With Google’s increased scrutiny of link profiles, there is some debate on whether or not guest blogging is beneficial to businesses. However, if done moderately with the right partners, guest blogging can be extremely valuable. Guest blogging isn’t only a link building tactic; it’s also a great way to build your credibility, your community, and expand your customer base. When you decide to guest blog for someone, it’s important to put your best foot forward to produce high quality content. After all of your hard work, you don’t want the result to be posted just anywhere – which is why it’s vital to find a guest blogging opportunity that fits your needs and will be the most successful.
When guest blogging, it’s important to consider your audience, as well as the tone of your content. The difference between a conversational tone and a more scholarly article will define what type of blog your piece will be hosted on, which can help you to narrow down your options.
Below are five steps to finding the right guest blogging opportunity.
- Search for potential blogs to host your content on
- Check for domain authority and link profile
- Check for engagement
- Begin building a relationship with potential blogger
- Reach out to blogger with guest blog proposal
The easiest way to start off is by using Google Blog Search. Try using some version of [inpostauthor:guest "keyword"] or [inurl:guest "keyword or topic"] and see what comes up. If you find that the results are few and far between, try using a broader keyword. There are also a variety of guest blogging platforms on the web that allow you to meet up with other bloggers.
Credibility and quality go hand-in-hand, but sometimes it may be a little difficult to tell how authoritative a blog is simply by looking at it. To get a clear-cut answer, you can easily take a look at the blog’s domain authority and link profile. You can do this by installing the SEO Moz toolbar onto your browser or typing the URL of the blog into Open Site Explorer.
Social media is an important aspect of choosing a blog, and is a tell-tale sign of the blog’s engagement of its readers. Search for posts and look for comments readers have left, as well as options to share via various social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. Take a look at their Twitter page and see what kind of following they have and how often they interact with their followers. The more interaction, the better!
Once you’ve found a blog that meets your criteria, building a relationship before proposing a guest post is key. Share their posts, comment on their content, and interact with them via social media.
Let them know why you think it’s a good fit for their blog and tell them how you can help promote the post on your end.
Guest blogging is a powerful aspect of content development that is designed to connect with people, build relationships, and find qualified leads for your business. By finding the right opportunities, you can rest assured that your time was well-spent.
Google I/O wraps up today, and now it’s opportune to highlight the coincidences of trends and announcements that Google is trumpeting in their Google gloryfest. My approach is to examine each of the highlights from their 3-hour keynote (!) and point out, from a business and web user perspective, what’s missing. Google has had their I/O… now, I get my Google I/O/U.
With assets such as annual revenues larger than that of all states except New York and California and Google Chrome’s 750M active users, Google is becoming the steward of your future. (“Good morning to the Senator from the great state of Google!”)
Google leverages their wealth of data and huge ad revenues to provide web users worldwide with free services. Americans are quite familiar with this revenue model. News comes in a free form, but you will be force-fed ads to earn the right to consume it.
In an effort to keep a clean balance sheet, it’s time to consider, “What does Google owe me?” and “What do I owe Google”?
Unification of Google Services
Microsoft Office Suite. Adobe Creative Suite. User Experience has vaulted thanks to some of the most-visible integrations of programs and cloud support. Uniting apps and functionality common to a vertical is old news. (We won’t even go into the controversy of ‘subscription-based software’ in the cloud). But it’s easy to see the wisdom behind merging Google+ and other Google services. User interfaces have undergone cosmetic changes that make them much more consistent across services. The integrations must go well beyond superficial, and that behind-the-scenes sharing of data has begun. Sharing of data within Google is well within their Terms of Service, so there is no protest. But has their integration efforts gone far enough? Most think not, if you read the forums and comments.
Google I/O/U: More effective options to combine accounts for improved cross-functionality and User Experience. Merge Google+ Local (formerly Places), Gmail, YouTube, etc. Put users in control of how the merging works.
