Creating a sound guest posting strategy is crucial to any content marketing or SEO plan. However, guest posting on as many many domains as possible not only does not help your SEO, but can actually hurt it.
Less is really more with guest posting. You want less low-quality domains, and more high-quality content going out to high-quality domains. In this episode of Here’s Why, Mark & Eric will explain how to add a great guest posting strategy to your digital marketing arsenal.
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Eric: Mark, what are you doing?
Mark: Creating guest posts!
Mark: Anywhere that will publish them!
Eric: Oh Mark, not a good idea. You need to be selective about where you guest post, and in this episode, I’ll tell you why!
Mark: Eric, I’ve heard many people say that it’s good for my SEO if I’ve published on as many different domains as I can. Is that a good idea?
Eric: Actually, it’s a really bad idea.
Eric: Let me do the math for you. Let’s imagine there are 100 domains in my space that I’m interested in, and there are 10 really good ones, 20 pretty good ones, 30 not so good ones, and 40 that are complete crap.
Mark: Numbers make my head hurt, but I think I’m tracking with you.
Eric: Ok, try to stay with me. If I have this strategy that every time I do a guest post I’m going to put it in a different domain, and I start with the very high-quality domains, what happens to the quality of domain I’m going to be posting on over time?
Mark: Eventually you’ll use up the high-quality sites, and have to start pushing your content onto lower and lower quality domains.
Eric: See! You’re smarter than even you thought you were! Since its now more important than ever to have your content seen by Google as only appearing on the best quality sites you can get on to, you really don’t want to pursue that strategy of publishing anywhere that will accept my posts. The other reason is that…well, let me explain this with an analogy. Imagine I came to you and said I just published an article in the New York Times.
Mark: Eric, I’m impressed!
Eric: Thanks! Then a month later I come back and say, “Hey Mark, the New York Times just made me a columnist!”
Mark: Woohoo! Way to go, Eric!
Eric: Woah, Mark, this is just a hypothetical situation. But the search engines get this. Repeated exposure on high-quality sites means real-world authority. And of course, real people get that too. Their respect for you as an expert worth listening to goes up when they see you published on only better sites. And besides, those crappy sites have a low audience anyway. You’re really not getting very much for your efforts.
As you know, I’m a big fan of gaining exposure to what I call OPA, Other People’s Audiences. It matters to me, though, what audience I’m being exposed to, and it follows that higher quality sites are going to attract a higher quality, and larger, audience. Now to bring the search engines back into the picture, they understand real authority now today better than they ever have before. So they get that that repeat relationship actually deepens the value of that link. The interesting thing about this is, it’s counter to an old SEO maxim.
That maxim came about because in the very early days of PageRank, people would go get site-wide links on very high authority sites. Maybe they bought them, right? So they’re getting PageRank flow from millions of pages on these high authority sites, and their rankings were soaring. So Google made an adjustment in their algorithm at that time. The adjustment they made was like, “OK, all those links from that one site are actually just one editorial vote, so we won’t count the multiple links as much.” So the accepted wisdom that there was an SEO advantage to being on as many domains as possible no longer holds true.
Mark: So those people were just trying to play a numbers game.
Eric: Right, because each different domain was essentially a fresh editorial vote. Well, no, not so much anymore. Yes, that site-wide stuff, Google’s still going to deal really well with that. Don’t start doing that again because of this video, please! But when it comes to a guest post strategy, or a by-line post strategy is the phrase I prefer these days, you really want to think about columns on authoritative sites. It’s the best way to go.
Mark: So rather than worrying about finding a whole bunch of sites to write on, concentrate on the few that you really want to have your authority associated with, and seek to develop a relationship with them where they’re going to publish your content again and again and again, so you become, as you said, just like a newspaper columnist on that site.
Eric: You’ve got it!
Mark: Thanks, Eric. For more about building an effective guest posting strategy, visit the link you see on your screen now for an article by Eric explaining how you can climb the ladder to publishing on what he calls Tier 1 sites.
Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient Digital. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO. Learn More About Eric Enge