| 11:50 am on Jun 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
When the original statement came out we had a great deal of discussion on the topic, and here's one of the threads.
The whole issue with guest blogging being made a seemingly negative approach by Google was brought about by abuse of guest blogging, and the payment of guest blogging. The aim of both activities was to falsely influence a site's position in the SERPs, from Google's perspective.
It does not mean you can't be involved in guest blogging. It just means you have to be very careful about how you go about it. No payment, no spammy blog articles and multiple submissions, especially duplicate content.
| 12:00 pm on Jun 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|No payment, no spammy blog articles and multiple submissions, especially duplicate content. |
Add this to the list:
No anchor text
No links within the article
No do-follow links
Those are the simple bare bones considerations. There are other equally important considerations to be aware of. But for you, until you fully understand what you're up against, it's probably best to not do guest posts.
Let's move on to what to do. The important consideration for link building is to focus on traffic, understanding who your buyers are and then identifying where they are online then targeting them. That's the bare bones template of the way forward.
| 1:34 pm on Jun 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
If you want to go the guest blogging route, my advice is to write that high quality content that takes a long time to research and write.
For short paragraphs, it's better to use advertising with a "proposal" approach-- tell the blogger you need to spread the word about a certain product or webpage, then leave the writing, angle and eventual links up to them. If they link back to you, it's their editorial choice. But getting mentioned is still getting the word out about what you do. :)
| 4:42 pm on Jun 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Thanks to all of you for your considerations.
In the field i'm just following, real estate, lot of portals and single real estate agencies have blogs. Write something on those blogs, in a partnership logic, is my purpose.
High quality content requires lot of time, so I'm in contact with some of these blogs editors and websites owners trying to exchange some content.
It's not the right environment for (my) reputation. To have a big reputation you need to be one man coming from real estate field, with lot of experience, trying to emerge between some "famous" well know people. I have not this attitudes, I make marketing for several fields not for a specific one.
So, the idea is to make some good little content to gain links.
But I have read your messages and other resources on the Web. Google tell us to avoid, but I see lot of competitors using these tecniques (and other known as not correct for Google) ranking high in SERP.
Thanks and ciao
[edited by: martinibuster at 8:58 pm (utc) on Jun 16, 2014]
[edit reason] Edit for topic. [/edit]
| 6:17 am on Jun 25, 2014 (gmt 0)|
I wouldn't make a blanket statement like don't participate in guest blogging. You just have to come at it from the right perspective -- will this generate qualified traffic/sales to my site? will this increase my or my companies profile in the online community? can this boost my overall authority?
Take the link out of the equation, and if there is a link assume it is a nofollow. Guest blogging has a lot of value in getting your brand out there if you partner with high quality sites. As long as your article is well researched and thought provoking to the community, it can accomplish its task. You just have to take it out of your link building arsenal and view it in a different light.
| 4:10 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)|
No one's asking for it, but here's my take:
If it is a really good article, then I am putting it on my site... not anybody elses' site.
Chances are if it is a guest blogging site, they will have lots of articles that link to my competitors as well. I don't think I want to give a site like that my A+ material.
I think it would probably be better to:
Write a killer article and place it on your own site, summarize some of the content into a paragraph, then contact people who write NEWS about the topic you cover and suggest to them possible news stories that might interest their audience.
Be sure to include some of the interesting stats and, of course, suggest yourself as an expert they can cite in their article.
The point is, get them to WANT to write about YOUR and your expertise.
| 4:35 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)|
what do you thing about writing such article on your site and then to distribute it, modifying some of it, with the purpose to give it more visibility?
| 4:48 pm on Aug 5, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|"what do you thing about writing such article on your site and then to distribute it, modifying some of it, with the purpose to give it more visibility? " |
I don't think the people who are KILLING IT are doing that.
I think the people who are doing really well are coming up with original research and really helpful material, then alerting those who might be interested in linking to that material / writing about you.
If you "spread it around," then your material is just going to end up on a bunch of sites that specialize in material that has been spread around as well.
I would personally be much more inclined to spend my time developing really good content and then begging quality sites to link to it.
goodroi has also mentioned in the past that if you have a social media following, you can often get good links by mentioning the high quality content in your social media posts.