Google I/O/U: While I am at it, let me state that Google services require better interfaces. Across the board. Most users I consult with on a daily basis have the same disregard (and sometimes, disrespect) for Google User Interfaces and User Experience. They suck. The level of simplicity and cosmetic appearance has improved, but have they become more intuitive? Many think not.
Big Data is a Big Deal
Google has earned their seat at the Big data table (Hadoop, anyone?), as advertisers push the edge of peta-scale data accumulation and synthesis. Some appreciate the targeted advertising that results. Some are horrified by the creepiness of so much ‘personal’ data being shared and sold and acted on.
The lack of debate about whether this is creepy or cool, the technology industry has been ranked the world’s most-trusted for the seventh consecutive year, according to the 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer.
At the same time, Android developer Dan Nolan of Australia found that Google provides programmer access to personal identity of app buyers, reviewers and trials.
Google I/O/U: There is nothing more valuable than User Trust. Earn it. Don’t burn it.
Google+ has a lovely, new layout on the desktop that has been described as being more like Pinterest. More columns. Wow. More data visible at once on the screens of a dying race of desktop machines. Zzz.
Google I/O/U: Mobile experience of Google+ on iOS is only fair at best. It needs better profile edibility, for one thing. Make it so.
Cards are a visual nicety, that ‘flip’ over to reveal more data on the reverse (shades of MacOS ‘Widgets’). This plays on a visual metaphor that is familiar to consumers, and provides a framework for greater use of that convention. Cards come in six ‘flavors’ and mix your habits, searches, commuting routes and more into an ever-tightening web of useful information.
Google I/O/U: Droid Voice Search and Cards have invaded iOS. How long before advertisers have the option to use the reverse of these cross-platform cards to flip to reveal Ads? Better still, ads that use all of the Circles, Search and other data to be tightly targeted, at massive scale?
Related Hashtags emerged from Google I/O as Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr and other Social Networks ride Twitter’s coattails to parlay content keywords into an ecosystem that enables better-informed Search, brand messaging and tracking of trends. google’s version will likely leverage their hoary old content analysis algorithm to discern keywords, and then their AI backend of search queries and subsequent search queries and personal preferences to add Related Keywords in the form of #hashtags. Excellent integration of a maturing user convention is on the horizon. Whether this becomes reflexive or intrusive depends on implementation, thus, it’s a crapshoot, but worth the gamble.
Google I/O/U: Bottle that Related Hashtag ability. Make it a form of metadata (similar to Facebook’s pervasive OGP) to reside in the Social Media, or, as an App that can be added. Open Graph Protocol affords Facebook an eye into one’s off-network web activities, provides authentication services, and records Likes and other forms of interaction. Could Google drive in the harpoon to leverage a similar inside job on Facebook and other Social Media? If so, Google’s own ability to provide incisive hashtagging could also feed those instances into search for general consumption. The mind reels at the possibilities. Better perception of social mentions for Google. Better and more immediate social monitoring for users, right there in their Search. For free, the Google way.
Auto-Enhance. OK, welcome to the club. Auto-Awesome. Better. Auto-Animations. All bets are off. The claim is that image processing and AI can store and examine all of your photos (those that you don’t hide from Google) and integrate portions to arrive at a better result (described as gathering all smiling faces from a series of group portraits to amalgamate one image where every subject is smiling. Other features include Collages (which any graphic software can do), Animations (AniMoto and other web services have done this for years), Panoramas (heck, my daughter’s Fuji digicam does that during shooting), Collections (from masses of uploaded photos). The good news and the bad news are simply two sides of the same coin. Yes, it’s automated. And, yes, it happens without you.
Google I/O/U: Control, Privacy — ask first. Give users an editing environment so they can have the fun. They will endorse the result better when they have put their fingerprint on it. Sharing will likely increase as a result. Oh, and please retrain all of those artists and photographers.
