If Guest Blogging is Dead, Which Link Building Methods Still Work
Feb16

If Guest Blogging is Dead, Which Link Building Methods Still Work

20SHARESFacebookTwitter All over the blogosphere this week comes the conclusion ‘Guest Blogging is Dead’, largely due to Matt Cutts’ recent post on the matter in which he warns if you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2014, you should probably stop. Certainly, this does mean that one of the last obvious methods for gaining link traction in a way which wasn’t going to get you imminently penalised has come to an end. For most real online marketers however, the news has neither come as a surprise nor a reason for despair. It’s been quite obvious for a long time that writing an article in five minutes then sticking a thin bio link underneath with a keyword anchor text link in it wasn’t going to make the good people at Google especially happy. Most of these articles were the thinnest excuse for prose anyway and by no means adding value to the web. Nevertheless, for an industry already crouching down in the bunker, this news does appear like the final assault in a very long campaign of attack by Google. Does SEO have any kind of a future, some people ask? Are there any link building methods left which still work and which won’t risk a penalty? Guest Blogging has a little Life Left in It Yet The first thing to say here is that contributing valuable, relevant content to other websites in your niche remains a valuable way to get a link. Certainly if you’re promoting a marketing company and you write an article about gardening, linking in the bio, you’re going to get into trouble. But if you’re writing an article of genuine quality in a similar niche to your own you’re in the right ballpark and, if you watch Matt Cutts videos on the subject, he confirms this. Secondly, if you do choose to link in your bio don’t go for that most obvious tactic of spam: the anchor text link. That’s like waving a red flag under Cutts’ nose and is just a total waste of time. Better to link to your G+ authorship page and your brand by name or as a raw URL link. Even better would be to write an article in which your own website could appear as a contextual link. So if you’re writing about ‘Five Killer Landing Pages’ for example, you can link to one of your own and 4 competitors. This gives you a contextual link in the most natural setting possible, within an article which is a genuine resource. Even in the case of a manual review, this is always going to pass muster....

Read More
Is 2014 The End of Guest Blogging?
Jan20

Is 2014 The End of Guest Blogging?

12SHARESFacebookTwitter Matt Cutts has come out with a post on his personal blog entitled “The decay and fall of guest blogging“. It’s quite interesting as it’s something that I wrote about around a week ago on Densely.org called “The Way We Guest Post – Content Marketing“. In it, I wrote: Google will try to become more aggressive as we become more aggressive at guest posting. My prediction for 2014 is that we’ll see algorithmic updates, similar to Penguin, which will dive straight into world of guest posting. – 11 January, 2014 It makes sense. If everyone starts doing something that is very popular then in the end it will become abused and overused. The strategy behind guest blogging from an SEO perspective has always been about gaining links that would help boost your rankings. It’s a tactic used by many SEO agencies and I’ll admit that I’ve done my fair share. But Google has not made it easy to rank in the search engine results page. For many start-up websites it is impossible to rank and compete, unless you engage in activities such as guest posting. I’ll agree with Matt on this though: Ultimately, this is why we can’t have nice things in the SEO space: a trend starts out as authentic. Then more and more people pile on until only the barest trace of legitimate behavior remains. – Matt Cutts He’s right. Guest posting has indeed been turned from being a legitimate practice, whereby you would be a guest author on big sites such as TechCrunch, WSJ, Mashable etc and you’d give your professional view on a subject of your expertise. This still happens, but this has been outweighed by the fact the majority of guest posts are now for those lovely dofollow anchor text links. So there you have it: the decay of a once-authentic way to reach people. Given how spammy it’s become, I’d expect Google’s webspam team to take a pretty dim view of guest blogging going forward. – Matt Cutts The last bit of Matt Cutt’s post is actually quite informational. Is he suggesting that there will be an algorithmic update of some sort that would dive into the world of guest blogging — like I had predicted just only a week ago? Maybe and very likely, yes. I also see Google devaluing guest posts and lowering their effectiveness when it comes to rankings. I doubt we’ll see Google penalising every website that has used guest posting as a method to increase rankings. In effect, the only websites that will be hurt from this are for sites that have gained the majority of their backlinks by...

Read More
6 SEO Trends for 2014 by Amy Harris
Jan13

6 SEO Trends for 2014 by Amy Harris

10SHARESFacebookTwitter 2013 saw Google busily updating their algorithms with the introduction of Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird, designed to target content, link and search quality – like voice search on mobile devices. At the end of 2013 Google took the step that SEO professionals hoped would never happen, but secretly knew was inevitable; they made all organic searches secure, meaning keyword data is now ‘not provided’. Without this data, site owners are no longer able to use their own web analytics software to segment users by keywords. These changes, combined with the exploding markets for smartphones and mobile devices, mean that the SEO landscape of 2014 has changed dramatically. Amy Harris, Community Manager for business website Expert Market offers six SEO trends for the coming year: 1. Exploring a ‘Not Provided’ World Google may be leading the way in hiding keyword referral data but they are by no means alone; IE10, Firefox and Mobile Safari have all followed suit. So in 2014 data will have to be viewed differently and new options will need to be explored. With the new advanced segment UI, questions will be answered but in a different way as it’s the user rather than the individual visit that’s measured. This change will be an important component in a new trend that will force SEO specialists to think differently about the data available. More emphasis will be placed on other sets of data like PPC impressions data, which could be the most accurate for identifying opportunities. 2. Content Marketing Grows Up In 2014 Google will be looking for far more mature and well-rounded content marketing than previously. Existing content being used strategically will have to be re-evaluated and radically altered to meet Google’s demand for regular, helpful and highly-targeted content. This will be engaging content, regularly updated and shared to prove that the site is alive and growing and has some authority. In short, the more effective your content is in addressing your audience’s most common problems, the more this will help your site ranking. 3. Social Signalling Will Increase In the last couple of years, content from networks like Pinterest and Instagram have been fast following in the footsteps of social giants Facebook and Twitter. As the interest in social media continues, appearing on just one or two social networks will not be sufficient in 2014. In fact, a study by the Content Marketing Institute reports that B2B small business marketers juggle an average of five networks at the same time. Again, it’s about knowing your audience and where they like to hang out beyond the obvious selections for your industry. Profiles will become more crafted as...

Read More