How to Spot Guest Blogging Sites That Should Be Avoided
Guest blogging has long been known as a way to gain valuable links and reputation for your website, but it can also come with some drawbacks. Unfortunately, all too many people fail to identify the underlying problems that may lead to a guest blogging opportunity actually being a negative experience. While there has been recent debate over the overall value still received from guest blogging, there are prime opportunities – based on traffic or the ability to influence – that cannot be passed up. We just need to make sure that we can identify which sites spell trouble for our SEO efforts and beyond. In the following article, we’ll discuss how to spot guest blogging sites that should be avoided at all costs when it comes to these potential problems.
Top-Heavy in Ads
Any guest blogging opportunity should be on a site that is going to make it worth your effort. This means good traffic, a decent reputation of its own and not immediately viewed with scepticism by search engines. One of the main ways you can determine whether or not it’s a good idea to guest blog on a site is by examining its ads. If you have ads above the fold (the portion of the web page that is immediately viewable upon loading), then you probably want to look elsewhere. Google actually unveiled an algorithm a couple of years ago penalizing websites who are pinging URLs from ads above the fold, so watch out for this and make sure not to have your content or links associated with sites that break this rule.
Are Topics Narrow?
If your next potential opportunity for guest blogging appears to be on a blog where anything and everything is covered, then you may want to give it a second thought. While this won’t apply if the content in question is well-organized into categories, randomly covered subjects with little to no organization could be a complete waste of your time at best, and harmful to your long-term SEO plans at worst. Generally speaking, the best guest bloggers seek to write on multi-topic blogs and websites that have huge audiences and great organization only; anything else most likely will not yield benefit worth the effort.
If you can’t find Google Authorship enabled on this potential guest blogging site, then turn down the offer. Those who are not pinging URLs through Google’s Authorship service are not ready for prime time and do not deserve the talents you have to provide. This also means that your website will receive little to no attention in most cases. You can search the web for each author as listed on the website, or ask the owner of the website directly. In either case, a “no” on this question means that you should focus on other guest blogging opportunities, or other endeavours altogether.
It can be easy to get excited about guest blogging opportunities – after all, anyone who wants to give us some attention is a good idea, right? If you go by the information above, you’ll know that’s not true. Always verify the existence of Google Authorship, inspect the extent/organization of topics covered on the website and inspect where ads are placed before agreeing to any guest blogging opportunity.