazine or paper for the good of a mention then why not on a blog with a similar readership? God knows there are plenty of them out there. Such a factor, builds brand credibility, introduces people to you and your brand as experts in an area and informs people of your business’s existence. This is only to begin with.
A large number of these people are going to click right on through to your website, providing you with on-site traffic, improving on brand awareness and hopefully creating leads and conversions. If this traffic is consistent then it’s worth altering these pages slightly and adding calls to action to create higher conversion rates.
It doesn’t stop there either. If you contribute to a quality blog with a large social media following, your efforts won’t go unnoticed online. Most site owners who receive a post will attribute it to the source via their social media updates. If the post is shared, liked, re-tweeted etc. you further your brand’s position, create trust and should receive clicks. Social media is changing and In addition, it may also help increase your number of social signals.
Dofollow vs. Nofollow - an Example
One recent example of the dofollow and nofollow conundrum appeared on Moz the other week. Here Rob Toledo gave the example of a post on a high metric site that provided no referral traffic and used it against a nofollow guest post link that sent thousands of people to his site. The simple question was ‘which is more valuable?’ We can leave it up to you, but we know which we’d prefer.
While a nice placement with a dofollow link will send some link juice your way, in a lot of cases it’s never going to beat something that sends hundreds of views a week to your site for a few months.
In addition, it’s also worth considering that if you get a significant increase in referral traffic to your site, some of those people are going to want to link back to it. So, in a roundabout way you get more links in the long run than you would have from the initial link.
Does Google Respect Nofollow?
There are plenty of renowned SEO folk who would dispute what Matt Cutts says about nofollow offering no value. A number of studies have shown that Google does follow links but doesn’t index the linked to page. However, it may be in the index already – i.e. a Dofollow link points to the page.
The other renowned benefit of a nofollow link is that it creates a more natural looking link profile. If you have a link profile with nothing but dofollow links, simply put, it looks unnatural. A smattering of nofollow links prevents this being the case.
So, as you can see, nofollow shouldn’t be a significant problem if you’re guest posting or performing any other sort of link building.
In fact, it can be a very beneficial way to link as it means you’ve a number of factors to take into account that determine a higher quality of link and ensure a better site pointing back to your own.