Photo by Sergio Piquer Costea
The closest thing to a natural looking link in the eyes of Google is the links that you can obtain from guest posting.
Guest posting is one of the newer ways to build links, yet will it be around forever? Only time can tell. However one thing is for sure. The more data that we feed Google when we guest post the more and more Google will be able to mathematically identify guest posts.
Low quality to medium quality guest posts look very similar to articles and content that was directly targeted by the latest game changing algorithm update named Panda. Not only do many of them share the same characteristics as some of the content that content mills load their sites with, like high bounce rate, low time spent on the page, and irrelevant ads, but they even go farther in becoming very similar by the addition of the by-line and the linking structure. And not only that, but many of the by-lines out there are duplicated.
What Differentiates Guest Posting From Any Other Type of Link Building?
There are many different things that make this type of link building different and overall a more effective strategy – but one of the main differences, which becomes one of the main obstacles when you are trying to accomplish guest posting at any sort of scale, is that each guest posting opportunity offers a variety of different variables.
Every time you want to increase the number of links you do each week your work load increases exponentially.
Why is this? This is because each time you build just one link. When guest posting you have to go through the whole process of:
- Writing the Article
- following Up
- Possibly making Edits/Changes to the article
- Recording necessary data
That is all of the work you have to do for one guest post – and the tricky part is that you don’t even know if your guest post is going to get accepted! All the while you are doing this you are doing your best to make sure that the quality of the article is up to the bloggers standards and that you are adhering to their guidelines.
When you are paying for a guest posting service, and you are trying to accomplish 20+ links a week, there are many other factors that come into play.
- Developing and working with your subcontractor on a link building campaign
- Keeping Track of Anchor Text Used
- Organizing emailing campaigns
- Organizing all of your articles
- Aligning all details with each and every website you come in contact with
Unless you find the right company that can handle all of these different issues, then you can forget about scaling up your guest posting services without sacrificing a lot of quality – and that is exactly what you don’t want to do as Google gets closer and closer to being able to define what true quality content really means.
What to Ask a company that provides this Service:
What is your process?
- Do they use emailing templates?
- If so, would they be considered SPAM?
- By who and how will the articles be written?
- Who and what types of blogs will they be posting articles on (make sure they stay away from bad blog networks)?
How do they charge?
- Are there any upfront fees?
- Do they charge per live link or in a retainer format?
- For what reasons do their charges vary?
What type of third party software do they use?
- Do they use relationship management software?
- What format will the reports be in (will they be in real time?)?
- Are they using an internal collaborating system?
Here are a couple things to keep in mind when outsourcing (or guest posting yourself):
Page Rank is not a magic number. and with thought comes the notion that you should not look at guest posting as simply link building. You should guest post when it makes sense to. a page rank 1 blog that gets a ton of content and user activity is a lot better than a page rank 4 blog that gets virtually no traffic and attracts no readers.
You should not rehash topics. The more you rehash topic the more your content begins to look like poor quality content. If a bunch of articles that have the same links in them all rank for the same search terms – that does not look good on behalf of your website. Make sure the company either uses different writers or that they can provide your guest posting needs with a wide variety of topics.
Make sure everything is quality. This is obviously the most important factor. Quality costs money, but should always trump quantity, or your posts and links will end up like the content mills after the Panda update – down and out.