One of the most important things to focus on while developing your online presence is link building. This is your first step to more efficient and effective guest posting.
Google has made it well known that manipulation of tactics is not tolerated. They have numerous updates named after cuddly animals or employees specifically designed to punish websites that abuse legitimate tactics and/or enable others to abuse legitimate tactics.
Almost all of these abuses are related to the acquisition of backlinks.
One of the most recent trends targeted is the guest post.
In order to figure out how to guest post and avoid the penalty, we have to think like Google as close as possible.
If you were going to target people abusing the guest post policy, what would you look for?
This leads us to the DO NOTS!
Avoid sites that have obvious guest-post calling.
If the site says “Submit Guest Post Here” it is sending up a red flag to Google. If Google can write an algorithm that can figure out bad grammar, it can easily target sites that say submit guest post.
A “write for us” section is significantly better but may still be a little risky; you should consider these sites on a case by case basis.
Avoid sites that have a lot of one-off authors.
- If a site has 200 posts and all 200 are by different authors this is a pretty good indication that you are dealing with an article site or a site that has a lot of guest posters.
Avoid sites that are less than three months old.
- A lot of sites don’t make it past the three month mark. If they do, you have a pretty good idea what direction they are going to go with the site and can make a better informed decision.
Avoid sites that have been dormant for a long time.
- Your article appearing after several months or year-long hiatus may look a little strange, especially if there are outgoing links in the article.
Avoid sites with spammy topic matters.
- Topics like Forex, Gambling, Wow Gold or Male Enhancement are red flags for guest posting and paid links. Sites with these types of links are bad neighborhoods and should be avoided.
- A finance site that has an investing section with some articles on Forex probably isn’t too bad, but random Forex articles are bad news.
Avoid sites with lots of random topics.
- Having your article on Changes in SEO, sandwiched in between Reasons Why You Should Get Your Kids a Puppy and Building Your Daughter’s Confidence Through Dance, does nothing for your site from a relevance standpoint and suggests a site used for SEO manipulation.
Now that we have eliminated some of the major don’ts, let’s cover the DO’s.
Do link to previous articles on the host blog.
- Internal links help strengthen the overall health and indexing of the blog. It is really a kind gesture that helps the site owner.
Do link to outside sources, if you can.
- A lot of sites tell you they don’t want any outgoing links. This is meant to discourage SEO’s who are trying to put links in articles just to manipulate their standing in Google results.
- A valuable article will often link out to other valuable resources. Even current research by MOZ indicates that sites that link out to informational resources have a tendency to outperform others who don’t link out.
Make sure to answer a question or two.
- Check sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, or even Google keyword tool for questions that people actually have. You can even answer previous questions you have had.
- Using Google Suggest can help you come up with valid questions people have asked.
- Make sure your answers are unique or have a different twist.
Don’t demand a follow link.
- The perfect backlink profile will always have a great mix of follow and no-follow links. Even image links work. Think of a guest post as not only getting a backlink but also building your brand.
Choose sites that contain related topic matter.
- If you run a business site you should only seek posts on sites that are related to business topics. Topics like marketing, finance, legal are ok. Topics such as pets, travel and food aren’t, unless your business is related to those industries.
Check up on your article in the future.
- If someone has left a legitimate comment, or question, take the time to answer it.
- Look for ways to link to your article in the future.
- You should have written a quality article that answered a valid question. It should be something you consider a valuable resource. Why wouldn’t you want to link to it?
If you have followed my advice on the type of sites to avoid when guest posting, most site owners won’t have a problem if you link to the resource.
Can you think of any tips I may have missed?”
“Andy Johnson is a self employed search engine marketing specialist. He has been working on his own for over two years and has been doing SEM for 8 years.
He has represented small ma and pa websites, multi-million dollar companies and a Federal Trademark Attorney. In college Andy was a champion debater, before getting an education in Paralegal studies. When he is not working from his home office he can be found spending time with his daughter outdoors.”