Guest Blogging is one of the most successful and yes, the common tactics that most SEOs prefer. Even though there are a lot of rumors regarding the death of guest blogging, still many consider it to be an effective SEO strategy.
But is it really safe to practise guest blogging? Do we need to stop doing it to avoid being penalized in the future? The answer is simple. As long as you follow certain guidelines, you should not be worried about doing guest blogging for your Website.
Let us assume that we have done guest blogging for a site, how could be Google determining whether it is a promoted post, what all factors may be Google considering when evaluating a link? Let us see below:
1. Blog Content
Never ever use a spin bot to rewrite a blog that is already published. Spinned content are easily identified by Google. There are others who rewrites an article that is already published and use it for guest blogging in another site. May be most of the plagiarism checker fail to detect them but Googlebot is very smart and efficient enough that they could even track synonyms. Google’s algorithm is getting smarter that they could even determine such rewritten content. So always write unique and informative content that are useful to the readers.
Finding trending topic in the industry can be made easy with the help of tools like Keyword Tool or Google Trends. Let us choose Keyword Tool and type in the keyword to see the search trends for that keyword. See below the screenshot for the keyword “facebook cheat sheet”:
The keyword has huge search counts. We have one of our blog, Facebook cheat sheet: Image size and dimensions, that is published with respect to this keyword and is one among our top blogs that is getting numerous visits daily.
2. Links/Anchor text
Provide useful links to your readers and the link provided must be relevant to the content. You can place your link either in the article body or in the author bio. Avoid linking to home pages but link to other pages with resourceful content or to relevant blogs in your website.
Always provide anchor text in your article as if it do not look promotional. Never use exact match anchor text, which is one of the main factor Google considers while evaluating a link for spam. Along with your link, provide one or two links to other pages (of course to non-competing sites) that are useful for the readers. This also helps make our link look more genuine
3. Images, Videos, etc
Images and videos speaks out more than text and including them is one of the best way to enhance an article content. It also helps when your article content is weak. Adding such visual treats has the following benefits:
- Provide more authority to the article
- Increase chance for blog owners to accept
- More users get attracted
Visual assets are an effective strategy when it comes to attracting readers. Here is an example from one of our blog, 10 Commandments of SEO, the effective visual treatment made it one of the best medium to drive in traffic and links. Several blog owners have used it as they find it worthy. Providing site name within the image helps in getting citations to our site. A reverse image search in Google will help us find out our image and we could request them for citation to our site:
Although it pays, videos are much more effective and White board friday is one of the most successful one we have seen. And further explanations are not at all necessary for them.
So adding visual treat drives in more traffic and social signals which in turn makes search engine evaluate the article to be informative and useful to the readers.
The quality of work you have done largely depend on the website you choose for attempting guest blogging. So finding the best site will be the most difficult and important thing when it comes to guest blogging. Here are some hidden techniques to find good guest blogging opportunities. Use these techniques to find opportunities considering the following criteria:
Ahrefs Domain Rank
For an initial analysis of a site, we can depend on its Ahrefs Domain Rank. Ahrefs site explorer can be used if you need a deeper analysis here.
→ Check if their backlink growth looks natural:
→ Check the locations from which they get backlinks from:
→ Check their anchor cloud for spam anchor texts:
→ Check if they have ever published duplicate content with the help of Near Duplicates.
→ And check their referring domains for any spammy domains. Ahrefs has made checking all these tasks simpler.
Check out their published blogs for user comments and social shares they got for their blogs. The top content section in Ahrefs shows how well did their content got shared before. This is one of the best way to identify social activities in their site:
Most of the blogging sites that are ‘newbies’ accepts a lot of guest blogs and never attempt guest blogging in such sites.
Outbound Link Profile
Check for the site’s outbound links and if most of the outbound links have exact match anchor text, never proceed with that site. They are the ones who are most likely to be penalized by Google. Outbound links can be easily analysed using ahrefs here.
5. Social Signals
Social signals of the site we contact determine how well our article get exposure to their readers. So check out their social signals and confirm that they have got good set of followers. So that after getting our article published we could guarantee a minimum social signals to our article. An overall status of their social signals can be found from Ahrefs site explorer:
Google may not be depending social signals for ranking, but Google definitely depends on social signals for evaluating the significance of an article. So along with checking the site’s social signals, get your article promoted through social medias after getting it published.
An example for Google’s dependency on social medias can be clearly identified based on the latest news on their deal with Twitter.
6. Create an Authoritative Author Profile
An authoritative author profile helps you in gaining trust from the blog owner whom you contact. So get some high quality articles published with your author name and build an authority to your author profile. This will help you maintain your relationship with the blog owners and will help you in future collaborations with them.
So publishing an article with a high authority author profile will give that much authority to your article too.
Yeah, I just want to make it seven 😉 but here is a tip: Even though Google has taken down authorship, the author rank still has its value. So contact authors who have a very good profile and are contributors to high quality sites and get your article published in their names. And this will benefit you in following ways:
- It will help you to get the article published in high quality sites in which the author contributes to.
- The article will be published with a good author rank which in turn will boost its visibility in searches.
- The article will get more visibility to author’s followers
This technique is really helpful to those who do not have an authoritative author profile. I have tried out this and have published articles with the help such authors on sites like Examiner.com, etc.
Keep in mind all the seven points listed above and utilize the maximum out of this opportunity without the fear of getting penalized.