One of the best, most long-lasting and (potentially) whitest of white-hat SEO link building techniques is Guest-Posting. The principle is simple; find a blog or site that is in some way related to your industry or area of interest, come up with an article suggestion, then contact the blog owner to ‘pitch’ them your idea. If they like it, you send them your article, you get a great link to your site and they get some awesome content for their blog. It really is as simple as that. Or is it?
Inevitably, once this kind of technique gets widely known and used, people will try to exploit the system, and once this happens, it’s only so long before Google try to crack down on black and grey hat practices. The upshot of this is that if you want your guest posting to work as well as it possibly can, you have to be able to recognise a valuable opportunity over a worthless, spammy link. Below are a few things to look out for when evaluating a blog’s worth as a potential link source.
A blog with few followers on twitter or facebook, no social sharing of content by its readers and few or no relevant comments underneath each post, is of less value in terms of guest posting than a blog with a receptive community of followers on twitter and facebook, that has comments and debate under each post. If no one’s reading your post, linking to the article page or clicking your link, the value of that link will quickly diminish.
Is the blog aligned with or related to your industry in some way? If not, your article idea should bridge the gap between the blog and your own industry or field of expertise. Otherwise it will appear spammy to readers (and search engines) and no-one wants to read something that’s been posted purely for ‘SEO’ purposes.
A blog that allows guest writers to submit already-published articles, spurious topics or to stuff articles with links almost at random, is probably not interested in posting good content and engaging an audience. Chances are the link won’t be as valuable.
Check a blog’s RSS following to see how many people deem it worthy of regular attention, this will also give some indication of potential referral traffic.
Properly carried out, guest posting can be an incredibly effective form of link-building; it builds enduring links, it’s safe from algorithmic updates and it can help both rankings and referral traffic. See how Clicky Media’s guest-posting service can help you.