Ever since Google unleashed the algorithm updates into the search engine landscape, SEOs, webmasters, bloggers have been fluttering around like headless chicken trying to find out a way to help them stay. The recent Penguin 2.0 took out many more sites and the brutal saga of lost traffic, earnings and surrendered website owners continues.
The thought process of people is changing however. Earlier Google was the only thing they concentrated on for bringing traffic to their posts. But ever since the updates, bloggers have been realising that starting sites that bring traffic purely because of SEO is not going to help them survive. Because even if they did 100% right the algorithms unfortunately may not always be 100% right.
People knew about guest blogging way before Panda and Penguin happened but Guest blogging became a hero after that. For the distraught webmasters it was like “Men of Steel” fashioned in blogging terms. The one thing that could salvage their fate.
Guest blogging had its share of spam I agree but on January 20, 2014 Matt Cutts told us to stick a fork into it. (The decay and fall of guest blogging for SEO)
And then we saw something happen…
Doc Sheldon’s site was penalized for a single guest post to a site which Matt Cutts thought was not relevant. A sitewide penalty for an outbound link seems way too overboard.
MyblogGuest, a popular guest blogging community too had their ass handed out to them. They weren’t penalized for unnatural links but for being a guest blogging community. It rather seems that it’s a PR stunt by Google, take out the small guys and terrorize everyone around.
And why was it so… Everyone was on it, including my pet dog( niche dog food). Even when someone did not know what it takes to make a post for super nice blog, they jumped the bandwagon, for it was the only way out.
The site owners with authority began getting guest post requests to the tune of 100s per day. Trust me, I have seen some of those lack luster posts. They all sounded the same. Need two do follow links on a small author bio.
And even if some were were good, a closer inspection would reveal that even though they passed Copyscape, they were machine crafted with some spinner software. Guest blogging became a contest where everyone played “Who could fool the host better?”.
And then Google took the Olympic torch and set fire to the nonsense that surrounded guest posting. It was then that it hit them in the head- the authorship mark up.
It was not about whether you landed guest posts, it was about what kind of guest posts you landed.
For that determined whether you were an authority in that particular field.
The more posts that you did on a subject, the more chance that Google started giving some weight to you as an expert on what you write online, and pretty soon it’s going to surpass written content and extend to videos, photos even pdf files.
It is time that you shrug off that nasty feeling that guest posting isn’t going to work, because the way I see it there is so much potential to it that you can now start surpassing the authority blogs that are split in so many categories and carve out an expert author status for yourself.
How to go about doing it?
1. Guest Blogging is not article marketing
Do not treat guest blogging as article marketing: The reason why Guest blogging has become so famous is because Google slapped article marketing sites.
Article marketing was a good way to build links but as a lot of black hat guys began abusing article marketing sites by auto posting spun content with software like SE Nuke XCR and it lost its value. Too many outbound links and content which served no purpose to the people.
The good old days where being accepted as a guest blogger was considered a fortune and people would only send their top notch work as guest posts is also over, as it has been exploited as a link building tool.
And that is where 90% marketers are wrong. Guest blogging is not about building links. It is about marketing your blog and brand to a new audience. It is about publishing cornerstone content that gets you noticed.
Read this post(How A New Blog Brought In $2,000 in Revenue—and Attracted 800 Readers—In A Single Day (case study)) to find out how corner stone post brought $2000 in revenue and 800 new subscribers to a previously unknown blog in one day.
And if you feel that these are rather short bursts of traffic that send a few subscribers here and there, Derek Halpern’s famous blog social triggers was built in the same way.
If you have a blogging consistency then you can easily bring a lot more subscribers provided you build an initial base with awesome content.
2. Low-quality content, goodbye
The meaning of all the updates was to bid adieu to bad content. And no matter what changes, one rule always stays: good content always gets seekers. It may not always be favored in search engines but if it’s good it gets shared.
While good quality content does not mean that you have to write a guest post over 6000 words long, I would advise you to solve a problem or answer something that people are looking for with your guest post. That makes you the immediate go to expert whom people can trust.
If your business offers SEO services think about publishing a case study in a major blog where you successfully made a niche site that makes good money even after the Penguin updates.
