The announcement of Matt Cutts about the fall of guest blogging has brought fear and anxiety for SEO professionals who’re prioritizing guest blogging as their main link building technique.
The main question in the SEO industry is:
Is guest blogging dead?
Truly, there is no definite answer for this question.
The main issue here is not really about the future of guest blogging whether or not if it will be vanished after several years but actually the issue is about the real purpose and execution of that technique. That is what matters today.
Getting high quality backlinks using guest blogging would need someone to learn how to properly execute it by managing the risks associated with guest blogging links. And in this post, I’d like to share how you can create a less-risk guest blogging strategy or restructure the strategy you’ve been using for many years and make it work properly and effectively for your business.
Here are some principles/tips that you need to learn about risk link management for guest blogging:
Proper anchor text distribution
Penalty due to over anchor text optimization is caused by an improper use of keywords as anchor texts to all guest posts. A single keyword rich anchor text in a scalable guest blogging campaign can penalize a certain website due to over optimization.
Now, let’s head over to some tips on how can utilize your keywords as anchor texts for your guest posts in a way that you’re not being feared by a penalty but still improving your website’s ranking on search results for your target keywords.
- Use both branded and non-branded keywords as anchor texts in your author bio.
- Ask your guest blog target if you can insert your author description above or below your guest post and if he can give you a link from that description. A link from above or below the article is much more valuable than a link from the author box.
- Link to your site’s content/page within your guest post instead of linking to it from your guest post’s author bio.
Diversification is the key here. Diversifying the anchor texts you used in guest blogging (i.e. using both branded or non-branded keywords) and diversifying your link building tactics can help you manage the risks associated with all the links that you want to acquire for your website.
Target high quality websites
When targeting guest blogs, it is essential to consider a few metrics to qualify targets and to ensure a higher value/benefit from those blogs.
Here are a few metrics that I use in guest blog prospecting:
- Domain Authority/Page Authority – a good indicator of the site or page’s authority. The higher the value, the better.
- Number of referring domains – this is a better indicator than referring links since there might be some unnatural issues in them (i.e. 100 sitewide links from a single domain – which is a bad signal to search engines). The higher the number of referring domains, the better but make sure you check out a few referring domains to determine if they are relevant to your website or not.
- Link velocity – growth of the number of links pointing to a certain website. A sudden rise in the link velocity graph may indicate a strong link acquisition technique that managed to earn links in a massive scale. Check that out because there are times that those massive links are unnatural links.
- Authentic blog comments - People leave comments when they find the post useful. It is a good indicator of a strong community on a blog but then it is very important to identify if those comments really came from authentic users (not spammers, obviously). An irrelevant link placed within a blog comment may indicate a spam action by a user so you better check that out when you’re looking for a guest blog target so you don’t have to worry about issues/problems in the future.
Positionly has its own backlinks tracking tool that uses the above metrics to qualify a certain page/site. Check the image below.
Include industry-specific terms in your guest post
Relevancy plays a big role in search marketing. It allows search engines to determine which field/industry your website could be categorized. This make a lot easier for them to rank websites on the search results based on the specific query the user has entered in the search bar.
It is advisable to use relevant industry terms in your blog content and in your guest post to improve the relevancy of your posts. This would help your article be seen on search results for keywords that you’re not primarily targeting in your SEO campaign.
When I write my guest post, I do a Google search for the topic of my article. Then I visit the top 5 pages in the search results. I skim each page/post and highlight terms that are related to my blog and list them down in a spreadsheet. I include those terms in my guest post in a way that it will be readable for my visitors.
Doing this in a regular basis can give minimal yet better results for your guest blogging campaign.
Guest blogging still works today. What you only need to do is to manage the risks associated with your guest blogging strategy and ensure the quality of your work by always thinking of your brand’s reputation as you execute it.
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