I have been a contributor on Huffington Post for about a year now, however the goal posts have very much moved since I started on the platform. I was incredibly proud when I produced my first article on the site, giving me the feeling it was a milestone in my working career. Unfortunately Huffington Post has made a number of changes to their system which makes contributing to the site close to pointless, which I will explain below.
The New System
While entering the blogger login, I noticed a note at the top of the page stating “We have officially moved to a new Huffington Post contributor platform, designed with better tools and an improved writing experience”. There was still a 9 month cross-over time, however as of the 15th February they have completely transferred over to the new system.
Let’s first look at the benefits of the original system:
- Your articles will be published on the Huffington Post site. As a blogger, this brought some great exposure to my own personal travel blog, it brought in a lot of traffic and it also earned me a few links along the way.
- All links were ‘follow’, meaning if you wanted to credit someone within the article, they got what they deserved, in some tasty link juice.
- The page would be indexed on Google and as it was on a highly powerful domain, this meant you stood a decent chance of ranking for the terms you were targeting.
As I went to publish my most recent article, I went through the old system, where you would normally wait two weeks for it to be published. I was told simply to go through the new system, as they probably wouldn’t check the post. So I did a bit of reading on the big changes that everyone had talked about, which are below:
- The article will no longer be internally linked on the website. This means that nobody will find it through navigating on the website. I previously wrote an article in the fashion section and it ended up being the main post on the fashion page and gained the domain a large number of links, while it also passed on a huge amount of traffic to my site. This will no longer happen UNLESS your post pretty much goes viral, then they will internally link it, but that relies on you doing all the pushing.
- All links are now no-follow. While I think this is a bit of a disgrace, I also understand some people were manipulating the system to link build. Once again, if the post goes viral through your own efforts, they will then make the links follow, but that is once again an unlikely scenario.
- The page has a no-index tag, meaning it will not be indexed on Google, even further reducing the traffic and eyes on the page.
So Is It Worth It Still As A Blogger
This is a slightly difficult question. The simple answer is no, however it is a little more complex. I stated recently that the article I published last would be the last I ever post on the Huffington Post, due to the poor way they are treating their loyal contributors. However once I posted the article onto Twitter, it was picked up by a number of other publications and was treated with high authority and it made me realise, the domain behind it still adds a level of power. Not everyone looks at an article from a marketers perspective, they will see the big domain and not care about whether it’s indexed on Google or has follow links.
The fact is that the time you spend writing these rich articles, you could be posting them on your own site, where they will be indexed, they will be follow links and they will be internally linked, while the traffic will come to your domain, rather than another website.
But the real nail in the coffin is that we write these articles for free! I am a ghost writer for a number of websites, as well as a freelance writer and I charge a fair penny for my time, therefore there really isn’t a logical reason for me to write free for Huffington Post. The only reason why I do is because I grew up reading it and I’ve always been a brand advocate. Well it seems like those days are over.
A quick Hack Around
If you want it to get published on Google, you can push the article on Google+ and you should see it published onto Google. Also, if you want to see it on Moz OSE, tweet the article and Moz is very good at picking this up.