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However when I've looked at them, they seem to come in two flavors. Dead blogs full of garbage, and live blogs. The live blogs mean you have to write an essay (because the site owner is going to hand review your site). So if you're prepared to do the work you can get a link.
My personal opinion is that this falls into the category of lower quality links. Too easy to get, too well known. And that means everyone who does low end stuff puts their links on these sites. And I don't want my site tainted with the link profile with sites that do low end link building. (but that's just me being paranoid. I expect if done right these links can help).
FWIW, I've got a blog that is dofollow. But thankfully it's low profile enough that it's not on any lists :).
You get ranked, those links are still stinking up your profile in the future. If you get examined in the future and your profile is full of stuff like this, what's the reviewer going to think?
If you are planning on doing low quality now, and high quality later, you don't end up with high quality links - you end up with low and high quality links. So why not just do the high quality links now? Good high quality link development IMO does not really require existing backlinks or rankings.
Not suggesting don't do this - just saying evaluate what it is you are doing to the site permanently. And if you're content with those links being in your profile forever, then it's a good idea.
As you noted, everyone is piling on to these blogs. Well, more specifically, everyone who's looking for SEO.
So one issue may be the volume of outbound links. The second problem is all those sites that the dofollow links out to? You just placed your site in the same neighbourhood as all of them. Google may just see your site as of the same quality as them. I bet most of the sites are low quality - so you're sending low quality signals to Google.
Again I don't want to sound completely down on this because it may possibly help your rankings. But be aware of the risks. If you're targetting the idea that you want google to see your site as a high quality authority I think this is sending the wrong signals.
- Low Quality Dofollow Blog -- building links through it would eventually mean LOW QUALITY LINKS. It would probably pass on very little SEO advantage. Additionally, it would NOT send any traffic.
- High Quality Nofollow Blog -- building links through it would not be really helpful from search engine's perspective but it would send targeted traffic, with higher chances of conversion. Moreover, if your site is high quality then it might be noticed by the blog owner as well, which would result in a networking opportunity.