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The Unknown Guidelines to Guest Blogging

By Edited Aug 29, 2015 0 0

This isn’t your ordinary guest posting guidelines.

Guest blogging has become one of the most sought after link building strategies employed in everyone’s campaign for marketing and search engine optimization. Numerous blog posts have scattered around the Internet, discussing how guest blogging will profit your website, how you can secure a blog post on another website, and even an almost-inexhaustible list of websites allowing guest posts.

Yet again, guest bloggers endlessly contribute to blogging websites not knowing the entire story beneath the tip of the iceberg. We blindly follow these regulations, without even daring to ask, “Why only a link back to my site?” or “Why shouldn’t we insert lots of links?” or even, “What a huge amount of word count! Can’t I just give an article at about 300 words?”

You see, there are unknown guidelines to guest posting than meets the eye. Most of them are self-explainable especially if you’re someone knowledgeable with Google’s zoo fest; however, in every field there will always be newbies distraught with the guidelines.

Without further ado, let us get these unknown pointers rolling as we expand and give out reminders about guest blogging.

#1 Number of Links Per Page

In the Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, it is cited that we are to keep the number of links in a page to a reasonable number, particularly a hundred or less. Matt Cutts said in his blog:

These days, Google will index more than 100K of a page, but there’s still a good reason to recommend keeping to under a hundred links or so: the user experience. If you’re showing well over 100 links per page, you could be overwhelming your users and giving them a bad experience. A page might look good to you until you put on your “user hat” and see what it looks like to a new visitor.

User experience is a big factor in the conversion rate and the bounce rate of the website. High bounce rates with low-to-zero average times aren’t exactly a good prognosis for a website. It simply denotes that people aren’t staying long enough at a website; therefore decreasing the number of visitors to a website. Soon enough, people wouldn’t visit that website, and it’ll all be forgotten in the search engine ranks. What does this mean for you?

  • Try to avoid guest blogging at websites laden with ads; especially those with a hefty amount of ads above the fold. You know the principle of link juice; it decreases as it descends down the page. Of course most websites that encourage guest post contributions are restricting links in the author bio of the profile.
  • Choose your links wisely. The more suspicious and irrelevant it is, the more your article is likely to be rejected due to the promotional tone of the article.
  • For websites that accept guest bloggers: restrict the number of links that there are in a post. Remember that the post isn’t the only thing that contains links in the page; there are also other links in the page like your navigation menu, ads (if any), etc.

#2 Content Duplication: More Than Just Copy-Paste

Duplicate content. All webmasters are very reluctant to post duplicate content, as it directly violates the Google Webmaster Guidelines. You’d often see strict guidelines on content originality and it must “pass Copyscape”.

It’s a definite waterloo for most bloggers and writers to come up with an original content of their own; billions and billions of articles are already online. There are a few things you must keep in check for your content.

Article spinning is a big no-no. Replacing words within the articles with synonyms is just the same as copying the content to fool Google; better watch out for that one.

It’s a tough job to create content without any inkling on what to write. Instead of spinning an article, why not give it a fresh new angle? Write about the benefits instead of focusing on the negativities of a product. Give your opinion about that topic. Curate content about a single trend. There’s absolutely no good reason to spin articles. "Be 100% transparent. Nothing less," as said by branding consultant, Martin Lindstrom.

Quoting and Attribution. Citing sources and giving credit to linkable assets are the most efficient way to build links back to your website, especially if you’re utilizing guest blogging as a link building technique.

One of our clients enjoy the benefit of contextual linking because he’s an industry expert in branding and one of the top brand consultants in marketing. His experience and arsenal of quotes and knowledge are beneficial for content creation. However, quoting and attributing back to sources must be done properly, and add some value by further expounding on a point cited by your source, or explaining the main purpose of the linkable asset you shared.

#3 Link Schemes: Unnatural Links

Again, guest blogging is widely used as a link building technique. It is one of the safest and effective way to acquire natural links. However, with the advent of guest blogging as a link building technique, people are tarnishing its reputation with blatant violations of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines in link schemes. Focusing on guest posting on websites, here are the most common blunders made by webmasters and guest bloggers alike:

  • Sponsored Posts. There are websites accepting guest posts “for a fee”. Whether it’s a publishing fee or fee for editing, it is still a paid link; a direct violation of the guidelines. As much as possible, get your links posted at those that offer space for guest blogging for free. There are many websites out there who wouldn’t ask anything in exchange. One must keep in mind that guest blogging is a way to share your knowledge; an avenue to increase readership either for the guest blogger or the website itself.
  • Irrelevant Content Linking. Contextual links are gold; until it turns into leprechaun gold. Links within the context that serve little to no coherence at all is deemed spammyand unnatural. Watch out for these signals that may cost you your prized contextual link:
    • Faulty grammar and coherence
    • Overstuffing of links and keywords
    • Irrelevance to the idea of a paragraph
  • Irrelevant Link Prospects. It is cited in the Webmaster’s guidelines that one must consider writing for the audience, and not for the search engines. Irrelevant links to and fro can only raise violations for your website. Here are some tips to help you get by your link prospecting for a guest blog:
    • Target your own niche— whether horizontal or vertical.
    • Find websites relevant to your niche by playing around with the keywords when link prospecting. (I recommend UberSuggest for searching keywords)
    • As much as possible, shy away from general websites that cater almost every niche in the world within their website.
    • If all else fails, tweak your content to match the niche you’re targeting. If you’re in binary options trading, here are some great ideas for an article:
      • Top 10 Finance Related Movies
      • Binary Options Mobile Apps for Smartphones
      • Give a review on a book about binary options trading

Not-So Unknown After All

All these points aren’t so unknown after all; we might have been pointing out the direct obvious, but increased awareness of these guidelines backed up by real points from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines makes it all fit in together.

This isn’t just for guest blogs alone; guest bloggers or those who offer guest posts should take these points into consideration to avoid compromising each other’s web sites. Although guest blogging is a safe and effective way of building links, it is also more susceptible to be taken advantage of shady tactics and misuse.

Choose your guest posts wisely; write for the people, not for Google.

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