If I were going to "place" a link (either paid or in a trade), I would make sure that it is on a really, really good site. They wouldn't be linking out to just anybody.
| 6:58 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
I'm of the mindset that actually giving some of your best content away to other sites is worth doing...if they are superior traffic outlets. It just makes sense. Not all of it mind you, but some of it.
| 8:38 pm on Aug 7, 2014 (gmt 0)|
| 12:16 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
So exactly how is Google supposed to know that something is a guest post unless it actually says within the article that it is a Guest Post? Am I missing something?
| 12:51 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
That is an excellent question. I'm of the opinion that the page does not have to say Guest Post for the link to be flagged. Search engines are interested in detecting spam links. Whether the link is from a guest post is irrelevant. There are numerous ways search engines use to determine the spammy quality of links.
Ratio of inbound/outbound links
Number of outbound links per page
There are many blog posts about the so-called 200 ranking factors. But there are numerous de-ranking factors that are less well known. Those are just a few metrics that can be used to determine a guest post scheme. There are many more.
[edited by: martinibuster at 1:07 pm (utc) on Oct 16, 2014]
| 1:05 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Exactly. So the real advice should be "don't spam" not "don't do guest posts." Guest posts will work just fine for both direct relevant traffic AND SEO benefits, if useful and not spammy.
| 1:11 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
The reality is that guest posts have been getting flagged in WMT as unnatural links. That is a fact. The reality is that not all of them have been getting flagged. Why? The metrics I discussed. This has nothing to do with a post being useful or non-spammy. Usefulness and non-spamminess are subjective outside the context of statistical analysis. Search engines deal with objective observations.
Back up and review just those two metrics I posted. It doesn't matter if a link is perceived as "useful" and perceived as "not spammy." What matters are the statistical metrics that will betray the link as unnatural. Now consider that there are many more metrics in play beyond just the two I mentioned, metrics used to discover the unnaturalness of the link.
You asked if it's possible to hide from the search engines that a post is a guest post. My answer is no, it's not possible.
The point isn't that Guest Posts aren't being specifically targeted. I believe that is happening because they're already looking at context for advertising type links (and reciprocal links/resources links/directory links) so why not look for a Guest Post context, particularly with the words Guest Post and variants thereof? Of course they can and they probably do. The point of my answer to your question is that you can try to hide that an article is a guest post but that guest post will still be detected, regardless if it is labeled as a guest post or not.
There are many perceptions and opinions of what spammy and useful means. But those opinions are not useful. What is useful is where the hammer meets the nail and that's in the de-ranking metrics.
[edited by: martinibuster at 1:24 pm (utc) on Oct 16, 2014]
| 1:22 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Yes, but these metrics hold true for everything, not just guest posts in particular. So I completely disagree with the notion that "guest posts are dead" because it implies that there is some specific way Google is able to judge that something is a guest post (other than the words "guest post" and an author bio being on the page), making it possible for them to instantly recognize a guest post and say "nope, this ain't gonna work, pal." That's just not the case, and never will be.
The issue of whether Google can detect certain link _patterns_ is a completely different story (and obviously they can do that), not related at all to whether guest posts as an entity "are dead" for SEO purposes. A certain, very specific approach to using guest posts as a source of links might be dead, yes, but guest posts as an entity (and not just a part of a pattern)? I don't think it will be possible in our lifetimes.
| 1:25 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|The point of my answer to your question is that you can try to hide that an article is a guest post but that guest post will still be detected, regardless if it is labeled as a guest post or not. |
How will it be detected? I absolutely do not understand this. Detecting patterns (for which you need larger samples) - sure. Identifying a single guest post as a guest post? Please tell me how that would be possible if it's not explicitly stated within the article that it is a guest post.
| 1:31 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|...because it implies that there is some specific way Google is able to judge that something is a guest post (other than the words "guest post" and an author bio being on the page)... |
If we say Reciprocal Linking is dead. Will you argue with that? What about if the reciprocal linking is done without reciprocal links pages. Will that be caught? Of course it will. It doesn't matter if the reciprocal linking is useful or non-spammy or not labeled. It's still dead in the water (or will be after a period of time).
Guest posts as a link building activity can be detected. Whether it is useful, non-spammy, or not labeled as a guest post is irrelevant. Search engines can detect guest posts as a link building activity just as easily as they can detect reciprocal link relationships.