Google Talk Voice Search
Better than Siri? This could be the case, as Google sells the public back Google’s accumulated knowledge of themselves (G+, Google Search, Gmail, etc.).
Google I/O/U: Conversing with a personal digital assistant (RIP, Steve Jobs) is fun and all. Give me the rest of the robot.
Music to My Ears
All Access, Google’s newly-announced $9.99 monthly streaming music service provides interest-based ‘radio station’ playlist suggestions (patent issues, anyone?). It also enables local ‘storage’ of songs. Great. Rdio and Spotify must be quaking in their boots. Owing to the service’s ubiquity, iTunes may develop a small tremor.
Google I/O/U: Wired magazine described the Netflix contest to inspire a better algorithm to surface “content suggestions” for movie-watchers. This is a huge challenge. Will it be any easier for All Access to stimulate users to more listening based on recorded interests?
A Google developer advocate announces that they, “want the whole world to play together”. Development APIs come and go, morph and change, but their own Play developer API is now open and platform-agnostic. This goes beyond the “Open Garden” concept of moving one’s gameplay fluidly from a tablet to a laptop. Games developed on this platform can be platform agnostic. Droid devices can play games against iOS devices and other platforms.
Google I/O/U: Riveting games.
On the desktop, more usable screen area will be devoted to map. Then, Google will now scatter data all over the Map. Connections. Nearby. Search data.
Google I/O/U: Be graceful in the visual interface. Some users will not appreciate clutter on the maps they are trying to see.
Google Fiber did not make it to the list of Keynote highlights. As their noble experiment proceeds, to provide connection speeds 100 times faster than most of today’s broadband internet access, are consumers excited over the prospect of instant downloads and high-def communications? The tech industry, media execs and others in industry have been following the progress as it rolls out to more cities (experiment, or slow roll-out?). Yet, as disruptive as this could become, where is the hoopla? I recall a time recently, when networks ran to keep up with CPU speed. Now, CPU speeds offered by mobile devices and a faltering desktop PC industry will race to chase new throughput speeds. Whoa. Paradigm shift.
Google I/O/U: Testimonials. Consumers need to tell America whether Google Fiber has been a life-changing experience, or not.
Google’s efforts to entwine ‘products’, combine knowledge bases, share user profiles, and cross-pollinate are well-received. This is a welcome attempt to make strategic sense of how, “Google’s own services have been fragmented or confused at times”, according to Google Android Leader Sundar Pichai.
After-the-fact, ad hoc hybridization is a sloppy, inefficient process. In addition to opportunity, it creates development dead-ends and evolutionary cul-de-sacs (anyone recall the duck-billed Platypus?). But that process is organic and evolutionary. God would have a plan. Google has a process. It burgeons, however inefficiently, into the future. Skynet, anyone?
Google I/O/U: Continue innovating, but for goodness’ sake, don’t be evil. Have a plan, and share it.
My parents always told me not to care about what other people think of me. But, let’s be honest–we all care a little bit.
Of course, we care what certain people think more than others. The high school quarterback’s opinion means a little more than the captain of the chess club. Your CEO’s opinion of you matters a little more than your average co-worker. From the lunch table to the conference room, let’s face it–we care.
As far as the Internet is concerned, Google is the high school quarterback; they’re the CEO. Their opinion means something. So if you’re on the Internet–personally and/or professionally–you should, to some degree, care what Google thinks of you.
How Does Google Perceive You?
Google runs on relevance. You type in a term and it spits back information it believes to be relevant to that term.
Google also uses relevancy for its own gains. They display ads in your browser based on your search activity (if you’re curious, be sure check out just how much Google knows about you–they’re either shockingly dead-on or shockingly off).
Take a second to Google yourself and see what comes back. Google your company and see what comes back. Google words that you think are relevant to your company. This is what Google currently thinks of you–where they rank you and the sites they associate you with. Do you like what you see?
If not, don’t worry just yet. There’s probably a lot you can do to get the search results you’re looking for and, essentially, get Google to change its perception of you.
