The Future of Link Building and Power of Guest Blogging

by Zac Johnson on March 30, 2012 · 28 comments

natural link building

Guest blogging takes time but it builds quality links (photo: Chris Halderman)

Everyone wants to build massive links to their web site or blog and start ranking at the top of the search engines for high traffic keywords. Unfortunately the task of getting high quality and relevant links is getting more competitive and costly. With Google continually making changes to their algorithms and wiping out article directories and blog networks over night, you want to make sure you are building effective link building strategies that will stand the test of time.

Last week was a perfect example of how Google can simply make a change on their end, and wipe out whole businesses and millions of incoming links for web sites. A very popular link building network called, BuildMyRank completely shut down their business because they offered the service of “selling” and distributing links across their network of blogs. The concept was simple, users would pay a monthly service and could write 150+ word articles that would include a link back to their sites. These articles and links where then distributed through out the BuildMyRank network of blogs, then Google came along and de-indexed them all. Now all of those sites and links are potentially worthless.

Though BuildMyRank was the first major link building site that was made an example of last week, there are still plenty of BuildMyRank alternatives out there. Instead of asking which of these alternatives is the best, the better question to ask is how long they will last? With everyone fleeing from BuildMyRank, it’s obvious these smaller networks are getting massive exposure and signups to fulfill a needed service, but can they do it while following Google’s rules?

An Effective Link Build Plan Google Likes

Now that you have an idea of what can potentially happen when you build a business model around what Google doesn’t like, let’s look at a link building method that is quite rewarding and accepted by Google. The concept we are talking about is guest blog posting.

Guest blog posting is not only free, but it can be extremely effective when done well. If you’ve ever wanted to become an authority in a specific market, you can continually provide high quality guest posts on blogs that are in your niche and keep building a name for yourself.

Writing guest blog posts is much better than buying links because the content you create is actually being read by people, who are more likely to then visit your site and become a long time reader. The majority of link building services out there are just setting up links that never get clicked on or actually read by interested people. Your content on high ranking blogs will be read for many years to come, along with a constant flow of new readers coming to your site.

As wonderful as guest blog posting sounds, it does take a lot of work. It’s easy to pay link building companies to blast links all over the place, but with guest blog posting you will need to take the time to find quality blogs that are in your niche (or writing topic), contact the sites and provide only the highest article content. It will take time and effort, but you will also take comfort in knowing that you are contributing quality content and building high quality links back to your sites.

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Nick Stamoulis March 30, 2012 at 9:48 am

Guest blogging is great for many reasons. It helps to improve a link building portfolio but the benefits extend beyond getting a link. As long as you are guest posting on an industry relevant blog you are able to improve your visibility among target audience members. The link doesn’t just help for link building but should generate traffic to your site too.

Zac Johnson March 31, 2012 at 3:19 pm

It’s amazing to see how many people will waste money on low end link building technique versus spending some time to write quality content and do guest blog posting for free. The benefits are much larger and it helps a ton with branding.

Jason March 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I agree guest posting is great, its a great way of getting your content to new readers, people from other blogs will read yours, its great for backlinks also

Felicia April 1, 2012 at 7:36 am

It sure is unfortunate for BuildMyRank to be shut down forcibly. I feel for those who have spent significant time to build backlinks on BuildMyRank as their efforts went down the drain.

I agree that an effective and legal (as far as Google’s rules are concerned) link building method is to engage in guest blogging. It’s also a good way to maintain open and friendly communication amongst bloggers.

Zac Johnson April 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm

The shutdown of BMR was huge and a flat out killer for anyone who was solely relying on their link backs.

jimmy April 6, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Well if anyone of them were solely relying on BMR for backlinks, then they asked for it. We saw it with the link directories, link circles, article database, they all showed that you need to spread out the links on all types of sites and not rely on one thing only.!

utsav April 2, 2012 at 6:56 am

Nice share.
What a great post! I really enjoyed.
Thank you for sharing this valuable information with us.
I Learned most From Your Site.

Becca April 2, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Link building plays a vital role in internet marketing world. We should establish a great link building
strategy to be more visible in search engine. excellent post!

