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SEO Guest Post Pitches - The New Scurge of a Bloggers Existence

Over the last 12 months I've noticed a real change in the type of 'guest post' pitches that hit the ProBlogger and dPS contact forms.

While we still get some great pitches from passionate, knowledgeable bloggers who want to share their story and expertise with our readership (and grow their profile and drive some traffic in the process) increasingly the pitches are rolling in that are a complete waste of time (both for those submitting them, my team and me).

The pitches come from SEO companies or from individuals and brands who are trawling for links.

They usually go something like this:

* I am a big fan of your blog
* I represent XXX company
* I would like to provide unique, relevant and useful content for your blog
* The topics I can write about are XXXX (usually something completely relevant and on the topics of credit cards, holidays, a movie, pharmaceuticals etc)
* All I require is a link back to our company site with unchanged anchor text etc

Other characteristics of these emails:

* they are clearly copy and pastes
* they show no understanding of my blogs topics
* they are impersonal
* they are usually poorly written with terrible spelling and grammar
* they often come from the email address of SEO companies or article writing services

Once or twice I've actually had guest posts submitted with the pitches and they are similarly poorly written, usually irrelevant and written with a lifeless voice and such a shallow understanding of the topic that it would be embarrassing to post. The posts are clearly written by people with no understanding of what they're writing who have simply trawled the web and rewritten other people's content (or copied and pasted it).

The content is not unique, not relevant and certainly not useful to anyone.

Lately I've even started getting asked if I would be interested in being paid to post these articles. 

Just yesterday I was offered $1000 for a post to be published (back dated) on dPS (I said no and the offer was increased to $1500 which I again said no to).

This morning another company offered to pay me to ghost blog an article for them to appear on my own site. Again I said no.

Here's the thing SEOs - you are wasting your time (and mine).

Yes we accept guest posts but what we seek to feature is:

* relevant content to my blogs topic
* useful to my readers
* written with enthusiasm
* written in a genuine voice
* written by someone who knows what they're talking about

As a result you'll not appear on our site or any other site with any credibility. The only places you'll have much luck are dubious sites who's links are probably not going to be much use to you anyway.

Over and Out...
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Christie Burnett's profile photoMaria Lianos-Carbone's profile photoAdam Gottlieb's profile photoFelicity Fields's profile photo
50 comments
 
This looks like a response to google's search metrics kicking the low-quality media sites and link farms in the shorts. Now they're trying to get their stuff installed on real sites... sigh. 
 
I am so completely over these emails as well, Darren.  I would be interested to know, do you tend to just delete them or do you send them a standard 'no thanks' email?
 
I get so many of these and I am not even a really popular blogger - you must get heaps of them! They drive me crazy and I say No to every single one of them.
 
It's the damnedest thing when writing about grammar and spelling, that invariably there are grammar and / or spelling mistakes. :)
 
+Christie Burnett I usually delete them - however the problem with doing this is that you sometimes then get a followup email 3 days later asking if you could respond.

So I'm thinking a standard, blunt response email might be best
 
Agree Darren, I get them and even when I tell them none of the topics are relevant to my site they still don't get it. 
 
Oh and thanks for the great example of a way to use Google +
 
This sounds remarkably similar to the "comments" I've been regularly trashing at the blog I share with my partner. I have nearly 200 of them sitting in the recycling bin and the blog's only been around for two months.
 
I have a zero tolerance policy for these things. If you send one, your email will get marked as spam. 

My policy pretty much is that if I don't know you in person, you can't guest post.
 
I've has this happen, too. It ranks right up there with their requests to buy their "great" domains. it makes me wonder how many takers they are getting. If no one ever agreed to it, you'd think they'd give up...
 
