Google discovered every linking scheme I have seen over the last six years. The last Penguin update showed Google’s willingness to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Preventing collateral damage is not as important as protecting their search results.
Black hatters manipulate Guest blogging techniques turning them into spam. Many SEO’s now use guest blogging as a way to hide link buying and selling.
Google is going to take a more targeted approach to fight guest blog spam. The Penguin update already did to a certain extent. I received several toxic link removal requests for legitimate guest blog posts.
Write for readership
I have rejected many guest posts for one simple reason: “They suck”. These same posts find their way onto low quality blogs around the Web. The writer created those posts for links alone.
This practice is inherently dangerous. Search engineers easily detect content written for search engines. The search algorithms reflect this fact.
If SEO is a secondary consideration when writing guest posts you will get better links. Links are about people. Blog links that send the most people send the most PageRank.
Only feature one self-serving link
If I were writing an algorithm to find suspicious links the first flag would be the link count. Many link buying services placate their customers with multiple links from a page. Two links from one page is suspicious, three is almost a guaranteed link scheme.
There are legitimate reasons for multiple links on one page. For example, a site listed at SEO.Alltop.Com is not going to incur a link scheme penalty. An author may refer to multiple posts at another blog. You don’t need to worry about these types of links.
The problem arises when you start flooding the Web with posts that have multiple links to your site. You run the risk of having those links devalued or receive a penalty from Google. Only link to your site one time on each post.
Use branded anchor text
You should use targeted anchor text in your guest posts. Just don’t use them all the time.
Google’s Panda update was about branding. Building a strong brand will result in higher search rankings.
Most of your guest posts should link to your site using your brand name. These brand mentions are powerful and still pass PageRank.
Brand link benefits:
- Build site wide domain authority
- Increase the target page’s PageRank
- Increases PageRank flowing around your site
You still want to build some targeted anchor text links, but these should be the exception. This is especially important for new sites.
If I were going to do a 10 piece guest blogging campaign for My Blog Guest, I would create a list with my planned anchor text use:
- My Blog Guest
- My Blog Guest
- Guest Blogging
- Guest blogging forum
- Guest post
- Guest bloggers
- Click here
- My Blog Guest
- My Blog Guest Forum
Build links and social signals
A citation worthy guest post with strong social signals is going to outperform mediocre content. Even great content will not get inbound links without promotion.
Use your social network to promote guest posts. Email contacts in the industry and ask for their feedback on your post. Search engineers are will not be suspicious of popular content. Plus that means more page rank flowing to your site.