Article

Ian Harris
Ian Harris 20 August 2013

To Host or Guest Post?

Should SEOs host content on their clients'/business' website or should they guest post?

The answer to this question is in almost all circumstances, host. Hosting content on your website is the most effective way to maximise its potential for attracting natural links. By having the content on your website you benefit from any natural links to this piece from external sites as they will be pointing towards your website. This means that you gain all the domain authority flowing from these links. There is also the branding benefit that anyone who reads the article or blog will automatically associate it with you – not always the case when guest posting.

 

Guest blogging has been the darling of the SEO community for the past year or so as it was a relatively simple way of securing links. Like so much in the industry though, this technique has been abused. The internet was flooded with countless irrelevant, thin and poor quality posts that had no other purpose except acting as vessel for a link.

 

Google has guest posting in its cross-hairs now and Penguin is cracking down on websites that have overly relied on this tactic in the past. Guest blogging is also not as effective as passing on authority as any links to the content are to the third party website and not yours.

 

There are some benefits to posting content externally, however, if done correctly. There are going to be external websites with much larger audiences than yours, so getting your content and brand name onto these sites can be beneficial to improving your reach – providing that your content is quality and not thin irrelevance.

 

Hosting content on the business’ website is the ideal scenario but it does bring with it its own challenges. We always advise our clients to host their content but not all companies are keen to relinquish editorial control of their website’s blog to an external agency. SEO is just one marketing challenge brands face so it’s not always possible to have full access to the tools at their disposal, such as their blog.

 

Situations such as this are frustrating because there’s no getting away from the fact that campaigns using content that is hosted on a business’ website achieve the best results. One brilliant hosted blog can attract innumerate links. Ultimately one brilliant guest post can only ever result in one direct link back to the business’ in question site. Hosting content is both more efficient – you can outreach the same piece numerous times – and thanks to Penguin is now more ethical in Google’s eyes. 

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