Alex April 3, 2012 at 2:57 am

Guest Blogging can be fun actually. I don’t see the difference between DoFollow and NoFollow when I compare the amount of audience activity I get while guest blogging :)

Joseph Mills April 3, 2012 at 3:20 am

Hi Zac, I like google strategy to change stuff from time to time. Its security for all the user and protect the righteous one. Its hard building links but for some people, they want it short cut, so they’ll do everything by all means. You’re in good hands if you’re playing in safe mode-using organic materials. Zac, why you’re always updated? Thank you

Zac Johnson April 5, 2012 at 7:11 am

That’s what I do, have to keep up with the latest trends and changes. :P

Cristina April 3, 2012 at 10:04 am


Google has been making a lot of changes and been checking sites of link building done unnaturally so I agree that guest blogging is definitely a better option however, you’re right it does take a lot of work. The good side of it is you’re able to build genuine relationships with other bloggers and to me this is a better long term plan.

- Cristina

Zac Johnson April 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Once you start writing a few good guest posts, it’s much easier for sites to approve your work and get you published. Build up a list of blogs you’ve written for already and keep submitting new articles to them each month.

dagnyjbarber April 4, 2012 at 7:16 am

Great article. I thing its predictable. thanks for sharing with us. Ya i do agree with your statements.

Nick Lawless April 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Thanks for this post!

Guest posting is one of the best things to do to generate online credibility and at the same time drive more traffic.

The problem however, is that people who want to do guest posting send out these email messages that sound so desperate. Have you experienced that before?

Zac Johnson April 5, 2012 at 7:12 am

When submitting guest posts to sites you need to make sure they are high quality content. If not, the majority of great and real blogs out there simply won’t accept them.

Ricky April 5, 2012 at 9:10 am

Well, Guest blogging has always worked in the favor of the writer. Contextual links carry more weightage compared to any other link building method. It is nice to see Google cracking down such link farm network.

A really good move on Google’s part

Joy April 6, 2012 at 7:42 am

I have a question. In guest posting, is it beneficial for you if you guest post in a low PR site? Thanks!

Zac Johnson April 15, 2012 at 8:01 pm

It’s more beneficial to post on higher PR blogs, but you are also hoping that any lower PR blogs that you guest blog on will also increase with time. In the end, all exposure and link backs are good.

John April 6, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Hi Jeff,

I see a lot of buzz around the web for BMR articles since its believed one of the way to build links fast. Now BMR was shut down and Google nailed a lot of Link Farms recently.

Now everyone looking some quickest way like some auto submission tools to beat the toughest competitions, those are harmful way to get incoming links.

This seems guest blogging is a best way to build links naturally.

Zac Johnson April 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Many of the link building blogging networks are following the same path at BMR. It’s best to stay away from these methods as they will waste your time and money, and may hurt your sites in the end.

jimmy April 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm

Guest posting is not only good for your seo and Google ranking, if you take the time and write good guest posts it will also give your site more traffic.
But as you point out to Nick, the quality of the guest post need to be good.!
The extra traffic you get from guest posting, is also something that Google looks at when they set a sites ranking.

On the question about buying links, well it’s not all bad if you bought it to get more traffic then I agree with you. But if it’s for the linkjuice then I don’t, we all need both in order to get ahead in ranking.

Zac Johnson April 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm

If you are looking to expand your guest post writing and not a high quality writer, there are also plenty of guest blog services out there as well. Usually these can range in the $15-$30 per article/post price range.

Susan April 14, 2012 at 9:56 am

Guest blogging is a good linkbuilding method and it looks like natural. The problem is you can’t build a lot of this kind of links. Another source I always use is forum commenting. But not on the signature. You should leave a good comment with your link.

Prithvi April 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

Links that we get from Guest posting are the best out there. However, not all links are created equal, such as an adult website link may harm your site depending on how the search engines view it.

Zac Johnson April 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Right, you will also want to make sure that you are blogging on “do follow” sites.

paul April 16, 2012 at 1:44 pm

The best reason to guest blog is that Google nailed a lot of Link Farms recently.

Here is the way I see it, If people never get over the link farm killing, then my stock as an SEO is going up, and if I can keep getting published as a guest blogger, I can create context and stay in front of algorithm changes.

Riley May 13, 2012 at 10:35 am

Hi there, You have done a great job. I will definitely digg
it and in my view suggest to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this site.

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