Let’s be honest for a minute, links are often the main reason why we guest post.
Of course, it’s not about links themselves, but more about the people who follow those links and visit our sites.
I’m sure we can all agree that if there was some international law preventing us from linking to our sites from guest posts, then guest blogging would be dead overnight.
That being said, we do need to be really careful when linking to our stuff, especially considering the recent publications by a man called Matt Cutts.
Yep, Google is not exactly fond of guest bloggers these days. Mainly because they seem to think that we’re guest blogging for the sole purpose of gaming the algorithms, when it fact, we get a lot more benefits from guest posts other than just SEO.
So how to go about your linking strategy in this somewhat hostile environment? Here are 7 tips to help you out:
1. Be relevant
This might sound obvious, but it’s actually the key to your linking strategy. Every link that’s not relevant to the topic of your blog post will quickly be identified by Google and devalued (in some cases, it can even work against you).
So the number one rule is to only link to stuff that’s relevant.
However, this brings up an important question: What to do if your site is not all that relevant to link to at the moment? Well, in that case, you shouldn’t even try to land a guest post on that particular site. It really won’t be worth it.
First of all, Google will get a grasp on the situation quickly and devalue your links. Plus, if the link isn’t relevant then the audience of the site won’t click on it either.
2. Link to other posts on the site
Every blog owner likes to see that you’ve taken the time to research their site, get familiar with the content, and then link to some of the other posts from within yours.
Besides, this makes things easier for them during the editing phase.
Do this by browsing through their feed and picking other posts that are relevant. On top of that, also pay attention to the things that the blogger is currently promoting. For instance, if they have an e-book, and the e-book is relevant to your post, link to it too.
3. Link to other posts on other people’s sites
Most blog owners don’t mind you linking to other people’s stuff as long as it truly improves the post as a whole.
So spend just a couple of minutes researching, find some relevant articles, and use them to reinforce your message, make it stronger, and simply bring more value.
Just don’t make it obvious. If you don’t have to, don’t link to Wikipedia. Those links look like filler. That’s unless you’re linking to some really obscure definition that’s important for the general message of your guest post.
Hint. Once the post gets published, reach out to those people and let them know that you’ve mentioned them.
4. Link to your own stuff from within the body
I wanted to hide this point right in the middle of the post, but it’s actually the most important thing here.
In short, forget about the bio box.
The bio box is a dead giveaway for Google that it’s a guest post and what the author wants to promote with it.
Nowadays, when it comes to links, I only have my Twitter handle in the bio box. And I encourage you to do the same.
When it comes to your “money links” – for lack of a better word – place them within the body of the post. Again, only where they fit.
In-content links are better for at least two reasons:
- Google is not that wild about them when it comes to devaluing people’s work.
- The readers will notice them and click them more often than bio links.
5. Link to your twitter profile via “click to tweet”
There’s an interesting trend going on online when it comes to social media.
A lot of sites now use those nice looking “click to tweet” links (example below). They usually contain concise thoughts and quotes that do a good job at bringing people back to the article.
Doing some quick tests, I can tell you that this works really well. For my recent post on Lifehack.org, I used this link:
It was tweeted out by tens of people the day the post went live.
You can create those links manually. The syntax is quite simple:
6. Forget Google Authorship
A lot of bloggers preach Google Authorship these days. The popular opinion is that you should link to your G+ profile from your guest posts because it will build your “author rank.”
While the idea sounds reasonable in itself, I don’t actually trust Google to handle the data properly.
Let me just say it this way. Google explicitly stated – through Matt Cutts – that they are not fond of guest bloggers. So why would you give them data on all guest posts you’ve managed to land across the web?
This might change in the future, but for now, forgetting about Google Authorship is the safest bet.
7. Nofollow? Proceed with caution
Some blogs put the nofollow attribute on every link they find in a guest post, particularly your “money links.”
Should you care?
Well, yes and no.
If you’re guest blogging purely for SEO, which I advise against, then obviously you will care about nofollow links. However, there’s nothing you can do once a blogger decides to make them nofollow, unfortunately. After all, it’s their site and their decision to make.
So my advice is to not care about nofollow at all.
Or another way to look at it: Whenever trying to land a guest post on any blog, assume that the link is going to be nofollow. If this is a deal breaker for you, then you shouldn’t post on that site.
The secret ingredient
Links on their own won’t make your guest blogging campaign successful. What you need most of all is a quality landing page to welcome people who end up clicking your links.
This is where the guest blogging game is won or lost.
We’ll discuss this in one of the future posts here on Guest Blogging Tactics so stick around.