Guest Blog Your Way To Fame And Fortune
From small entrepreneurs to big corporations, website owners are looking to make their sites easy for search engines to find and jam-packed with valuable content to put them near the top of search results in their field. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the holy grail of people that build and maintain commercial websites for a living. A key element in gaining web credibility and higher rankings is through building links with other high ranking websites.
A recent survey of link builders which included website administrators, business owners, and SEO specialists, highlighted important changes in approaches to identifying and making contact with potential link partners. Offering to provide guest blogs on relevant topics was rated as one of the top ways to generate website links and was the staple strategy for 46% of the respondents.
One example to show how this works is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). They offer veterinary clinics an article about winter hazards and your dog, containing lots of great tips for keeping your dog safe and healthy during the winter. At the bottom of the article is a link to the ASPCA website where more information is available. The vet gets great information from a trusted source to include on the clinic’s website and the ASPCA gains credibility and a jump in their search engine ranking.
Establish New Links
Methods for establishing links through guest blogs and content placement fall broadly into two categories: honest (called white hat) and not so honest (called black hat). Search engines like Google are constantly tweaking the algorithm that sorts through the white and the black hats to decide what websites a search will find.
Matt Cutts, head of Google’s webspam team recently posted a YouTube video with his comments on guest blogging for links. Guest posts by “high quality writers”, he says are a legitimate way to add content to your website and it’s a good way for “someone who isn’t quite as well known but writes really really well to get to be known a little bit better”. He even names Lisa Berone, Vanessa Fox, and Danny Sullivan as examples of high quality writers
He warned against taking this idea to the extreme by outsourcing content to less than expert writers for the purpose of distributing masses of blog posts. “When you are just doing it to turn the crank and get a massive number of links, that’s something where we are less likely to want to count those links”.
Common practices in the past, like link wheels and blog networks are now considered distinctly “black hat” and actively shunned by the SEO community. Looking to the future, SEO specialists participating in the link builder survey still consider link building as an important element in promoting their websites and guest blogging was rated as the best way to build those connections.