Guest Content – You’ve Got To Pump The Juice To Get The Juice

If you’ve not considered guest blogging or providing guest content as a means to increase your rank in the SERP, it might be time to rethink that decision. With Google’s new panda project in place SEO and traffic driving strategies like low-quality article marketing are basically doomed.

Panda focuses on quality and value. Google’s mission is to deliver the most relevant return to a searcher’s query and they finally figured a way to do that without using criteria like keywords and total number of backlinks which can be easily manipulated.

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Today Google is relying on authoritative sites to determine the value of other sites. If an authority links to another site Google assumes that the link is in place because the authority site found the linking site to be of value. So the key today is to find high ranked sites that will link back to you and the best way to do that is by providing guest content.

The challenge of course is the fine high ranked sites and then convince them that you have quality content that you would like provide them in exchange for one or two links back to your site. It takes a bit of work but the links that you get in exchange are like gold and are the fastest way to rise up in the SERP.

Your guest content is published… Now what?

An associate of mine, Laura Penekamp who runs a website about free car insurance quotes online contacted me by Skype with the question. She had just had her first piece of guest content published and she was asking if there was anyway to squeeze more juice out of the two links that she had in her article.

After a bit of brainstorming we decided the best way to get more value, more juice from those links was to make the page that the article was published on more valuable in the eyes of Google. The more valuable that page became the more juice passed to are links. Here’s we came up with:

  • Referrals. When people refer a website using StumbleUpon, Digg it, Reddit and now Google’s new plus program Google takes interest. Particularly on those pages we can vote a URL up or down. Google sees this as humans referring to other humans any positive referral is seen as a sign of trust.
  • Influence your own audience. Take a moment and think about how many people you’re a have some influence over. How many followers do you have on Twitter, or friends on Facebook? How we people are signed up on your e-mail list? Leverage your influence over this audience by Tweeting, posting to Facebook and including a story about your guest content in your next newsletter.
  • Talk it up. If you have a blog make sure that your guest content is the next blog entry that you make. If you frequent forums take a moment and brag about your first invitation by another website to contribute content. If the page that you posted on has a comments section monitor it carefully and respond to everyone who leaves a comment.

It may seem counter intuitive but the more effort you make in promoting that other websites page the more you will benefit from your links on it. And here’s an added benefit… That webmaster is going to love you and is going to invite you back to post additional content.

Going the extra mile helps Laura with her ranking. Now she’s in the business of free auto insurance quotes but it really doesn’t matter what you’re promoting or selling, this guest content strategy will work for anything.

But I’d like to know what you think I’d like to know what your experiences are. Can you take a moment and share your ideas by filling in the comment block just below.

Photo by Gunnar Wrobel

  • BODHost Ltd

    Guest content is definitely helpful to make blog active. In addition, I have read a blog post written by a Jenny R (If I am not mistaken the name) where she explained the importance of blog comments. According to her point view, search engine bots consider blog comments as a fresh content which helps to your new post as well as old post to rank well…

    • James Martell

      That’s an interesting idea. I do find myself wonder how Google looks at comments in general. I wonder what are the value of the backlinks, the freshness of the content, etc. I do know Google is looking at how socially popular a page for some of their new rankings signals — how many times a page has been tweeted, or better yet retweeted, liked and Google plused. I wonder where comments fit into their ranking signals?

  • donna young

    Thanks James for the post. I found this very helpful. I do blogs for my employer, a law firm and what I can share is that this is indeed true. Our website got more hits when we affiliated with another website for lawyers (a lawyer directory site, but it was not for free). I did some guest blogs there but we got more traffic when I answered some questions on their Q & A section and then attached a link to the blog I wrote which I posted on our website. It was indeed more effective than anchoring keywords onto your articles which sometimes make your articles sound spammy.

    • James Martell

      Hi Donna, thanks for the Q & A tip. I can see how that would be very effective at driving targeted traffic. As for adding keywords into an article and them looking spammy. My take on it is if a keyword reads naturally into the article you’re fine. Keep in mind Google lives on links.