Nowadays the Google algorithm is harder to manipulate than ever before and quality over quantity of backlinks is key.
Criteria For Guest Post Placements
You need a strict verification process in making sure your guest post submissions are quality placements.
Here is our compiled list of what criteria we check for our guest post placement guide:
- Traffic – If the website is receiving traffic then this is a sure fire way to understand Google likes this site. The more traffic the placement domains get the better the quality of the backlink in our opinion.
- Rankings – Along with traffic then rankings is a super important aspect to check using tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush. If the sites ranking well then this is giving you the trust signals that Google obviously likes the website.
- Referring Domains – In general, the more referring domains to the website the better as long as not been spammed. Check these are dofollow referring links so that power is being passed to the website you are looking to place a guest post on.
- Anchor Text – After checking the quantity of the referring domains then having a look at the anchors used is important. If spammed with anchor text phrases avoid at all costs.
- Engagement – If under the comments section there is good discussion and lots of it from different readers, especially on numerous posts, then you’ve likely found a winner. Having user-generated content on comments adds engagement which Google loves so is a great tip to check.
- Social Media – If the social media of the websites has many followers this is a good sign of trust. Just make sure you check interaction and engagement, and they have not just bought fake followers.
- Third Party Metrics – Looking at third party metrics like Ahrefs DR/UR or Majestic CF/TF is a good way to gauge potential spam. These can be manipulated easily but these third-party metrics are good just to gauge your thoughts on the sites overall score.
- Topically Related – Having a website on topic and related to your niche helps a lot. Even better is if this particular site is ranking for the topic phrases you are looking to rank for.
- Location – The location of traffic is important and geographically you want traffic from the same countries you are trying to rank for. The same country traffic location is a key factor you want to be checking ideally especially to make sure CTR manipulation is not happening.
- Rich Media – Images and videos are crucial for engaging readers and breaking up large chunks of text in your post. Learn more about image SEO techniques to see how you can make the most of additional media on your page.
- Paid Placements – It is important that the posts on the site are not obvious this is a paid placement because against google guidelines. So avoid at all costs ‘sponsored posts’ or ‘submit guest post here’ and similar related phrases like ‘write for us’.
- Design – As UX is becoming more of a ranking factor you ideally want a nicely designed website. An ugly site gives bad user experience and can start to lose rankings/traffic so nicely designed is good to look at. Also checking previous designs on way back should be checked to make sure these placements are not just PBNs.
A little cheat when looking to have a backlink placed on a guest post is trying to get it within the first couple of sentences.
The reason for this is because of the following:
- Strongest Link on the Page is the first contextual backlink
- Positioning it in the first sentence gives the likelihood of the backlink being clicked much higher chance and from the reasonable surfer patent, therefore, gives more weight to that particular link
- Guest Posts normally get published with a snippet on the homepage for a while so the snippet has a link in there means good chance the backlink will be indexed and crawled on the homepage to pass even more link juice
Reverse Sink or Swim Strategy
When looking to choose your anchor text back to your website then you should be trying to rank your guest posts for related keywords.
The reverse sink or swim method example is here:
Anchor Text:- flat shoelaces
Title:- Best Flat Shoelaces for Kids Running Shoes
Here above you are trying to rank the guest post for the anchor text you are using and also trying to rank it for multiple LSI variations.
The LSI variations are using terms like best, kids, running, shoes to pick up longtail keyphrases on the guest post opportunity.
Having the target anchor keyword in the meta title tag, permalink URL and repeated in the content is a sure fire way of forcing the article to be topically relevant to your money site.
Guest Post Google Penalty
With it being so easy for your competitor to reverse engineer your backlink profile using tools like Ahrefs then this could cause potential google penalties long term.
Why? Because the links you have at present could end up turning into link farms.
As it is easy to get the same link by reaching out with a bribe to the same blogger, blogs are quickly turning into link farms.
And for the most part, it’s out of your control. As at the time of the guest post placement this website could have been perfectly fine.
The site may be clean when you get a link on it, but when you rank and your competitors reverse engineer your backlink profile, they can get the same links. The cycle continues until sites turn into link farms.
Carrying out outreach to relevant websites helps you improve your Google rankings but this can be time consuming and expensive.
If you do not understand the latest Google algorithm updates then you might find yourself jumping in the search results and confused about the problems you are having.
The best advice I can give to anyone reading this article is to outsource the work to experts in this vertical or get yourself out networking with the best marketers to learn the latest practices to carry out the labour in-house.