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Is Guest Posting Still a Thing? The Verdict from Digital Marketers

Close-up of a professional publication with the title 'Money for Nothing and Content for Free?' emphasizing digital journalism payment willingness, resting on a wooden surface

 Guest posting, as a well-known marketing strategy, is currently a topic of much debate. The opinions are sharply divided: some view it as ineffective, while others see it as a key method for securing backlinks.

To gain deeper insights, I conducted a poll with seasoned experts in the online marketing field. This poll’s purpose is to capture the nuanced views, sentiments, and direct experiences of professionals, providing a clearer understanding of the role of guest posting in today’s digital marketing strategies.

Key Findings About Effectivness of Guest Posting Poll:

The survey results offered various perspectives on guest posting within digital marketing and SEO circles:

  • 58% of respondents view guest posting as an effective means to build backlinks. This majority opinion underscores the significance of backlinks in SEO strategies.

  • 14% of respondents believe guest posting is beneficial primarily for brand mentions. This highlights the role of guest posts in enhancing brand visibility and recognition.

  • 21% of professionals think guest posting is just a waste of time and resources. They’re doubtful about whether this strategy works.

  • 7% of respondents shared additional insights through comments, offering a deeper understanding of their views and experiences with guest posting.

Pie chart infographic from showing opinions on guest posting in the online marketing industry, with the majority viewing it as a good way to build backlinks


The poll conducted in December 2023 aimed to engage a diverse group of professionals within the digital marketing and SEO industry.

It was posted on LinkedIn among my professional connections and followers, which include SEOs, outreach specialists, social media professionals, digital marketers, business owners, developers, and other relevant individuals.

The poll was open for two weeks, from Dec 8 to Dec 22.

During this period, I received valuable responses from 29 individuals who possess a deep understanding of the digital marketing and SEO landscape.

The post also got several insightful comments that gave further insights and opinions on the topic of guest posting in digital marketing.

Comment Analysis

"You know you will get an 'it depends' right? 😂"

This comment, with its light-hearted tone, highlights the complex reality of guest posting. It implies that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to whether guest posting is effective or not.

The effectiveness can vary greatly depending on a range of factors. This includes the quality of the content being posted, the relevance and authority of the site it’s posted on, and how well it aligns with the target audience’s interests.

Essentially, this comment is a nod to the idea that a successful guest posting strategy requires careful consideration and customization.

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"Always be guest posting if it's in your niche and you have something to say sure, not another content for content's sake, be strategic, use it to build either a reputation for yourself as an expert or a funnel to previous content you did and that complements it"

The response emphasizes the importance of strategy in guest posting. It suggests that guest posting should be strategic and purposeful, aligned with one’s niche, and should provide value rather than contributing to content saturation. 

The comment also advocates for using guest posting to build a reputation as an expert or to guide traffic toward complementary content.

"It is not called guest posting or guest blogging in the professional world of SEO! It’s called paid articles or advertorials. Get that right! All the freelancers are destroying the reputation of the SEO world with all their special prices and deals. And they’re spamming everybody’s mail accounts and LinkedIn profiles."

Here, we have a critical viewpoint, focusing on the terminology and practices in the SEO industry. It argues that what many refer to as guest posting should actually be called “paid articles” or “advertorials” in a professional context. 

This distinction is important as it reflects a more transparent and ethical approach to content creation and placement.

The opinion also expresses frustration about the impact of freelancers on the industry’s reputation. It criticizes the flood of offers and promotions that are perceived as spammy, suggesting that these practices can harm the credibility of SEO as a whole.

I could say that the comment response underscores the need for ethical standards and professional integrity in SEO and digital marketing practices.

Man working on a MacBook Pro at a wooden desk with an iPhone and notebook beside him, displaying a website with custom guest posting creation services.

Nuanced View of Guest Posting

The collected insights from the poll and comments highlight the importance of a nuanced perspective on guest posting in the realms of digital marketing and SEO.

It’s clear that there are multiple factors at play, such as the quality of the content, how well the strategy aligns with broader marketing objectives and the ethical implications involved.

The varied responses we’ve seen mirror the range of opinions and experiences professionals in the industry have with guest posting, emphasizing that its effectiveness can vary greatly based on these critical variables.

This diverse range of viewpoints underscores the fact that guest posting isn’t a straightforward, one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a strategy that requires careful consideration and execution to be successful.

Guest Posting Recommendations:

Drawing from the insights gathered, I offer the following recommendations to maximize the effectiveness of guest posting within the SEO and digital marketing industry:

1. Focus on High-Quality Content

Make sure your guest posts are more than just filler. Create content that is both informative and engaging, offering real value to the host website’s audience. Write pieces that will enhance your reputation and increase the likelihood of your content being shared and appreciated.

2. Ensure Strategic Alignment

Your guest posts should align seamlessly with your own niche and target audience. The strategic alignment helps in maintaining relevance and ensures that the content resonates with your intended readers. It’s beyond reaching more people. You need to make sure you’re reaching the right people instead.

3. Aim for Value Creation

Use guest posting as a tool to establish yourself or your brand as a thought leader in your specific field. The goal should be to direct traffic not just to your site, but to specific content that supports your overall marketing goals and complements your content strategy.

4. Uphold Ethical Standards

Given the varying perceptions around guest posting, it’s crucial to be transparent about your practices. Whether you’re referring to it as guest posting, paid articles, or advertorials, clarity and honesty in how you approach these opportunities will set you apart. Commiting to ethical standards not only respects the industry norms but also builds trust with your audience and partners.

Google’s Opinion on Paid Guest Posting

John Muller’s stance on (paid) guest posting is that while Google doesn’t explicitly forbid it, they heavily discourage it, emphasizing that such links should be marked as “nofollow” to avoid influencing search rankings. Paid guest posts are seen as ineffective link-building strategies and can even harm your website if done poorly. Instead, Google recommends focusing on creating high-quality content that naturally attracts backlinks. The article concludes that paid guest posting might be a decent advertising tactic, but a terrible way to build links for SEO.

Yes, using guest posts for links is against our spam policies.

In particular, it’s important that these links are qualified in a way that signals that they don’t affect search results.
You can do this with the rel=nofollow or rel=sponsored attributes on links.
It’s fine to use advertising to promote your site, but the links should be blocked as mentioned.” - John Muller

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the insights from the survey and the diverse comments have shed light on the varied nature of guest posting in the world of digital marketing and SEO.

While a majority of industry professionals recognize its potential in generating backlinks and boosting brand visibility, there remains a notable segment that views it with skepticism.

The essential lesson here is that guest posting, when approached with careful planning, a focus on high-quality content, and strategic alignment, can indeed be a valuable tool in the arsenal of SEO and digital marketing strategies.

Still, it’s important to remember that guest posting is not a universal solution. Success in this area requires a customized approach, tailored to fit specific goals and audience needs. In recognizing and adapting to its nuanced nature, you can effectively leverage guest posting to enhance your digital marketing and SEO efforts.


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