In my previous article I had classified guest posting as one of the most important strategies and tactics for fetching backlinks. But here I would like to go one step further by claiming that guest posting pretty much forms the backbone of the entire link building exercise. Ask any digital marketing or SEO professional and they will openly tell you about how overwhelmingly they rely on guest posting to fetch backlinks for their clients.
This article won’t shed light on guest posting’s basic facts like the need to write quality guest posts that is free from plagiarism, insertion of outbound link (anchor link), catering to only those guest posting websites that pertain to your client’s niche so and so forth. Instead this article will seek to unravel those facts that are immensely important yet ignored.
Basically, this article will look into three important aspects that are very critical for the success of any guest posting article. These three important aspects are:
- How to pitch for a guest posting article.
- Contextual links.
- How to find if the guest posting site is dofollow or nofollow.
- How much time Google takes to Recognize and Crawl new Backlinks
How to pitch for a guest posting article
I would like to make it clear beforehand that guest posting is a very tedious and time-consuming exercise and the first step in this lengthy exercise is writing a ‘pitch.’ This pitch is obviously meant for the owners of websites that accepts guest posts. Here I would like to remind that in the previous article I had discussed about how one can easily find websites that accept guest posts through Google auto search. But here again I would like to reiterate – just like I did in my previous article – that backlink analysis tools like Ahrefs, Majestics and Semrush will prove much more handy than auto search.
Now coming back to the pitch then it is more about writing a persuasive pitch. Your pitch must be persuasive enough to convince the website owner that you’re indeed a no-nonsense SEO or digital marketing professional and will strictly adhere to the guest posting guidelines of the website. Although there are no hard and fast rules about writing a pitch but your willingness to convince on certain critical aspects may help you in getting faster approval from the site owner. And the quick approval will only help you to get the ball rolling and speedup the guest posting exercise.
The following template is my personal favorite and I use it quite often while pitching for guest posting articles.
Hi sir/madam (name of the site owner)
This is Girish Shetti, a freelance SEO analyst. I just happen to come across your blog and was glad to know that your blog accepts guest posts. I am personally impressed with your blog and strongly believe that your website is playing a vital role in enhancing the knowledge of your targeted readers. The strong resonance and increasing afflation with your website has promoted me to pitch for a guest post on behalf of my esteem client. In keeping with the spirit of your blog, I assure you that the guest post will be highly informative, knowledgeable and will also fully adhere to other important guidelines prescribed by your blog.
Here are some of the topics that I would like to write on
- Topic no 1
- Topic no 2
- Topic no 3
The above template is brief and concise but is to the point. Attaching topics in the introductory mail itself will help to speedup the process. This brings me to the important point that you’re topics shouldn’t be too common or something that has been covered very extensively. Unique topics or topics that have not been widely covered probably stand the higher chance of getting faster approval. Therefore it is all the more important to conduct thorough research for searching good topics and only then proceed towards pitching for guest posting articles.
Before wrapping up this point, I would like to reiterate again that there are no hard and fast rules that only a particular template or pattern must be followed. As long as all the important points are covered and professional tone is maintained, one can follow any pattern or template.
Placement of contextual link:
Guest posting in today’s times strictly revolves around contextual links, since author bio links have largely become outdated and Google is known to be flagging them as spammy or suspicious links.
Contextual links are essentially placed in the body of the main content with the help of anchor text. Anchor text is a simply clickable or visible text that carries the all important contextual link in the hyperlink format. Below is the example of anchor text.
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In the above example, the text “spend your time online” is obviously the anchor text as it is the only clickable and visible text in the entire content. The hyperlink portion is also known by the term anchor link. Click on it and you’ll invariably land on a different website, which in this case is lifehack.org. In a nutshell, due to the above example lifehack.org has received a backlink from digitaltrending.co.in.
Anchor text, in essence, plays immensely vital role in any guest posting article and their placement invariably has to be contextual in nature. By contextual, we mean that the anchor text has to be in context of the surrounding idea of the paragraph. Anchor text, in other words, should not be enforced forcefully in the body content. Mind you, Google’s algorithm is sharp and intelligent enough to know whether your anchor link is contextual or not. In case if Google finds that the anchor link is not contextual then it won’t pass the backlink juice and all your hard work in creating guest posting article will go in complete vain.
Below are few important things to be borne in mind about anchor text
- Anchor text should neither be too short nor too long. It should be preferably within the range of 4-6 words.
- Anchor text must preferably have a key word, can be primary or secondary keyword. Although this is not mandatory, as long as your anchor text is contextual in nature the absence of keyword won’t make much difference.
- Feel free to use ‘branded anchor text.’ The example of branded anchor text is to use ‘Ahrefs’ as anchor text for linking to https://ahrefs.com/. In branded anchor text, brand name (Ahrefs) is directly used to link to the targeted website (ahrefs.com). in such cases, one can make an exception by using immensely short anchor text wherein nothing but only brand name is used (for example, Ahrefs). However, again the importance of making anchor text contextual should not be forgotten.
How to find the website/blog is dofollow or nofollow
Here is a trick question: How can you ascertain that the website or blog that you’re pitching is actually dofollow or nofollow? This trick question mostly doesn’t apply to those who have subscribed to paid backlink analysis tools like Majestic and Semrush. But this trick question certainly applies to those who have not subscribed to such tools.
This question actually becomes less tricky and even irrelevant particularly in cases where websites or blogs openly advertise about accepting guest posts. In such cases, it is given that such websites are dofollow by default and should be pitched for guest posting articles. But unfortunately majority of websites don’t openly flaunt their policies regarding guest posting articles, leaving the question whether the site is dofollow or nofollow quite open ended.
If this dilemma remains unresolved then there is every chance that you may end up wasting ample amount of time by pitching to websites that are nofollow.
The simplest way to resolve this dilemma is through a simple chrome extension called ‘NoFollow.’ This chrome extension will let you know whether any website is dofollow or nofollow within few minutes. The extension is lightweight and is highly reliable as it is known to work smoothly and offer accurate information. Owing to its high reliability, NoFollow has become amongst my favorite SEO extensions.
How much time Google takes to Recognize and Crawl new Backlinks
So your guest post article is finally published and now you’re desperately waiting to see ranking or traffic boost for your client’s website. But unfortunately Google doesn’t function according to our or anyone’s whim. Google’s algorithm has its own mind.
Frankly, there is no concrete answer as to how much time Google takes to recognize and crawl new backlinks. Many experts claim that the timespan is largely determined by key SEO metrics including domain authority (DA) of websites (DA of site that published the guest post article as well as of the client’s website), how old is the domain so and so forth.
SEO experts claim that sites with good DA are more likely to get preferential treatment from Google when it comes to recognizing their updated backlink profile. But again there are no hard and fast rules as I have come across exceptional cases wherein sites with poor DA have also got preferential treatment from Google.
Nonetheless, based on my personal experience I can certainly claim with fair degree of surety that Google takes at least one week or 8-10 days. All those who are using backlink analysis tools (ahrefs and semrush) will easily come to know as and when their backlinks get acknowledged and crawled. As for those who are not using tools, they might as well have to depend on Google analytics.