Try not too beat me up too bad guys - but I do send emails to blogs/sites on behalf of sites to try and get guest posts. But, hear me out before you put the boots in.
SEO (at least for me) is more than just about getting a link on a site. I'm more keen on getting quality content out to interested audiences. I have strict rules over the types of sites we contact, the content of the out reach emails and most importantly the content of the article I am proposing. Where a lot of people who do SEO for business fall over is that they want a link at any cost. It's vital to always remember that as an external (or internal) SEO doing blogging outreach is that you are working on behalf of a business and/or brand. Representing them with rubbish content just for a link is damaging both the businesses perception but also the SEO credability (and as outlined by the passionate responses, SEO industry as a whole).
Write interesting and relevant info for the audience and everyone wins.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, yes there are crappy link farming, no holds barred 'SEO experts' out there that act this way. But on behalf of the good SEO's who are trying to get benefits for businesses and readers a like, don't lump all these emails into the one 'SEO spam post request' folder. Sometimes there are good SEO's working on behalf of good businesses who genuinely want to provide something good for your site.
On behalf of the SEO's who are not dodgy and respect your site and the clients they work for, we're not all like that.
Now. . . put the boots in. But please be gentle.
 
I get these requests occasionally. I do honor the person with a firm refusal because it seems common courtesy.
Plus it prevents those pesky follow up emails (well until the next round of appeals).
What irks me is the "we love your blog" line. No you don't. I clearly state I do not accept guest posts. If you loved it, you would read the pertinent pages.
 
+Tim Peter Thats cool.(and on behalf of people who try to do this SEO stuff well, thank you) Thankfully there are still people that do see pitches for what they are. If they're rubbish then get rid of them, but sometimes there is quality. All I'm suggesting is don't lump us all into the same 'spam' category.
I just had a char with +Emma Mulquiney about this, and we agreed that it's the 95% of dodgy SEO that ruin it for the 5% who 'get it'.
There is defintely a sentiment out there though - an perhaps it is warranted - that if a guest post article pops into your inbox, it's SEO spam. 
Sure the request may be from someone who does SEO, but it could be one of the good ones - who actually read your content, looked for your posting rules, respect your sites brand and audinece and see's it as a viable option to share something relevant (and well written).
 
+Daylan Pearce we have on occassion posted posts that were arranged through people for clients (SEOs and online consultants). I'm not against that - but unfortunately the vast majority of what I get pitched from SEOs is 'dodgy'.

I get 10-20 of the above pitches per day!

So I would say that your industry could do with some educating and modelling of good behaviour because it's tainting the rest of you.
 
+Darren Rowse I agree and I do get what you're saying completely. I actually would've thought you'd get more than that to be honest.
The problem with the SEO industry (and most online industries) is that there will always be someone trying to 'game' the system. In this case, it's spam the hell outta the internet and if 1 in 100 sticks then that's a win.
Unfortunatley that means 99 sites out there have be treated with disrespect which burns the entire perception of SEO.

Anyways, I don't disagree at all with what you're saying (although the title does lump all posts from SEO into the same category), I just wanted to do my part to ensure those who read and comment on this see it from the point of view from someone who sends out emails with no intention of being dodgy. I LOVE this SEO stuff and i just wanted to let people know taht we're not all bad.

In fact, this would make a great guest post. . . anyone interested? (I kid. I kid)
 
I've been getting those emails too and I don't have nearly the readership or draw your sites do so I can't imagine how many crap emails you get.  I probably get 2-3 SEO emails a day.  
 
Some of these companies are even targeting sites that are not in written in English. I've seen dubious link / content request that is in my local language, but asks to "please reply in English".
 
How not to do guest blogging outreach - over-emphasise automation.... and lose the personal touch.
 
I have been getting pitches like this for 2 years or longer, and they are only getting worse! I've even found people who really do seem genuine, and like they could write a decent guest post, but they often hide the fact that they work for an SEO company or article writing service. Sometimes Rapportive shows me who they really are and then I don't feel so bad about sending them a quick email with a firm no.

