guest-bloggingIn recent updates, Google and other search engines have cracked down on the excessive use of links to build page rank. Link “farms” that many webmasters thought were under the Google radar have been tagged as not complying with Google guidelines for best practices, and the results for many websites have been devastating.

That said, Google still values good, quality links in determining strong website content. So how does one go about linkbuilding without setting off Google alarms? An easy route is through linkbuilding with guest blog posts.

Here are some simple steps to legitimately build website links through guest blogging.

Think Relationship Building

You must get past guest blogging only as a means to building a generic link to any site, no matter how unrelated to your subject, to focusing on high-quality blog posts that are all about building relationships in your topic area. Google’s algorithm values a single link from a related area more than 1,000 links from porn or other spam sites.

If you’re in the knitting world, a guest blog post on an organic spinning mill’s blog is worth its weight in gold — spun gold, that is! However, Google would place less value on links from a bicycle shop, for example.

Owners of websites and blogs in related topic areas are also far more receptive to letting you guest blog than a totally foreign site. It makes sense to everyone on more levels than just linkbuilding, since networking and integrating customer interest is a common goal.

Connect via Social Networks

Social media, especially Twitter and LinkedIn, is filled with bloggers who are willing to connect if you are honest about your intentions. Social media is just that — social. If you interact with other bloggers in your topic area, you are bound to develop strong cyber relationships. These “friends” will be more willing to respond positively to cross-blogging than someone to whom you send an unsolicited email.

Twitter and LinkedIn can also be used to promote blog posts once online, so there is a dual purpose. If you’re guest blogging in an area that makes sense for your blog’s focus, promotion will make sense and grow organically.

Be Customer-Centric

Although many companies have unwittingly gotten caught in the Google web through Panda and Penguin updates, the anti-SPAM actions are actually intended for the good of all Internet marketers. Websites that get to the top of page rankings just because they tweak SEO tactics but don’t really provide a first-class user experience for customers are not good for the health of search engine results. Google, and everyone else for that matter, benefits when search results actually serve the needs of the customer.

Be sure your blog posts are actually helpful to customers and not just filled with keywords to the point that content does not make sense. Google is also cracking down on keyword stuffing and other tactics.

Guest blogging is a powerful tool you can use for SEO linkbuilding, and at the same time, you will be creating strong promotion opportunities in your field. It just takes a strategic approach that puts the customer first!

Sarah Boisvert is a business writer who covers a number of topics including SEO, marketing, and social media. She has recently written profiles of Steve Wynn, Chuck Hull, and Bill Gates.

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