There are only a couple of weeks left of 2013 but the year’s still throwing up some major search surprises.
Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, revealed last week that guest blogging masquerading as link spam is on the RISE.
That’s despite the work Google has done with its Penguin, Panda, and Hummingbird algorithms. So what’s happening? Are they completely ineffective?
Not at all. A theory of mine is that people who have invested in link building have taken the ‘quality content’ mantra and twisted it into content spam, building articles, spinning them, and spreading them far and wide to maintain or recapture rankings.
The other side of the coin is that a number of blog owners have potentially seen that a quick buck can be made and are advertising their services as places to publish content, doing more long-term harm than good.
A right stitch up
The bottom line is that the original, unique content message still isn’t getting through.
Matt also posted a video recently warning against the practice of content stitching – finding pieces of writing from around the web, copying and pasting them all into one article, and passing it off as your own.
Google’s message has been clear for so, so long. Cutting corners to earn a link just isn’t going to cut it on your quest for visibility.
But this isn’t just a Google issue. It’s a quality issue for your business and the wider brand.
You owe it to your visitors and customers to inform and entertain with creative content that they can’t find anywhere else.
How have you used content marketing to spread word of your website? What’s the most creative thing you’ve shared so far? Let me know in the comments section below!
Be our guest
Guest blogging is still an incredibly effective way to enhance your reputation and a brilliant way to drive traffic back to your site.
Quality is the watchword. You shouldn’t be aiming to get 10 blogs posted on 10 sites on a monthly basis.
Rather, you should be creating a voice for yourself and asking the right questions to capture people’s imaginations and build relationships with the right people in your industry.
The right way to do it? Be as human as possible and take heed of these simple guest blogging tips:
Step 1: Refine your voice
Google Authorship is helping content creators to get noticed, build visible content portfolios, and gain authority for their work – the point of Google Authorship being that genuine content creators won’t associate themselves with link spam or poor quality content.
I’ve already outlined the benefits of building your own portfolio site and how you can use it to generate interest.
I’d also advise going a step further and creating a content plan for your own site, filling it with regular updates outlining your thoughts on your particular industry, current trends, and more.
Practice makes perfect when creating content. Not only will it help expand your personal portfolio but it will also help you to refine your creative voice (so long as you can bring an objective point of view to your creations).
Step 2: Integrate and share your content
Creating your own personal content is key to becoming an influencer and showing off more of your skills and creative abilities online.
But make sure your voice – the voice you want to portray – is carried over to your business site, too. Post on your brand’s blog and make sure content is in line with your voice, topics are interesting, and that you’re providing information that your visitors are absorbing and sharing.
Share that content on your personal and professional social media profiles as regularly as you post it to keep in people’s minds and build up a following.
More importantly, share it with the right people. See a discussion happening on Twitter? Join in and link to your content to stir the debate and chip in your two cents.
How do you approach people on social media? Have you managed to build any lasting relationships with influencers or new clients? Let me know below!
Step 3: Professional posting relationships
Talking points will be happening every day in your industry and you’re likely following the people that matter on social media to gauge their opinions and keep in the loop.
There’s no reason not to interact with those people and build relationships with them. If you’re talking to them on networks like Twitter then it’s more than likely they’ll have a LinkedIn account and other contact information out there.
Converse with them. Build a rapport with them. Direct them towards your own work and offer intelligent insight on your thoughts on where your industry might be heading in the next few months.
Most importantly, do your research. Take the time to read their own content, social posts, and browse their own site. Complement them on their work, and brooch the possibility of contributing to their blog in the future.
Underline that the offer works both ways, and that you’d be happy to host a couple of blogs on your site as the relationship develops.
Step 4: The technical bits
If this all sounds like a lot of hard work then that’s because it is. But for that hard work you get solid business relationships with the right people and the chance to share your work on another platform and grow your reputation.
It’s the way guest blogging should always have been done – building real relationships with people that benefit the user with rich, creative content.
If any money does change hands, remember to mention in the post itself that it’s sponsored content and to no follow any links featured within.
That’s all from me for this year, I have Christmas things to do! Myself and the Webpresence team wish you a very merry Christmas and a fantastic new year!
2014 is going to be an enormous year for creative content marketing. Find out how to harness its power for your brand by contacting Webpresence today!