The other tactic I see a lot is advertisers who seek sponsored posts, but when they read my guidelines come back and ask me to make all the links dofollow instead of nofollow. I honestly scratch my head at how much time these companies are wasting. They could do so much better if they were just honest!
 
I get the same thing.  I think many of them are "written" by bots.
 
I get loads of those.  I've also noticed quite a few "outlets" that offer freelancers pay to write an article and then the writer has to pitch it out until someone bites, what the writer only getting paid if the article is published as a guest post.  The few writers I respond to don't know the difference between a guest post and a sponsored post and are appalled that I would require compensation to publish their article.  :)
 
+Darren Rowse As a response to these emails just send them a link to this Google+ post. I think they'd get the message.
 
+Darren Rowse I think a lot of SEOers are going to learn from the mistakes you mentions.  My favorite is when I receive an email that is so vague that it deserves an obliterate instead of a delete.
 
Hey +Darren Rowse I'm an SEO. Well I do much more than that, but for the past 6 years until April the term SEO has been in my title. I've written a variety of posts on link building, spoken at conferences and met tons of SEO practitioners. Here's the thing -- people are lazy. Most people talk about "scalability" and "tactics" and then look for the latest "trick" that they can "scale." So what then happens is we all build tons of tools that find blogs based on keywords or using advanced searches with keyword + "guest post guidelines" and then we pitch guest posts completely skipping the part where we actually read your site or understand the client's space. 

Siigh....

Well don't feel so bad, because I get those types of emails too. In fact I put one spammer on blast for it: http://ipullrank.com/the-anatomy-of-an-awful-guest-post/

And just to be clear, I'm in that camp of unicorns that +Daylan Pearce talks about. In my work and speaking I've encouraged people to do market and client research so they can truly understand the niche they are working in and create actual compelling content that people can benefit from rather than just spending $5 writersaccess or textbroker. I encourage them to read the blogs, check out the social media of the writer they're approaching so they can determine whether or not it's a good fit and use that information to strike up a contextual conversation or help that blogger out rather than just saying "I love your site, I can haz guest post?" Most importantly, I encourage people to bring something worthwhile to these people so they're not "polluting the web."

However the reality of it is they need to get results in a limited time frame and Google is a constantly moving target so for the same reason the web is inundated with shitty infographics, bloggers will keep getting these awful requests.

I would suggest bloggers get together and write one standard form letter that you all send in response to these emails with a link to this thread so SEOs as a whole are forced to step their game up.

Basically, I'm on your side.
 
+Darren Rowse I had a full response written out, but I can't put it any better than +Michael King did.

That said, I have a guest post coming your way (that's already been pitched and accepted) as soon as I write it :-)
 
Realistically, it's just sad that you don't get pitches from guest bloggers who do write about your topic. They could enrich your site.
 
+Darren Rowse Every blogger face this problem even those who write about SEO. And the irony is, people who send all these crappy emails won't read your post. They are busy spamming the hell out of the internet. 
 
Get a lot of these as comments on blog posts, too - it's obvious they're hoping someone will approve it without reading it.
 
+Darren Rowse Obviously this is an important issue. If you'd like, I could write a guest post on your blog on just this subject that would provide useful information to all of your users and/or readers.
AJ Kohn
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It's Not Really About SEO

This is about a group of people who want to take what looks like the quick and easy way to success. That's a superset of the SEO community. We're an easy target but it's essentially anyone who wants to build an online reputation.

Those Who Can't ...

It's probably even worse when it comes to guest blogging as a tactic. Why? Because these are, generally, people who haven't spent the time and effort (and I mean years, not months) to build their own brand, their own trust and authority.

Instead they see an opportunity to just guest blog and (allegedly) ride the wave of that site's brand, audience or link to Rockstar Success Town - Population unicorns and rainbows! I'm not saying there aren't some legitimate great guest bloggers but ... think about it. Do you want to be the site that accepts the guest posts or the one hoping to be accepted as a guest blogger?