It's a fact that Google is going after them. Search for Stick a Fork in it Matt Cutts. Guest posting as a link building method is seriously under siege, regardless if the scheme is hidden or unlabeled. Take a look at what happened to that Private Link Network that was recently taken down. The fact that some folks wondered if Google had infiltrated the network betrays their naivete. Google didn't need to infiltrate their network.
|Identifying a single guest post as a guest post? Please tell me how that would be possible if it's not explicitly stated within the article that it is a guest post. |
I already explained that. I gave an example of two metrics. That it is a guest post (hidden) does not matter. It will be found.
[edited by: martinibuster at 1:47 pm (utc) on Oct 16, 2014]
| 1:46 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Reciprocal links as well as private / public link networks have something in common - there is severe, blatant interconnection involved. This makes it extremely easy to find them (and despite that, Google is nowhere near being able to completely eradicate them, although I agree they are on their way to achieving that, more or less). Guest posts are a completely different thing in my view. Perhaps if you're speaking about highly competitive search terms where websites are required to have dozens or hundreds of guest posts to rank well, I can see where this could be enough volume for Google to be able to detect a pattern in _certain situations_. In the part of the internet that I come from though, I don't need more than a handful (less than 10) of guest posts (among other links acquired through outreach) to rank well, so I guess it's possible that we are speaking of different scales here and hence the disagreement?
| 1:51 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Outside of the English speaking web, yes, there is a difference in link detection. And minimizing scale can also possibly be useful for evading detection if other metrics don't betray you, but the variable of being outside of English language might even help that in your favor.
There are caveats I want to add to the above but I'm about to walk out the door to run an errand. Good luck! :)
| 2:08 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
I operate exclusively within the US market.
Let's me give an example and you can give me your opinion if you'd like.
I launch a website, low-competitive niche. Pages ranking in the top 5 results in the serps all have a Moz Page Authority of 28-38 (not that this is a definitive way to judge things, I just want to give you an idea for the level of competitiveness that I'm talking about).
I do some outreach, help some webmasters fix issues on their sites, get to know them a bit, exchange thoughts about our niche. All the websites are editorial and of high quality (relative to other sites within that niche). Over time, these efforts lead to the following:
1) 2-3 links from quality, human-edited Resources pages.
2) 3-4 contextual links (diverse anchor text, no direct keywords just natural domain / URL text links) from within posts that have already existed on these websites
3) 4-5 guest posts that do not in any way allude to them being guest posts
4) 3-4 contextual links from NEW articles added to the websites by their respective owners.
5) 1 or 2 image links
6) a few citations in forums and other locations
The above was enough to put me in the top 3 serp results for all my relevant keywords. My questions to you:
1) Do you think Google will detect the above as unnatural? If so, can you give me concrete examples of how this would happen?
2) Will Google be able to differentiate between the links from point 3 (4-5 guest posts) and the links from point 4 (3-4 contextual links from NEW articles added to the websites by their respective owners)? If so, can you give me examples of how this would happen?
Thanks in advance.
P.S. I should also add for the sake of this discussion that the above scenario is something that I've replicated for at least 10 different websites of mine, so I'm speaking from first hand experience here, for whatever it's worth.
| 7:19 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
You're being argumentative and purposely dense. The fact is, Google can detect crappy guest blog posts, and most of everything else you've done.
You're using a formula. Formula's lead to patterns. Patterns are detectable. Not all cases, but 97% is good enough for Google. Heck, link networks still work if you do them right.
I bet all the links you're getting are from sites that are easy to get links from. I bet *I* could also get a link there. That's almost enough right there to make the link worthless - and enough links like that can sink you.
Guest blog posting in the past few years has left huge footprints. And despite your pushing on the subject, Google's got people smarter than you and I working for them that don't need to be 'told' it's a paid guest post. It's pretty easy to tell from other signals.
1) 3 outbound links, 2 to authorities. All three links within the content.
2) the site giving out the links leaves a pattern where every post has 3 outbound links, 2 to authorities.
3) the third link in all the posts on the site that just gave you a link, all those third links go to sites that have provided plenty of other signals about paid guest postings. Google doesn't have to look at the page, they can look at the entire site and all the links. In old school terms, you just put yourself into a 'neighborhood'
4) The rest of the guest posts on the website aren't relevant to your topic.
