For online marketers and bloggers making their living online, there’s somewhat of a love/hate relationship with Google. No one operating online can actually hate Google—Google basically is the internet. But, in being so essential to the internet, Google also determines a lot about how the internet operates. Earning money and making a living online has become an extremely popular endeavor for all types of different people. Many are taking to blogging as a fulltime profession or a side project for some extra cash flow. When done right and done thoughtfully, blogging has the potential to be very rewarding both financially and otherwise. Whether you are committed to blogging as your primary paycheck, a weekend hobby, or to help pay off your credit card bills, remaining educated and current on Google updates is important.
In April, Google released their latest set of algorithm updates called Penguin and, of course, the internet is in a whirlwind because of it. Successful blogging is all about traffic—and a huge part of traffic is a site’s search engine ranking. The Google algorithm determines what type of web content will rank highly during a search inquiry. There were many changes enacted by the recent Penguin update that affected the search engine rankings for many bloggers.
Guest posting is one area of blogging that was significantly affected by Google’s most recent update. In the past, many bloggers would offer their writing ability and voice to various blogs throughout the web. For years (and still today), guest posting is one of the best and most legitimate ways to get backlinks throughout the web. The idea is that bloggers write a guest post for a blog (usually/hopefully high page rank ones) and have a back link somewhere on the page back to their own site. Traditionally, this helps the guest blogger’s site rank higher in a Google search.
With the Penguin update, the Google algorithm now takes a close look at the types of blogs you are receiving backlinks from. Guest bloggers traditionally wanted backlinks from sites that already had a high page rank. The idea is that these blogs have a stronger “resume” already, so a backlink from them will improve our own “resume”. However, with Penguin, Google now sees having backlinks from only high PR blogs as suspicious. This might indicate a tricky SEO tactic, so Penguin is on the lookout for it.
Also, Penguin is taking a closer look at how relevant the guest posts you write are for the site that you are backlinking to. This can be tricky for guest bloggers. Many of us like to write guest posts on a variety of topics that aren’t necessarily related to our niche blogging area on our site. We are writers—we read audiences and create useful content for the audience we are writing for. However, Penguin now penalizes blog that have backlinks on guest articles that have nothing to do with their backlink—something important to keep in mind.