The biggest news this week for link builders from around the world is the fact that HuffPo (Huffington Post) just ended its contributors platform, as reported by NY Times, among others, here. In return, they basically offer a new opinion platform that you can apply to, but you might not want to do that.
The big problem with Huffington Post is that it ended up being filled with so much bad content since link builders were taking advantage of authors that sold links on the site. The authority of the website was very high so the link was quite valuable. Many made a lot of money by posting mediocre articles, which ended up hurting the website.
The Problem With Posting On Huffington Post In The Past
One of the preferred ways to drive traffic, leads and increase search engine rankings is to post unique content on industry websites. If the platform is larger than the resource it links to, this is a great thing from an SEO point of view.
If the unique content posted somewhere is done right, it is great for everyone involved. It will add value. Website owners and visitors always love such contributed posts. The articles are offering new insight, advice and information.
Unfortunately, many of the articles you see on really huge websites like HuffPo or Forbes are now at a mediocre level. This is because of the influence of link builders and SEO specialists. If the article does not add anything new to the industry, is not well-written and so on, the quality of the website itself is affected. How do I know this? I talk with many that need such articles through my Guest Posting service. It is sometimes really hard to make people understand how important quality is with guest posts.
Further Reading: Why Does Google Hate Guest Posting/Blogging?
Is HuffPo’s Decision Good For SEO?
Yes! Definitely YES!
The truth is that portals like HuffPost (the new name of Huffington Post) are totally over-saturated with content. They have a huge authority and can deliver great SEO value but the price you pay to get a link published there as a straight-on link builder in contact with a contributor is NOT WORTH IT.
Consider the fact that the last time I talked to someone there the charge for a backlink was $500. With $500 you can get 10 really, really good links on websites that are much better in terms of compatibility and audience reach. Those 10 links can be really good for SEO rankings.
Being blinded by the promise of link building through the big sites is not something that a good SEO specialist does. The idea is always to look for quality options and natural backlinking options that can help.
Further Reading: Stop overthinking SEO!
Is HuffPo’s Decision Good For Writers?
Yes! Definitely YES!
Way too many writers were relying on platforms like Huffington Post but they did not get much in return. Writing a really good article takes a lot of time and building a portfolio is very important. However, constantly not getting paid for your work is not something great.
Writers end up in this huge loop in which they keep publishing articles, keep building portfolios and not actively look for paying gigs. HuffPo’s decision is a wakeup call that this should be addressed in a better way at a personal level.
While HuffPost decided that contributors will no longer be supported, it also posted a message looking for new journalists, paid positions. Free content is basically getting killed and replaced with paid content. This is 100% normal and it is how things should be like.