5) the backlinks to the site providing the guest post aren't from sites relevant to your topic.
6) I suspect Google's got some pretty decent algorithms on detecting whether content is 'original'. Not written by someone who did a 5 minute research on the internet - I think they're getting reasonably OK at detecting that stuff. I bet the site offering those guest posts is setting off all sorts of warnings over originality of content.
And I could go on.
I do guest blog posting. My guest posting or blog postings exhibit absolutely none of the above signals. Not even one of them. Guest blog posting isn't dead. Guest blog posting the way 99% of SEO companies have been doing it? That's been a corpse for quite a while.
| 7:41 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|You're being argumentative and purposely dense. |
And you're being rude, so you'll excuse me if I ignore your message (you probably don't care anyway, so all should be good).
Martinibuster: I hope you will still reply to me because I'm genuinely interested in your reply / opinion. Thanks.
| 7:48 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
wheel, be nice. :)
You can ignore wheel but it will be to your disadvantage. He knows what he's talking about.
| 8:00 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|I know wheel enough to know that what he posted is from experience, thoughtful, relevant and important. ;) |
Fair enough. In reply to wheel:
|I bet all the links you're getting are from sites that are easy to get links from. I bet *I* could also get a link there. |
I wouldn't know. These are quality editorial sites in my niches - usually takes me weeks to months of building a relationship before I can even get a link. Whether someone else with more experience could do that in a day, I have no idea.
|That's almost enough right there to make the link worthless |
I have more or less a dozen websites in different niches, all of which rely 100% on search engines for traffic. The websites are at a minimum 2 years old, some 4 years old. I've used _nothing_ but the type of links that I've described in my example to get those sites ranking (obviously they since started to receive natural links in and of their own rights). The sites have been on an upward growth trend pretty much since their inception. My total earnings from the sites are in the mid-6-figure range per year (I'm not from the US so I don't mind sharing). I know that's probably not a lot for many of the veterans here, but I absolutely would not call the result "worthless." Could the sites tank? Sure. But they haven't tanked so far, and they are across many different niches. I am trying to understand why this is.
|It's pretty easy to tell from other signals(....) |
The 6 footprints you provided are true for websites that are guest post farms. Just to make it clear, I have never posted an article to a website like that - I was talking about regular blogs, "mom and pop" businesses that also have a section with guides related to their niche that they have written (and I contribute a guide), and so on.
Overall I feel as if, for some reason, I angered you with my previous message, and you just wanted to rub something in (not sure what, though - your message comes off as neither here nor there)
| 10:34 pm on Oct 16, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|I have more or less a dozen websites in different niches... |
That's a small network. But you're in a relatively small geographic niche so the barrier to entry is easier. If you don't add any more links, you may likely continue. But you may want to consider at least four things.
1. The value of links are constantly shifting, often down because new pages and alliances are constantly being made and broken. The value of a link isn't static.
2. If you decide to sell tickets to your show then most definitely expect the run to end as more folks join, bringing along their backlink baggage.
3. Which leads to this consideration. If they do a deal with you, who else will they be dealing with next month? Will those site owners be as discreet as you?
4. The smallness of your network and niche makes the barrier to entry easy. That's good for you but it's also good for competition. I've seen others in uncrowded esoteric niches who crowed about how they didn't need to build links to rank well subsequently experience their top rankings casually blow away like dust, replaced by sites with... more and better links.
| 7:17 am on Oct 17, 2014 (gmt 0)|
|1. The value of links are constantly shifting, often down because new pages and alliances are constantly being made and broken. The value of a link isn't static. |
This in particular gave me a lot to think about, thanks. Yes, I'm absolutely aware of the fact that I cannot expect any rankings to last forever (and I'm diversifying). I only started posting due to the "guest blogging are dead" (implying dead RIGHT NOW, not "possibly dead in the future") and I wanted to understand the extent of "dead", whether there are exceptions, and so on; for a regular on this forum the definition of "guest posting" in this context might have been extremely obvious and my questions might have sounded far fetched as a result, but for someone like me who doesn't frequent these forums(or any other forum for that matter) "guest posts" is far too broad of a term. At any rate, thanks for your input.
| 12:00 pm on Oct 17, 2014 (gmt 0)|
Thanks for the good questions. Looking forward to more posts from you. ;)