Relationships

If you are going to guest blog it's about the relationship and the audience, not about links. And at the end of the day the hope is that you're asked to guest post because you've been seen as a brand or person who can bring value or you've been an active contributor on that site or you've actually had a (digital) conversation with the editor/owner.

And relationships, well, they don't really scale do they? Dunbar's number and all that. 

Guest Blog!

For the most part, I think guest blogging is misused and I've said as much recently (http://www.blindfiveyearold.com/i-dont-guest-blog). If people spent as much time on their own blog and brand, well, maybe things would be different. 
 
I agree that most of these are poor quality and not relevant, but the ones I've accepted were from one PR company and have led to further ongoing work with them (paid) where I get to write the posts.  I was very sceptical to start with, but the gamble paid off.  And the topic is highly relevant to my blog.
 
That must s*ck big time... link beggars.  They're becoming crafty - sometimes, they send you two emails from two different persons supposedly with the same email body, like you can't really tell..
 
 i get similar things on a different scale though:)Sometimes it gets to me as I spend more and more time checking these things as among them there are true comments. How much time do you spend in a day cleaning?
 
+Darren Rowse this is well put and I totally see where you are coming from. As my social media presence has grown to the point where some top people are beginning to notice me I find a lot of SEO guys commenting on my posts. Some are professional and well versed but others are hacks trying to sell me something. Most of what they used to do is or is becoming obsolete and I think many are getting desperate...
 
Love this rant! I totally agree with Darren Rowse. I've been getting these pathetic pitches as well. And getting tired of writing polite responses.
 
Could I jump into the conversation +Darren Rowse and +Daylan Pearce please? The fact that most pitches reached you were rubbish says something, isn't it? It means the real good SEOs, the ones that really get it won't contact you unless the content and relevancy are absolutely spot on.

SEO is no longer SEO now, I'd say SEO is 90% content marketing, content in the form of blog, inforgrahic, video, tweets, G+ posts, seminar, etc. To evaluate a link and see whether it's good or not, you just need to simply look at the traffic referral rate (number of clicks on the link divided by the page visit). Because audiences tend to click more on a link when it really means something.

And a good link building (I hate to use this phrase, because it bears such a bad reputation) campaign will not only help with keywords rankings and organic traffic, it also should generate many referrals as well.

I had one post before which generated over 1000 referrals in the first month the post went live. That's 1000+ targeted audiences - better than organic visit! I didn't even need to care whether Google improved our ranking or not. And I am sure the website was happy with the content too due to the fact it had pulled in tons of visitors, and if it wasn't for the content, those organic visits could have gone to other sites.

The principle is simple - mutual benefit. The hosting website gets quality content, organic traffic, new audience, stickiness, etc, the guest blogger gets referral, exposure, recognition. Let just forget about Google, or any other search engines, let +Matt Cutts and Co. scratch their head trying to surface quality content(we don't have to worry anything at all, because if they can't deliver good search result, then they are doomed), and let us - SEOs, bloggers, publishers, marketers - focus on delivering quality content and make the audience happy.
 
As someone who looks for guest posting opportunities in the finance space, I can say I may be guilty of the aforementioned sins but I do tend to only persue it if the client can contribute good content from a unique perspective and usually source industry expert. Atleast now author rank will hopefully seperate those contributing quality from those producing content with no value add.
 
+Daylan Pearce I agree with Daylan; as another guest poster, I am also a qualified writer who is passionate about good research and good writing. We take pride in seeing our work out there. I have to say all the bloggers I have so far contacted - only the ones who ask for guest bloggers I might add - have been extremely welcoming and friendly and have loved what I do. 
 
I've obviously not had the pleasure of approaches from professionals like George Phillip or Thursa Wilde. I just keep getting these "dud" (dare I say spammers) who have no idea and whose work look "spinned". George Phillip: do you think Author Rank will effectively achieve that? I get the impression from some of the approaches that I get that all they want is this Authorship feature (which my webdesigner has put onto my site).
 
