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The Fallacy of Guest Post Abuse

Posted by Jon Ball on Jul 23, 2013 3:21:43 PM

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Page One Power doesn’t get hit up by a lot of people looking for guest post opportunities, and I’m not quite sure why. It’s not difficult to contact us and we’ve featured guest posts in the past. Our guest post guidelines aren’t even that crazy.

I might be biased, but I think our site is decent looking and full of pretty good content. It’s not intimidating, either. So I’m puzzled when people start talking about guest post abuse. I know the spammy, canned emails requesting a link in exchange for a terrible, spun content guest post come in once in a while, but I haven’t seen an egregious amount.

I don’t think guest post abuse is as rampant as people like to say it is, especially now that Penguin 2.0 is waddling around.


We Opened the Gates

As of now, Page One Power is the first result on Google for “SEO Write for Us.” There are a lot of people looking for guest post opportunities in the SEO world, and it’s a pretty easy find for link builders. The contact information and guidelines are all listed right on the page, and none of our rules are outrageous.

In addition, we have another ‘write for us’ page that’s pretty easy to find, and it has the same contact information.

As I mentioned before, we’re honestly surprised by how few guest post requests we get. We started to think about it and discuss it a bit, since we love featuring guest writers and our linking policy is pretty generous.

Why don’t we get flooded with guest post requests?

Security Measures

We do have a few ‘security measures’ in place, which might be a part of it. Our ‘write for us’ pages aren’t linked off of the home page, but they’re really easy to find if you search the site. If you’re an SEO who sees other guest posts, that sort of search should be one of your go to methods of finding contact information.

So, granted, it’s not as easy as some other sites make it, but it’s not difficult either. Additionally, if you can’t find the ‘write for us’ page for some reason, our general contact email is listed on several pages, and all guest posts requests are forwarded on from that email to our content director.

The email address we list is not in bold or italics, and it cannot be directly copy/pasted into an email client. It’s really easy to figure out regardless, but that might stop some people.

Our final security measure is this—if you don’t at least try to address someone at P1P by name in the email, we generally won’t respond. Our rules also point out that we ignore canned, generic template-form outreach.

So where does that leave us?

Too Much Work for Spammers

If you take the 30 seconds to find our ‘write for us’ page and take 3 minutes to read it (or just 15 seconds to skim and find the contact address), then you still have to send us a non-canned email. That takes another 2-3 minutes.

So, we’re looking at a minimum time commitment of about 3 minutes and a maximum time commitment of 6 minutes. For most spammers, that’s too much work. They want to abuse guest posts, but it’s just so much harder now with these little security measures in place.

We’re not doing anything revolutionary—we’ve seen all of these tactics on other sites and appropriated them because we like them. We’re not blazing any trails, but it seems to keep a majority of the spammers out.

I’d have to assume that any other blog with the same security measures would get the same results.

Too Much Work for Legitimate Writers?

That brings up another good question, though—do these security measures make it too difficult for legitimate writers to send us an email? I’d argue that they don’t, but it could be the case if we’re getting so few emails. Still, we do get some strong writers and it’s much better to give spammers less to work with.

In the end, I think guest post abuse is much more dead than guest posting is. Spammers go after super easy targets because they’re sending out so many template emails that they don’t have 3 minutes to spend on an individual site.

If your site is set up for humans and it requires your potential contributors to take just a minute or so longer before they send off an outreach email, it’s a pretty easy way to defeat guest post abuse.

Everyone loves good content, and we love featuring other writers. We love guest posts. People argue against guest posts since they’re being “badly abused,” but we don’t see it on our end. We didn’t do anything crazy, but it seems to work for us.

And hey, since you’ve made it down this far in the article, would you like to write for us?

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