To be honest, this is is tricky question. If you consider backlinks as one of the important ranking factor, then there has to be way to generate backlinks.

Google recently wrote: A reminder about links in large-scale article campaigns where they stated :

Google does not discourage guest posting types of articles in the cases when they inform users, educate another site’s audience or bring awareness to your cause or company. However, they have certain violation rules for these guest posts:

  1. Stuffing keyword-rich links to your site in your articles
  2. Having the articles published across many different sites; alternatively, having a large number of articles on a few large, different sites
  3. Using or hiring article writers that aren’t knowledgeable about the topics they’re writing on
  4. Using the same or similar content across these articles; alternatively, duplicating the full content of articles found on your own site (in which case use of rel=”canonical”, in addition to rel=”nofollow”, is advised)

That having said, if you can structure the content of your guest posts fairly good, there are less chances [or no chances] that Google will take an action against your website.

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