It's been a while since I've written anything on HubPages, and I am a bit out of touch with all that is going on regarding Google's Panda and Penguin algo. changes and how they effect Hubs.
In all honesty, I really like writing Hubs on the topics I write about. I also use my Hubs to (gently) promote a few websites I like, as I'm sure a lot of Hubbers do. I have also written a few guest posts on some blogs I frequent; the topic being along the same vein as my Hubs with a link to a particular site within the post. Both these techniques (Hub writing and guest posting on blogs) are - in complete honesty - ways to promote a website.
So, considering all the recent changes to the search engine algos. (Google in particular), to aid in promoting a website, is it more beneficial to write a great new Hub or write a guest post on someone else's blog ?
A guess only, but I would think that writing a good hub would be more beneficial than posting a guest comment somewhere.
The reason is two fold - HP carries a good bit more "juice" than most blogs, giving a better backlink, and you can earn from a good hub as well.
Just be sure the subject of the linked to site is relevant to the hub. HP is cracking down on links that have no other purpose than to backlink something - they must be pertinent to the subject matter being discussed. It must provide a service to the reader.
For instance, you might have a hub about the best way to remove olive pits. Inserting a link to an article or blog about replacing brake shoes on a 1937 Ford isn't pertinent - readers looking for information about olives don't care about restoring antique cars! And no, that both are written by the same author doesn't make it pertinent.
Google keeps altering its algorithm to discount easy-to-get links that too many people have been abusing. For instance, Matt Cutts just warned that links for Infographics are about to get devalued, since everybody and their dog's tick has been milking infographics for all they're worth.
i've already heard some rumblings that links from guest posts are not giving the backlink juice they used to.
But of course, this is all speculative. We don't know which backlinks Google treats as relevant and pertinent to any given search. We don't know which links, out of all the links pointing to a page, it actually considers important. We only know that some of those links don't count, and others count for little. We also know that Google has ways to measure relevance and author authority.
On the one hand, Hubpages has taken some hard knocks from Penguin and panda, and I would not be surprised to find that links from Hubpages count for very little unless you've built up author authority here and elsewhere using rel=author to claim ownership of your (generally excellent) content. Also, I disagree with wilderness that HP usually has more link juice; to the extent that we can tell what Google prefers, I find that a self-hosted blog gets indexed mroe quickly, gets preferential treatment in Google snippets, and often outranks hubs or articles on third party sites even when the blog post is just qn announcement linking to the article it's outranking! That suggests a blog with any kind of SEO can beat a HP article.
But still, I am wary of guest posting unless the blog is strongly relevant to one's niche. As I said, Google keeps devaluing any method people overuse for linkbuilding purposes, and guest blogging has been trumpeted even longer than infographics as easy link juice. Also, I believe that there is no point in throwing away content on an article marketing site or someone else's blog simply to create a link that may or may not count with any particular search engine, when you could be posting that content on one of your own sites or accounts where it could earn revenue, gain search traffic, build your following, improve your author reputation, and... Oh yes, on the side, it may also count as a link. For that reason I think it might as well be a hub, provided you've taken the steps to hook your hubs up to your Google profile to make sure you're building your authorship.
If your purpose is mainly to promote another site, then guest post wins, hands down, IMO.
Greekgeek makes some very valid points, but there is one thing she didn't mention - link diversity.
Take a look at your Webmaster tools. It doesn't just report on the number of links these days, it tells you how many domains they come from. Of course we don't know for sure - but it's likely Google uses that as part of its criteria for judging the value of backlinks. After all, they're looking for "natural" backlinks from readers - and if you have loads of backlinks from one domain, that's not likely to be natural, is it?
So, 20 backlinks from 20 different blogs is going to be far more valuable than 20 backlinks from one HubPages sub-domain. However, as Greekgeek says, these days it's vital those blogs are relevant to your topic. That means networking with other bloggers to get genuine opportunities, not joining some auto-posting blogging network.
Excellent posts in here. I love it. I'd like to add something, if GP do get devalued by the G Monopoly, a guest post that is sent by the blog owner to all of their followers and then you send to your followers will still help it rank and get traffic regardless of how Google values it.
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