I can guarantee you that people will flock to your site seeking advice and and buy whatever you sell, provided your advice seems to work
Pat Flynn published this interview (Niche Site Duel 2.0 (research interview) – What’s Working in SEO Right Now with Alex Becker) days before the Penguin 2.0 and the guy had to close sales 10 minutes after launch.
Such things work and if you can’t get an interview get a case study published that’s dripping with value. With so much fluff around, plus the nauseating “me too” posts that bloggers get every day your post will stand out anywhere.
3. Low quality sites, goodbye
Guest posting just for the sake of guest posting should be done away with. That means you should not publish content on sites that are totally run by guest bloggers or usually allow any kind of content.
You should not also publish guest posts solely based on PR because the internal page where you actually publish your post will have a lower PR.
Basicblogtips is a site where I published my guest posts almost one year ago.
I will show you how I chose that blog or any blog for guest posting. The first thing I did was type the url into opensiteexplorer.org
The next thing that I would do is check the domain authority of the site. If your guest posts ever are to make the first page of Google better guest post on a site with a Domain authority above 35. Also make a check on the outgoing links and study the link profile of blogs with something like Ahrefs, so that you don’t post on spammy blogs.
Ileane’s blog has a DA of 59 which is great.
If you are too lazy for that you can also use my List of 500+ blogs for guest posting.
4. What is author rank and why should you care?
Mark Traphagen calls Author rank the idea where Google would be using the data gathered about who is writing the posts and use it to rank sites.
OR – “If you continuously publish low quality fluff and filler content Google will be tracking that too and you’ll find many of the links in those types of content devalued in time, regardless if your content is published on a high authority domain or not.” Neil Patel
In short, the future lies in writing content that is really valuable, no matter whether you publish it on your own blog or on any other blog. Similarly content that is spun or are copies of one another will hurt your site in the long run. This is what most cheap guest blogging agencies do.
And that’s a risky proposition, just imagine that if you create a bad name for yourself with low quality content, there’s a chance that in the future your posts may not have any value in Google’s eyes. You reap what you sow.
It is a good time now to start working towards your author rank because it will help you rank your posts in the near future.
What should you do after publishing your guest post, post-penguin?
1. Tiered link building
Build backlinks to your backlinks aka guest posts. Whenever I write guest posts I don’t stop with creating that post alone. Instead I would write posts on related topics and link to the post that I have already created. What happens is that, more link juice is passed on to main guest post and it starts ranking well. All of that link juice also goes to my blog.
Also don’t forget that whenever I write for a site that is bigger than mine there is a chance that people would link to that post or at least mention it. It finally comes down to me and I love this fact.
Everyone is a winner in such a scenario.
Also when you are blogging on a popular blog, it always gets ranked higher than if it would have been your own blog because of the social sharing associated with such big blogs and the Domain authority that I mentioned earlier.
2. Link to something that can go viral
When I created this post (it is a list of 120 sites that pay about $150 for guest posting), I was pretty sure that it was something worth linking to. As a result it has been featured in e-books, linked to several times, mentioned as a go to resource etc.
It was not an accident. Before creating that post I went around noting posts that already did the same thing.
What I did was to create a post that was a little bit nicer than all those already existing posts.
Great content is not enough, is it?? You need to market it. I then wrote guest posts and went on a commenting spree with targeted links pointing to my epic post.
Google immediately took note and so did the people coming from the sites where I guest blogged. I added people to my list and that post makes me passive income every day because of the products and sites that I promote.
3. Do not game the system
Do not game the system, eventually you will get caught!
Well I am talking about social shares. Ever since Google incorporated that feature in their ranking algorithms, many sites have sprung up that will give you as many shares as you want for as little as 5 bucks.
You want more, they have an unlimited supply.
To rank their guest posts higher some people have been using a myriad range of services and software.
But! No matter how well you mimic those things, there is a difference between actual, real people sharing your content and bots doing the same.
While social sharing is great technique, it is being misused and I feel that it won’t continue for long.
I beg you to use alternatives like JustRetweet or EasyRetweet, because at least the people sharing your stuff are real.