How did the recent Google core update on December 3rd, 2020 affect your site?
In this article, I will discuss why I think these factors are becoming more important, and I will introduce a better approach that will help you get the most from your guest blogging for backlinks. Let’s get started.
Each Google update brings an opportunity to adapt and fine-tune your guest blogging approach to target pages’ rankings.
While Google continues to use backlinks as a primary way to measure a site’s popularity and authority, the context surrounding the links is becoming more and more important.
If you are looking for a better way to build backlinks for your site through guest blogging, here’s a few factors I see playing a more important role in 2021:
- Backlinks from articles that are:
a) well written on the topics that people actually search for, and
b) able to rank in Google’s top 25 for a group of key phrases.
- Articles are written by reputable authors and organizations, especially for YMYL (your money or your life) content.
- Attractive article presentation without overly promotional ads.
Table of Contents:
- A better approach to build backlinks for your site through guest blogging, here’re 3 factors I see playing a more important role over time:
1. Link from high-quality, “high-context” content.
Since 2009 I have run a web design and digital marketing/SEO firm called ProWeb365.com. And in that time—over a decade—I have written many articles for my website as well as guest posts on other sites.
I have noticed that the recent explosion in guest blogging for backlinks corresponds to another trend: increasingly sophisticated spin content software. In fact, this software is getting so advanced that its “spun” content easily passes the duplicated content scanner on CopyScape.
Many blog sites accept those auto-generated guest post articles and publish them as-is—just as soon as someone pays them.
I think Google has already caught on to this generated content with its artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm. The critical question now is: What approach will we, as guest bloggers, choose to use to stay on Google’s good side going forward?
Let’s consider these options:
- Short, “low-context” posts. These articles are usually 500-700 words long, often written by a non-native English speaker with below-average writing skills. They reflect little effort to provide in-depth information that addresses searchers’ questions on the topic.Therefore, these guest posts are rarely seen by the viewers on the sites where they are published, and they never rank in the top 25 on Google. In short, these guest posts provide little information. They are posted just to get a backlink.
- Long, “high-context” posts. These articles are typically 1,200-2,000 words long, written by a professional. They cover a number of related topics, and they are well-researched and well-written.In other words, they have “high context” and address what searchers are looking for. There are some signs that visitors on the site actually see these articles. They often move up in ranking for their key SEO phrases due to their helpfulness.
Since backlinking is still one of the key factors Google uses to measure a website’s popularity, sites that get the most “backlink votes” (usually through their content) rank highest. However, Google’s core task is to deliver the most relevant content to its users. The more helpful an article is, the more users will link to it naturally from their websites or from their social media pages.
Therefore, it is reasonable to say (even from the Google search engine’s point of view) that a backlink from the long, high-context articles described above should carry more weight than a backlink from short, low-context articles.
The difference is due to the variation in the content’s viewership and social shares signals.
Meanwhile, as Google’s AI gets more sophisticated, and as Google focuses even more on searchers’ intents, it might view the low-context approach negatively. That, in turn, might indirectly affect the outgoing backlinks from those articles to your target page(s).
If you want to minimize the risk from future Google updates while maximizing the exposure for your target page, high-context posts are a better backlink strategy in the long run.
In the last couple of years, in order to protect users, Google has been paying more attention to your E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness), especially in regard to YMYL content. If your guest blogging niche is in an area like finance, real estate, or health care, the reputation of the person or organization behind the content is factored into the Google search ranking.
That means that not only must the site you guest blog on meet certain E-A-T criteria in its vertical (in the eyes of the search engine), but the content published on that site should also be written by reputable parties.
Therefore, to do well in this new environment as a writer or blogger, I suggest that you strive to build your authority in a small number of niches where you have expertise and have published a good amount of content. This specialization will help you establish a good reputation within your niche, allowing your guest post articles to be viewed favorably by search engines (and by viewers, too).
If your job is to do link building for your firm or for clients, you may not be able to specialize in this way. If your articles are written by topic expert ghostwriters, then you need someone else with a deep knowledge of each category to review the articles for you and make sure the content of each article is accurate and insightful.
