Posted by Chirag Rawal
July 03, 2014
It wasn’t very long ago when Matt Cutts signaled us all to stop guest posting as a way to build links.
Here is what he exactly said,
“Okay, I’m calling it: if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Why? Because over time it’s become a more and more spammy practice, and if you’re doing a lot of guest blogging then you’re hanging out with really bad company.”
Also, click on the video link to know more on what is Matt’s view on spammy guest posts:
If you go by the quoted statement, it would seem like it’s the end of the world of guest posting. However, Cutts has slightly backed off from his statement in the video given above, saying that the caution aims those who use spammy guest blogging techniques. All the forms of link building are under strong inspection and it is highly recommended to take utmost care while building links on other sites where you are seeking to have your article posted.
Here are the 10 things that you should be looking at while determining the potential of a guest blogging site:
Avoid Blogs With Less Posts
A low number of content only means that the owners are not serious about it. Let’s admit, there are very less industries that don’t have any updates throughout a week. If the gap between two posts is way too long, it is a sign of worry. It could also mean that the owners would be probably looking for bulk content without worrying much about the quality of the posts. A website of this kind will only harm your guest blogging efforts and in turn your site.
Avoid Blog Backlink Networks
When you come across it, it may seem to be high quality backlinks. However, Google has made sure that the bunches of these high profile backlink networks are hammered. By identifying the footprints of these sites Google has found out which websites are placing paid links on the sites. This is what Google says in its guidelines.
“Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank, In particular, avoid links to web spammers or ‘bad neighborhoods’ on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.”
Avoid Blogs With Irrelevant Linking
There could be sites that link mindlessly to sites the content of which has nothing to do with your subject. This is guest posting meant only for link building. Linking to pages that are not related to the main topic of the blog is simply not acceptable.
Look out for the content on the website. Check for the relevancy of the content with your topic and also click on the given links and anchor text to see if the outbound links are going to relevant, authoritative sites.
Avoid Blogs That Don’t Have A Considerable Number For the Following Metrics
• Traffic and Social Stats
• Quality Score
Raising your own standards will make it easier to identify quality websites.
Traffic and Social Stats
This is the biggest and the most determining metric to look at. Try to dig on the traffic and the social stats pertaining to the website that you are considering.
For digging out the traffic stats, you could go with the similarweb tool, while to know more about the social Media status, go with the social analyzer.
It is still a great metric and could be used in determining the quality of the website. Consider this metric as it tell Google about the importance of the website in its index. A number of tools are available on the net to see if the PR of a website is fake or valid. Here is one called Rank Checker.
This is an important basis for determining the authority of the website. A number of leading tools online from the most famous SEO service providers and online marketing houses are there to check this out. Some of the most prominent ones are:
• Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) by MOz.com
• Rank given by Ahrefs
Avoid Ad-Laden Websites
It’s a strict no-no for those sites that are more concerned about raising bucks by offering advertisements at any given space of the blog. Such websites are not intended to provide useful information to the audience and it’s better to save the content for some other authoritative site that is not so serious about advertising.
If the pages’a bove the fold is filled up with excessive advertisements, it could be a low quality score according to the page layout algorithm given by Google.
If the potential guest blog site is attempting to bring in revenue from ads, it is fine to a certain extent. However, the user experience has to be pleasant.
Here is what Matt Cutts says,
“If you click on a website and the part of the website you see first either doesn’t have a lot of visible content above-the-fold or dedicates a large fraction of the site’s initial screen real estate to ads, that’s not a very good user experience. Such sites may not rank as highly going forward.”
Avoid Websites With Outdated Layout Or Design
One of the distinguishable features of a spammy site is that it is easily recognizable. It often takes just one glance. For a perfect layout and great design to provide a good user experience, the following factors should be considered by all websites.
• The content has to be visible above the fold.
• The navigation paths should be clear.
• There should be no signs of Flash.
Avoid Websites Dealing with Topics That Are Unorganized
A spammy website will spill the beans with its collection of unorganized content. There is no specific topic of the website or even though the website has a topic, the articles lose its focus from the main topic. The only
purpose why this website posts content is for SEO purpose.
The following points should be kept in mind while surfing through the topics on the website.
• The site should be dedicated to one niche subject. It should be relevant to your industry.
• Even though the site has multiple topics buased on the same niche, the content throughout the website is well-organized.
Avoid Websites With Unedited Content
Browsing through the articles on the website, if the content seems unorganized, grammatically incorrect, and lots of spelling mistakes, just walk out and look for some other sites. Unedited content is a red signal. Even if the site gives you the authority to publish your own content, there is a bench of moderators who look at your content before making it live on their website.
Avoid Websites Without A Proper Set Of Guidelines
If there is a strict set of guidelines, it’s a positive sign. An authoritative site knows that there is high level of risk involved in accepting posts from outsiders. A site must be stringent and have its own quality standards that should be mandatorily met if you are looking to get your space there.
The requirements is a good sign that shows that the website owners are serious about the whole blogging business.
Avoid Websites Where You Have To Pay To Post
No second thoughts. Never, ever pay for getting your article posted on external sites. Also, any website that accepts posts in exchange of even products or services is highly dangerous. Without going deeper, go to other website if there is a price involved to get the post on the site.
Guest Blogging is still here. However, it is vital to take cautious steps before determining the right website that will provide value to your content and also to your website. It is also important to know the main points of difference between legitimate and spammy websites.