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Guest Blogging in a Post-Penguin World

September 24, 2012 · 6 comments

in Blogging

Google has again decided to change the SEO landscape with the release of their Penguin Update.

Is it just me or are you also starting to have nightmares about strange creatures that crawl in the night – Pandas and Penguins anyone?

Just like a one-two blow designed to knock websites off their feet, Google’s updates have sent many a website shivering in its wake.

So how does Google’s penguin update affect our guest blogging efforts?

Guest blogging is a great way of building links for SEO. And we build these links by creating anchor texts that point back to our website ensuring a steady flow of PR juice going our way. But the introduction of the Penguin update has again changed the landscape and how our anchor texts affect our SERP in particular.

Creating anchor texts that link back to our website is what guest blogging is all about. And with the introduction of the Penguin update anchor texts play a major role in determining your website’s inbound link profile. Your website might have enjoyed great success with your prior link building efforts but what does the new update mean for guest bloggers?

Over Optimization

Guest blogging is a white hat SEO technique so why should I get penalized for doing this? This certainly does not have to deal with how many guest blogs you make but how many times you’ve used certain keywords in your anchor text. Make a note of how many times you’ve used certain keywords for your anchor text and if you’ve been concentrating on a certain anchor text for a majority of your guest posts then this would be the likely culprit.

In simple terms, if you’ve got 10 guest posts and you’ve been using an anchor text for 7 out of 10 submissions then this would appear “unnatural.” Having 80 percent of your inbound link profile made up of 3 to 4 keywords for example would have worked pre-penguin. The latest update however needs you to rethink the strategy and create a more diversified anchor text portfolio.

Diversify

Using “money keywords” for your anchor texts has been the bread and butter for guest bloggers. The new update however does not require us from throwing these “money keywords” as our anchor text but using them conservatively. Your inbound link profile may still consist of three “money keywords” playing a major role but it should also see a rise in the diversity of anchor text being used.

  • The Naked Truth

You might have noticed some of your fellow guest bloggers using their website’s URL as their anchor text. These may be their websites home URL or URLs to their inner pages. If you’re searching for the best natural inbound link to target then using URLs is the way to go. You should consider these along with your “money keywords” as your main target.

  • Generic Anchors

Other anchor text that you would commonly see these days is the use of generic terms such as “click here, visit this link, or visit this website.” These are terms that no decent guest blogger would touch with a stick in the past but including these in your inbound link profile lists makes link building look more natural.

  • Using Related Keywords

Using target keywords for your anchor text or articles have been the “go to strategy” in the past. Related keywords of Latent Semantic Indexing involve the use of exact match keywords. This has been used in article writing where LSI was used to prevent stuffing posts with keywords. Using a couple of these for your anchor text can go a long way in building a more diversified inbound link profile.

  • Branding

Another way of creating a more diverse anchor text portfolio is to use the website’s actual name. Including a space in between terms or capitalizing certain letters is just a simple way of mixing it up.

If you’re currently looking at your inbound link profile right now, there’s a good chance that most of your anchor texts are using target keywords. You don’t have to start pulling them down to get the metrics right but all you have to do is to build on your inbound link profile by using the strategies above.

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Michael Scottsdale is a financial advisor and currently works as a consultant for small businesses. When he’s not writing for various technology sites, he could be found blogging about simple ways on Starting a Blog and how people could take advantage of the internet’s numerous business opportunities.

has written 1 awesome articles for us at Opportunities Planet

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexander Collins September 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Guest authors are very rarely want to see a naked URL as a link back to their websites. Don’t know why. Maybe they don’t believe in power of bare URLs.
Alexander Collins recently posted..5 Forex Trading Techniques for a Newbie Which Are Often OverlookedMy Profile

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Donnau1 October 4, 2012 at 6:10 pm

I am glad that you have brought up this topic because most people don’t know the power of guest posting and what it can do for your website in terms of getting traffic going back to your site thanks for sharing.

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Nick October 7, 2012 at 1:00 am

“Creating anchor texts that link back to our website is what guest blogging is all about.”

THAT is exactly the type of thinking that brought on the recent crackdown on webspam and will ultimately ruin guest blogging and turn it into something as ridiculous as “article marketing”. It also contradicts the idea that guest blogging is white hat, since anything done solely to manipulate rank is a violation of G’s guidelines.
Guest blogging should be about increasing exposure of your message to a wider audience and networking with like-minded bloggers – with some helpful links as a nice bonus if possible.
If you are only guest blogging for links, you can bet those links won’t count for much eventually. Why? Because people who overdo their link building have little self-discipline. They will try to go for quantity rather than quality, and blogs that have too many low quality guest posts will likely be devalued just like the spam blog networks that were all the rage last year.

That “what’s in it for me” mentality is what polluted email marketing with spam blasts, caused the meta keyword tag to become useless, and brought about Google’s Panda and Penguin with short-sighted, nonsensical link building and keyword stuffing.

If you are just looking for a quick buck, then keep on spamming, guest blog for anyone who will let you, and start over after your domain gets dropped.

If you are serious about doing business online, think about how these activities make you look. If you behaved that way offline – annoying everyone you meet by telling them your website URL or phone # rather than introducing yourself, babbling incoherently and repeatedly even when it isn’t relevant to the conversation instead of effectively conveying your message – would it help your business? Building a brand is so much more than using your site’s name as anchor text.

Now with that rant out of the way, guest blogging can still be very useful.
Choose your locations wisely – would you write for that blog if you didn’t get a link?
Is your article good enough to go on your own blog with your real name on it? If not, don’t expect a good blog to publish it for you.
Nick recently posted..50 Ways to Make the Web a Better PlaceMy Profile

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Ashley Steve October 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Some really great tips out of there. Being a guest blogger myself I believe in doing the basic things right. First and foremost your content needs to be of really high quality which keeps the reader engaged and wanting for more. Second thing I do is to target good quality and relevant sites to guest blog. There are many top blogs in every niche that accept guest post having a decent amount of traffic to their site. And lastly I try not to repeat the anchor texts many times. The end result – I get 1-2 natural links without arising any suspicion in the eyes of Google and my content is shared across the web.

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Felicia October 23, 2012 at 11:55 am

Glad to know some “hidden” bad things about guest blogging and thanks for sharing how to create a guest blog post that would really be acceptable for the Google Penguin update. I got to read also about Nick’s comment, which for me, he has a lot of “it really makes sense” statements. I agree that if you want to have your blog to get a good reputation online, you choose which websites or blogs that are beneficial for your blog to be linked via your guest blog posts.
Felicia recently posted..Dan Smith wins the Sunday MillionMy Profile

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promit October 26, 2012 at 7:49 am

I was unknown about this. So thanks for this great article. And you are right Google has taken very strong step to stop spammers. Still quality content is the key for link building. After penguin updates many bloggers have lost their page rank and traffics.
promit recently posted..How To Make Money By BloggingMy Profile

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