How A Link Builder Should Choose A Blog For Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is one of the most popular and relatively easy ways to generate one or more backlinks back to your money site but choosing the right one some times can be a little bit tricky. What does actually make a good blog to be a guest author purely from a link-builder’s perspective?
Whether you are running a blog about football, music, mobile phones or ibanez rg550 at guitar centers, guest blogging can help your site gain backlinks.
Niche / Topic
That should always be the first and foremost criteria in order to find the ideal blog. There isn’t much point writing an article about social media and publish it on a recipe’s site as Google will see the content surrounding the link as irrelevant. Semantics do matter and ideally a site where the targeted keyword is mentioned several times throughout its pages would be seen by Google as more relevant compared to a site where the targeted keyword appears sporadically across the domain. Having said that, writing a post on a topic that doesn’t relate to the targeted keyword can also work but in this case you should make sure the blog is really powerful so it passes some good authority and link juice back to your money site.
Follow / No follow Links
Assuming you’ve found an appealing blog which does accept guest posts, the second step is to figure out whether the external links are dofollow or nofollow ones. Nofollow links are worthless as they do not pass any link juice to the destination URL. Therefore, if you come across nofollow links just go away…
The number of social signals is a good indicator of a blog’s popularity and readership. A blog where posts get re-tweeted 100+ times probably receive more traffic compared to blogs where the number of re-tweets, Facebook likes and comments is very low. Speaking about comments, you should try to figure out how much readers engage by assessing not only the quantity but more importantly to comments’ quality. Because there are so many auto-commenters in the web, a large number of comments doesn’t necessarily reflect high number of human traffic.
Paying attention to the comments as well as the commenters’ names, is equally important. If they look too generic or too spammy then that isn’t a good indication. The reason why social signals are so important is that they increase the possibility of naturally gaining links. The more exposure and traction a post will gain, the biggest the likelihood of naturally acquiring links. Guest posts that gain links overtime are the ones that worth gold in link building!
When it comes to where your links will appear in the guest post, different bloggers follow different rules. Some wouldn’t mind contextual links, whereas others would only allow links in the author’s bio. Links that appear near the top of the post carry more weight than those towards the bottom, especially of the post is really lengthy. The same argument is valid for the location of the author’s bio. Some bloggers allow for that to appear in the top of the page whereas others would display it after the end of the post. The latter would carry less weight and isn’t worth, unless the domain is really powerful.
Blog Architecture / Indexation
When a guest post gets published for the first time, it will appear at the very top of a blog’s homepage but just for a limited number of days or weeks. That means that during the first days that nice link will pass some really good link juice to your money site as the blog’s homepage would normally be the most authoritative page of the blog. And if you’re fortunate enough to have your link appearing in the homepage then happy days! But even if you link doesn’t appear in the blog’s homepage that’s still good enough as it would only be one click away from the homepage. But happy days don’t last long…
As more posts will get published over time, they will eventually start pushing your post down. Eventually, it will stop appearing in the blog’s homepage and it will get archived. Identifying how many clicks away from the homepage your post (and more importantly your link) will be once it gets archived is extremely important. Therefore, you should always have a quick look at the blog’s architecture and hierarchy. Try to figure out how a human or a crawler would reach the archived post from the homepage. The quicker, the better… Blogs where archived posts are 2-3 clicks away from the homepage aren’t bad at all.
In this example, internal navigation follow the pagination logic. There are 5 links (1 to 5) to the five more recent pages with archived posts. This type of architecture is good as your post will be just 2 clicks away from the homepage for some weeks or even months. That also depends on the rate at which new posts are being published so it may be worth looking at the timestamps of the 4-5 more recent post to get an idea.
Once the post will be pushed out of the 5th archived page then the site will be passing less link juice, if any, depending on whether those deeper pages get indexed or not. One way to figure that out is to find an archived post which sits really deep into the site’s hierarchy (4-5 clicks away from the homepage) and see whether it has been cached as well as when it was cached. Ideally, the higher the number of paginated pages being available, the better. For instance, the following would work better as it would benefit a larger number of archived posts:
This is an example of a rather problematic blog architecture. In this case, the older your post gets, the further away it moves from the homepage. So, say in month 1 it is 2 clicks away from the homepage, next month 3 clicks away etc. That is far from ideal as the older your post gets, the less link juice it will carry. Having said that, if the post has attracted a large number of backlinks, that wouldn’t be a huge issue. On the other hand, if the number of backlinks is low, then the post may eventually get de-indexed which is a link builder’s nightmare. In that case the link would pass any juice at all!