Guest post on my site?

Being contacted by an SEO firm to host an article on my site

I regularly receive missives from SEO specialists and companies, who kindly offer me various packages to make my site rank better, even number one on Google, at times at very exorbitant prices. They usually end up in my spam folder. Sometimes though they get through to the inbox, and they are usually requests for a link exchange or asking me for a link from this site, if they are not trying to sell or promise me something fantastical. Yesterday was one such occasion, when a message slipped through the net, and appeared in my normally spam-free inbox. Ordinarily, I would have deleted it without reading it, after scanning the title line, but as I had some time on hand, I decided to have a read to see what they were trying to achieve.

It was the first time that an SEO company has contacted me without ending up in the spam folder about putting an article on my site with a link to its client’s site. So it was a request for hosting a guest post, very much the bĂȘte noire du jour in some quarters of the SEO world. The e-mail was to its credit refreshingly – perhaps foolishly – honest about the main aim: it was essentially a means to create a link from my site, by providing me with a piece of content that this SEO company or someone else has written that I upload to my site. Supposedly it works to the mutual benefit of my site and that of the client: I get a piece of quality content, and the client a link. It was intriguing, since the request came from someone in the UK composed in English, which is not surprising as I live in London, but for the fact that the e-mail requested an article to be placed on the Japanese version of this site. Perhaps the client is targeting Japanese audience? Or was it just random? Who knows.

For the briefest moment, I thought about pursuing this further, dependant on the quality of the piece, and accept it on the condition that any internal link pointing to that article would be nofollowed and so would any links going out from that page, as well as putting noindex on that page, to see how it works. But this is not something I would accept, mainly out of editorial reason: this is my site on which I put my stuff, and accepting something like that, even if it is of the highest quality possible, does not really sit well with the nature of the site. My site must have somehow cropped up in some sort of search term they were looking for, and it was flattering in some strange ways to be asked. The puzzling thing is that I don’t think placing an article on my site would have done any good to the client site, as it doesn’t attract that many visitors, and it isn’t a strong domain by any SEO standards and measurements people apply. So I am left perplexed why anyone would want to do this, especially when there is a huge amount of risk associated with low-quality guest blogging, and on my site.

I should have just deleted the e-mail then and there, rather than ponder too much about it.