The recent algorithm Penguin 2.0 update has once again changed the game for SEO. Specifically Penguin 2.0 has made link building through guest posts more difficult, though it has not ended its run entirely. Penguin 2.0 is forcing SEOs to change their approach and overall focus of effort for their campaigns. No longer should campaign goals be centered on acquiring mass quantities of links. Instead, SEOs need to pay closer attention to improving your sphere of influence, creating high quality content, and increasing the number of loyal readers and followers.
In the past guest blogging was mainly used as an SEO tactic, but in the post Penguin 2.0 world an SEO should never do anything purely for the sake of SEO. Contributing value, increasing your reputation as a writer, and focusing on your brand are the keys to success in crafting guest blogs and increasing your rankings.
How to Create A High Quality and Sharable Guest Blog
1. Create Quality Evergreen Content
As Google continues to move forward fighting spam and black hat tactics, SEOs need to begin to change their mindsets as well. To start, focus on delivering value and information through a guest post. While you are posting on someone else’s blog, you still need to make sure your content is actually worth reading and sharing. The more exciting and informative your content is, the more it will be read, shared, and liked on social media, which Google is starting to use more and more as a measure of quality. A major red flag for Google is low quality content in the Penguin 2.0 era you will start to see negative effects from low quality guest posting. For example if guest blogging is done with the intent to build links and on a large scale level Google will begin to take action against the links within the article or the blog post.
Google+ is not going anywhere soon and using their Authorship feature can help boost your guest blogging efforts, while adding accountability. One of the hottest new topics in the SEO world is Google’s Authorship, which allows you to link your content to your Google+ profile and also places your photo next to your content in the SERPs. Utilizing Google’s authorship feature and improving your author rank is a positive way to show Google the quality content you are creating. Authorship allows Google to see where the content is being published and how well it preforms throughout the web. If you stick to a schedule and continuously write great content, Google will begin to add weight and authority to your posts. On the flip side, authorship also means Google knows when you are producing low quality content. Penguin 2.0 means that not only low quality sites will begin to be devalued, but now authors will too.
2. Diversify Keywords and Anchor Text
When guest posting it is important to be cognitive of your keywords and anchor text within the post. Focusing on the same keyword over and over again will come off as unnatural and send red flags to Google. Before guest blogging, research keywords and decide which of these you would like to build authority for. The next step is to spread those keywords across different guest posts. In addition, along with varying your keyword focus, it is also important to use different landing pages for your anchor text. Pointing all of your links to the same landing page, such as your homepage is unnatural in Google’s eyes. Once you begin to distribute your content you will want to find various different sites with quality but diverse site metrics. This allows your site to begin to build a backlink profile that is not too homogenous.
3. Build Relationships within your Industry
The landscape of SEO may be changing rapidly, but the one aspect that won’t be changing any time soon is building relationships. There is no tool more powerful in SEO than a quality relationship with a blogger or industry influencer. As Google continues to crack down on low quality websites and content, your relationships within your industry will prove to become increasingly more valuable. Anyone with a large Twitter following or social profile will become an asset if they start sharing your content with their followers. A top influencer will allow you to introduce your products or website to a whole new crowd of potential readers or customers.