Real Madrid mendapatkan Gareth Bale 
Berita Football Indo11 melaporkan, Meskipun Tottenham Hotspur menolak untuk menjual Gareth Bale, namun Real Madrid dikabarkan telah mendatapatkan gelandang asal wales tersebut. 
Sebuah laporan mengejutkan dilansir media Spanyol, Marca, menyebutkan bahwa Gareth Bale telah hijrah ke La Liga untuk bergabung bersama Real Madrid. Bale dikabarkan telah menyetujui kontrak dengan durasi enam tahun. Menanggapi hal itu, manajer Andre Villas Boas tetap pada pendiriannya yang mengatakan bahwa Bale tidak dijual.
"Saya ingin mengulang yang saya telah beritahu pada Anda musim lalu, dia tidak dijual," kata Villas Boas dalam konferensi persi di Hong Kong menjelang Asia Trophy. “Dia adalah pemain yang ingin meneruskan kariernya di sini, sebagai pemain Tottenham. Dia adalah salah satu pemain yang fantastis musim ini dan kami akan mengandalkannya musim depan,” jelas Villas Boas. Seperti dikutip Indo11 Sports. 
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The Red Devils menelan kekalahan kedua dalam tur pramusim
Indo11 Sports melaporkan, Manchester United menelan kekalahan kedua dalam tur pramusim mereka ke Asia-Australia. Menghadapi Yokohama F. Marinos di Nissan Stadium, Selasa (23/7/2013), 'Setan Merah' takluk 2-3. Sebelumnya, tim besutan David Moyes itu menelan kekalahan 0-1 ketika menghadapi Singha All Stars di Bangkok, Thailand. Setelahnya mereka bangkit dalam laga di Sydney, Australia, dengan mengalahkan A-League All Stars 5-1. Menghadapi Yokohama, Moyes menurunkan Robin van Persie dan Jesse Lingard -pencetak dua gol ke gawang A-League All Stars beberapa hari lalu- sejak awal. Tetapi, gelandang asal Jepang, Shinji Kagawa, dicadangkan.

Pertandingan baru berjalan sekitar 27 detik, gawang United yang dikawal David De Gea sudah bobol. Berawal dari tendangan yang diblok oleh De Gea, bola rebound gagal dihalau dengan sempurna dengan Fabio Da Silva. Bola kemudian jatuh di kaki Marcos Gomes de Araujo, yang langsung melepaskan sepakan voli kaki kiri ke gawang De Gea. United kemudian membalas di menit ke-19. Lingard mencetak gol ketiganya dalam laga pramusim setelah menceploskan bola rebound hasil tendangan Wilfried Zaha. Skor 1-1 ini bertahan sampai setengah jam laga berjalan. Masakazu Tashiro kemudian mencetak gol bunuh diri di menit ke-31. Tashiro berniat menghalau tendangan bebas yang dieksekusi oleh Adnan Januzaj, tetapi bola malah melewati garis gawangnya sendiri. 

menurut berita yang dikutip Football Indo11, Di awal-awal babak kedua, tepatnya pada menit ke-49, Fabio Aguiar menyamakan kedudukan menjadi 2-2 untuk Yokohama. Menyambut sepak pojok dari sisi kanan pertahanan United, dia melompat tinggi untuk menyundul bola masuk. Dalam kedudukan imbang tersebut, Moyes kemudian memainkan Kagawa. Gelandang berusia 24 tahun ini sempat mendapatkan satu peluang. Tetapi, tendangannya dari dalam kotak penalti diblok kiper lawan. Yokohama malah berbalik unggul di menit ke-87 lewat Yoshihito Fujita. Dia menerima umpan tarik dari sisi kiri sebelum menyelesaikannya dengan sebuah tendangan datar. United masih punya satu laga lagi di Jepang, yakni menghadapi Cerezo Osaka pada Jumat (26/7) mendatang.
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