Making Friends through SEO
If you own a website, whether it’s a personal blog or your company’s e-commerce site, you can improve the way Google perceives you through ethical optimization. They like that stuff.
To start, though, you need to know what Google looks for and see how well your site is currently optimized. This will provide you with baseline data for the elements Google looks at when crawling your site.
• Your link profile
• Site architecture
• Page Speed
When you address these issues and work to optimize your site, you’ll find that Google likes you a whole lot more. And when the most popular kid in school likes you, you can bet a lot of other people will like you too (i.e. sales).
Managing Your Reputation
People love to talk smack on the Internet. Whether they’re angrily writing a restaurant review or bad-mouthing a former employer, people love to vent in blogs and forums. Unfortunately, this form of therapy can negatively impact companies and individuals–usually for unjust reasons.
So, if you want Google to continue liking you, it’s important that you manage your reputation. This means keeping your site in shipshape as well as keeping an ear out for anyone talking behind your back.
Through active SEO and by keeping a watchful eye over your name and your brand, you can protect your reputation online and be sure that you’ll always be in Google’s good graces.
Apple has released their smaller tablet version of the iPad, the mini. The mini is available today for sale however does the price defeat the purpose? The mobile and tablet market is thriving and virtually exploding! In fact, tablets are set to surpass notebook growth in 2016. Research conducted by Display Search indicates that tablets are expected to be the driving mechanism for the mobile market over the next 4 years. With this extreme growth and demand for mobile and tablet devices, Apple decided to launch the iPad mini to compete with lesser expensive and smaller sized tablets. However, many consumers feel the price they offered is a bit too aggressive for the mini tablet.
The full size iPad right now ranges from $499 to $829. In order to stay competitive in this market and challenge the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 (starting at $249), Kindle Fire HD (starting at $199) and the GoogleNexus (starting at $199), Apple released the iPad mini, ranging from $329 to $659. With Apple’s product priced much higher than the competition, consumers are asking each other if Apple is asking for too much for the mini and furthermore if this is a sign the tech giant is becoming slightly over-confident in their pricing models.
When we look at the market share of the mobile and tablet market, understandably so we acknowledge that Apple has a commanding lead. This lead, however is slipping away to Android-based devices. According to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, Apple had 81 percent market share in 2011 however that has been reduced to 52 percent for 2012 while Android-based devices have climbed to 48 percent for 2012.
The growth in competition has led Apple to release a smaller version of the iPad however the aggressive starting price may defeat that purpose. Simply put, consumers are able to purchase the GoogleNexus (Android-based device) for more than $129 less than the iPad mini.
We want to know, do you feel the Apple mini is priced a bit too high and are you more inclined to purchase the iPad mini or another mini tablet device?
It looks like Google is in the middle of a layout change. The left side navigation menu is now above results and I’m seeing fewer knowledge graph results.
The first thing I notice is that it’s easier for me to focus on the organic results without the clutter on the left side.
I’ll continue looking for additional layout changes. Stay tuned…
Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, announced at Pubcon that a new tool: Disavow Links within Webmaster Tools.
If you’ve ever been caught up in linkspam, you may have seen a message in Webmaster Tools about “unnatural links” pointing to your site. We send you this message when we see evidence of paid links, link exchanges, or other link schemes that violate our quality guidelines. If you get this message, we recommend that you remove from the web as many spammy or low-quality links to your site as possible. This is the best approach because it addresses the problem at the root. By removing the bad links directly, you’re helping to prevent Google (and other search engines) from taking action again in the future.
Link (Use the disavow tool with caution!): https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main
In Webmaster Tools, select a site you control:
Google Disavow Tool Case Studies
SEOWizz.net recently posted some real examples of success stories using Google’s new Disavow Tool: http://www.seowizz.net/2012/10/the-disavow-tool-works-real-sites-real-recoveries.html