We all know that guest posting on blogs is great way to gain great exposure for your website or blog as well as boost its SEO. But not all sites will give you great exposure or any SEO benefit if Google thinks your backlink sites are low-quality  or spammy. Since the Panda update, Google has been a little more holistic in their approach to ranking and a high number of links to your site isn’t the only factor they take into account in determining the SERPs. Today, not only do you have to have an awesome site, but links to your site also have to be awesome.

So how do you determine if a blog is a great place to submit a guest post and get a backlink from? Here are a few factors you may want to look at when you approach a site for guest posting.

1. Good Site Stats

Experienced search engine experts know that site stats aren’t everything. Google page rank shouldn’t necessarily be a determining factor when choosing to guest post on a certain blog, but the stats can give you a general idea of how authoritative and popular a site may be.

If the site performs well in a relevant keyword search, that’s a good sign. But you can also look at the link diversity of the page (i.e., how many and what types of links are pointing at the site) through cool tools like the free SEOmoz toolbar which will give you an idea of whether a diverse number of sites are linking to the site. A site may have over 100 links pointing to it, but if those links are only coming from only two websites, the site you are thinking of posting on might not be very influential.

2. Quality

“Quality” is kind of a subjective term, but that subjective term is now a factor that Google uses to rank websites. When you visit a blog that you may want to guest post on, ask yourself a few questions:

  • Does the site look well-designed?
  • Do I trust the information I get from this site?
  • Would I trust this site with my credit card information?
  • Is contact information easily accessible, and does it point to a real person?
  • Overall, does this feel like a good site?

I know that last one is kind of general, but go with your gut feeling. If the site looks fine but you can’t put a finger on why you get the feeling it’s spammy, don’t post on it.

3. Relevancy

Is the site relevant to yours, and is its content relevant to the blog’s subject matter? Generally, you want to post on blogs that are similar in subject matter to your own. Google likes it when it can determine relevancy of links.

As well, make sure the posts on the blog relate to its stated topic. From time to time I run into sites that purport to be about social media and SEO, only to see posts about vacation deals, diaper reviews, and celebrity gossip. Stay away from these sites.

4. Engagement

Lastly, is the site somewhere people like to come and hang out? Look at the comments section and see if people are commenting. And if they are, is the site owner (or author) responding to comments? Chances are, if the blog is receiving a lot of comments and people are actively engaging on the site, the content is of good quality and generally respected.

On the other hand, if you see a general trend of outright disagreement and dissatisfaction among commenters, that can also be a factor in determining if the site is quality or not.

Keep Panda in Mind

Panda has changed the game in the SEO world, and it’s not just about building links anymore. If you are trying to promote your blog and build your SEO through guest posting, make sure you are posting on quality sites so you can gain greater exposure and more link juice back to your site.