Here, I will explain each factor to help you understand its importance, so you can prepare for efficient production and an effective content marketing campaign. Let’s get started…
If you don’t have any topic expert writers to produce content for you, then link insertion on an existing article is a faster way to gain a backlink. While you won’t be listed as the author of the article, you will save time.
In some cases, link insertion on an existing article won’t cost any more than having your own guest post published. If the article from which you want a backlink has a high enough Google rank, though, you’ll pay more. The upside is that these highly ranked articles come with a healthy amount of organic traffic each month.
For many clients, link insertion on a highly ranked article can be a great investment. If your clients are real estate agents, for example, the exposure they gain by linking from a top-five article may generate new real estate leads. This is a great complement to the SEO project you do on their target keywords.
A do-follow backlink inserted into an existing high-context article, linking to your relevant and helpful target page, should be worth much more than getting multiple backlinks from sites that feature inferior low-context content.
3. Insist on mobile-friendly design, attractive presentation, and fast loading.
Websites that are mobile-friendly and load fast are a must in today’s race toward Google’s top 10 rankings. They are especially important starting with the March 2021 Google change, the point from which Google uses only mobile search data to rank websites.
This could be a tectonic shift, and every guest blogger should know about it. Make sure to check each site for mobile compatibility and loading speed before paying to guest post an article on it.
Furthermore, to compete for viewers’ ever-shortening attention spans, websites need to be visually attractive. Articles with one image on top and a block of text below will bore most viewers, especially when people are on their mobile devices.
Thus, guest blog sites that add graphics or video to accompany your articles (while still optimizing their entire website to load fast) will have a greater ability to attract and retain viewers.
If you are a digital marketing/SEO person in your real estate firm, or if you work for a digital marketing company serving clients in the real estate industry, you would want to read this. Your time is valuable, so let’s jump in…
In conclusion: Choose a better approach to guest blogging
In summary, what I’m introducing here is a much better approach to guest blogging. This approach should help you succeed in the coming months, as more powerful phantom computing—combined with stronger AI—turbo-boost the Google search engine’s capabilities.
I believe Google’s emphasis on search intent and E-A-T will downgrade the old low-context approach to guest blogging for backlinks. And websites that accept these low-context articles for publishing most likely will see a significant drop in web traffic and site authority—especially to sites with a lot of YMYL content.
On the flip side, if you find websites that are following the three factors I described above, guest blog on them with insightful articles on highly searched topics, and link to more helpful content on your target page, you should see your standing improve.
I think Google is rewarding websites that are taking a high-context approach to content publishing in 2021 and beyond.
Here is a real example. Since Google’s recent core update on December 3rd, 2020, we have seen over a 230% increase in our web traffic on HOMEiA.com due to our keywords jumping in the rankings.
You know, in the months leading to that Google core update on December 3rd, 2020, most of our work on HOMEiA.com (to prepare for the new year 2021) was just keeping with our content publishing schedule, optimized on-page/off-page links, and improved UI/UX design layouts. I think those three things do correlate with the majority of our gains in this Google update. And that web traffic boost also indirectly benefited clients who guest posted on our site for backlinks.
Better yet, even our web traffic increased significantly. We kept our guest post rate the same while increasing our investment toward producing even higher-quality content this year.
If you want to see how nice your guest blog article will look, give it a try on HOMEiA.com. I think you will like the way we present your article so much that you will use it as a sample to showcase to your clients or boss. Here are real examples of people who have guest posted with us.
The extra investment of time and effort means the content you share on HOMEiA.com will continue to bring value even as search algorithms evolve…
Bonus: Since you took the time to read this entire article, you might be a professional blogger who guest posts for a living. If you are, here is what I will do for the first 50 people who want to take on this new guest blogging approach:
- I will personally sponsor you into our Guest Post PRO program and help you set up a professional HOMEiA author landing page, which will help you stand out as a professional writer. Here is a real example: https://homeia.com/gloria-russell/
- After you have guest posted your first ten articles on HOMEiA.com, your 11th and 12th guest post articles will be at no charge.
I rarely offer this! In order to differentiate yourself from those who did not read the whole article, please enter secret code 1of50 in the message box where you fill out your author bio on this application form. Please know that once 50 people have applied and accepted, we will remove this Bonus offer. We hope to hear from you soon.